When you walk into the warehouse space in Santa Monica that Against the Stream calls home, it looks a little like a meeting for the Williamsburg Motorcycle club. Tattoos abound, as do hipsters. But just as it strikes you, that despite appearances, everyone here is so genuinely nice and friendly, you remember that it IS a Buddhist gathering after all. Noah Levine, Buddhist teacher and author of Dharma Punx founded the original center on Melrose in 2008. They’ve since added the second center in Santa Monica, and have affiliated groups across the U.S.
We happened to catch a Monday meditation evening where Noah himself was teaching a Dharma Talk on the subject of Equanimity. He is charismatic and entertaining, and delivers the ideas of Buddhism in the simple, no-nonsense approach you would expect from a bald guy with big pipes and a lot of ink. (On Equanimity, Noah explains…”One of a Buddhists goal is to develop equanimity. That is to gain the ability to accept what’s happening to you, whether it’s good or bad. But that doesn’t mean that you should walk around like a Zombie just because you’re f*cking spiritual. No, you just learn to feel emotion in an appropriate way.“) True, that.
Bring your least spiritual spiritual friend and attend one of their Monday (7:30 pm) session in Santa Monica. Or Wednesdays on Melrose (7:30) Check the website below for more information.
From their website: www.againstthestream.org/
We welcome people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences and believe that the path of awakening is attainable by all and should be available to all.
Weekly Meditation Group with teachers alternating between Noah Levine and Matthew Brensilver. Suitable people beginning meditation practice or those with previous experience – no registration required. Donation only. Just drop in.
Who We Are: Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society was founded by Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx and Against the Stream, to make the teachings of the Buddha available to all who are interested. We wish to create and sustain communities of healthy, accountable, wise and compassionate people from every walk of life.