I am in the process of reading “Dharma Punx” by Noah Levine upon repeatedly hearing if referenced, mainly by friends of the Buddhist persuasion. From what I understand, Levine seems to be a living guru to many. He grew up deeply engrossed in the California hard core punk scene. It was an outlet for him for the pain he felt due to a broken home, as were drugs and a violent street life. After hitting rock-bottom and feeling he had nothing to lose, he turned to meditation and quickly developed an affinity for the teachings of the Buddha, practices which he maintains to this day. He never lost his love for punk rock music, Levine says in his book, even citing a phase when he listened to “Krishnacore” music.
I am finding it quite inspirational and surprisingly applicable. I say surprisingly because, no, I am not a former crack-addict but I figure if he can quit smoking crack and a variety of other drugs, and remain clean due to meditation and other spiritual practice, then anyone can avoid some of their own destructive habits. Granted, I have never found myself in the clutches of hard drugs, and this is not meant to take away from his struggle and ongoing victory. But habits are habits and we all have them.
Also, because this is a story of a modern man who grew up in a suburban home so similar to many friends of mine (I lived in a more rural area), I find it quite applicable. I have tried to read the stories of the Pastimes of Krishna for the purpose of disconnecting certain pathways in the mind which lead from one thought to another thought to a negative or destructive action, and while finding them full of spiritual value, have yet to find the Pastimes of the child Krishna to be entirely transformational. Surely a good bit of the blame for that lies with me, and I accept that. Just giving you some background.
Also I am saying this because it is a common thing with spiritual aspirants. It is often hard to apply stories of things that happened thousands of years ago, or find things done by people who we are told were Divine, to be of much help in our modern, mundane lives, and in our (many of us are told) flawed hearts. If you find this to be true, I suspect you will get more value out of a book like “Dharma Punx” by Noah Levine.