Video: Noah Levine & Dharma Punx

Noah Levine is a Buddhist teacher, counselor and author of the book “Dharma Punx.” Noah healed himself from addiction and substance abuse after being in the prison system, and now he is a counselor and Buddhist teacher. He comes from a punk background and is able to communicate the Buddha’s teachings in a way that resonates with a younger demographic.

Kent and I attended a day long workshop with Noah Levine at Spirit Rock Meditation Center on April 28th, 2006 where were able to interview him.

I got a chance to read Noah’s latest book “Against the Stream”, which summarizes basic Buddhist principles such as the Eightfold Path

and the Four Noble Truths in easily understandable language.

I like the way Noah interprets the Buddha’s message for contemporary times. By sharing personal experiences, he explains how the path of love is “against the stream” of habitual patterns of the mind and creates freedom. The book offers meditation exercises that can help us to overcome tendencies of the mind toward greed, hatred and delusion. And through meditation we learn to intentionally cultivate generosity, compassion, and understanding.

There is also a documentary about Noah’s path through spirituality, punk rock and inner rebellion called “Meditate and Destroy” that recently premiered in Santa Cruz.

Music: “The Message 2 (Jazz Mix)” by cdk via

Photos: adobemac, ayahyoung, beija-flor, beija-flor, cathycracks, culturesubculture, davebluedevil, digitalgrace, fredarmitage, grantneufeld, introspectrum, jgarber, k9, kikisdad, nolifebeforecoffee, pefectfutures, stuckincustoms, timcummins

Inner Peace / Outer Action

We begin this website in 2005 out of a desire to document and share our exploration of spiritual approaches to social change. When individuals are given a sense of possibility and a means for communion, then they have the capacity to come together and birth imaginative solutions rooted from deep compassion.

This vlog explores perspectives on inner peace/outer action from spiritual activists: Jack Kornfield, Noah Levine, Tarra Christoff and Dominic Allamano.

Update: Check out this great article Generation Awakening about an emerging generation of social activists by Tarra Christoff.

Music: “Shhhhhh” by ASHWAN via

Video: Jack Kornfield on Meditation and Happiness

Jack Kornfield is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. He talked with us about meditation, listening to the wisdom of the heart and finding happiness through a non-judgmental, mindful awareness.

Dharma Seed Archival Center offers insight mediation Dharma talks by various meditation teachers including Jack Kornfield for free or by donation.

This is our sixth & final post for Videoblogging Week 2007.

Music: “Time (Instrumental)” by AudioLogic via

Photos: sallypicssqueakymarmottjt195omnosbabstevedelusionofgrandeurtatianasapateiropsdfreepalvictoriapeckhamtookieraincitystudiosnoeltykaystillsearchingmadhava

Nurturing Touch through Somatic Inquiry

Somatic Inquiry is an emerging modality that is based upon a tradition of contact improv and nuture dance, and includes the physical and emotional body. Through quieting the whole system, one is able to listen internally and allow a space for internal impulse to be expressed through movement. These practices create a safe space for healing movement, touch and authentic expression. Janice Sandeen and Christina Decossio are both bodyworkers who teach classes in Somatic inquiry.

Gwen Bell brings up an interesting question of whether there are distinctly different masculine and feminine approaches to spiritual practice. She suggests that women are often not as responsive to the solitary sitting practices of Buddhism as men. I wonder if Somatic Inquiry’s emphasis on interconnection and embodiment could be considered an example of a more feminine approach to spiritual practice.

These are some additional links about somatic healing.

This is our fifth post for Videoblogging Week 2007.

Music: sad by cdk via

Preventative Health Care Using Integrative Medicine

We met Dr. Ann Haiden, DO at Cook Camp in San Francisco. Ann’s training is similar to a MD, but with extra training in musculoskeletal issues and manipulation. She approaches health by addressing the root causes of problems with an emphasis on nutrition and self-care. In this videoblog she describes a sensible progressive approach to medicine.

Integrative medicine combines the use of mainstream medicine with complementary alternative approaches.

Dr. Ann Haiden has a private practice in Kentfield, CA.

If you’re interested in learning more about preventative approaches to health check out Dr. Mercola’s health blog.

This is our fourth post for Videoblogging Week 2007.

“the Message 2 (Jazz Mix)” by cdk via

Creative Commons Material:
adrianblackpwinnWGBH sandbox

Connecting through the Heart with Community

The CircleCenter is located in downtown Fairfax, CA. It’s a space dedicated to supporting people in developing and sharing their hearts gifts in service to others.

This center represents a new model of how conscious community networks
can be developed and sustained.

This is our interview with CircleCenter founder Matthew Edwards.

This is our third post for Videoblogging Week 2007.

“Hidden Sky” by Jami Seiber via

Flickr photos:venturevoicejtownsjurvetson,smartfatsantarosaaguinsburg,santarosaweitherscatti_frullatisantarosamarkopstephansplace,susanburke, ibu, funnystrangeorfunnyhaha

Cultivating Energy with Qi Gong

I’ve been practicing Qi Gong for the past three years and I’ve found that these simple movements have had a profound impact on my health and well-being. Qi Gong affects the body’s flow of energy and comes from the Taoist and Buddhist traditions, Chinese Medicine and martial arts practice.

Chinese Medicine holds a reverence for the spiritual interconnection of all life and bases its approach to health on a holistic understanding of the body. Preventive care of the body and living in accord with the cycles of nature creates well being. Qi gong practice consists of cultivating chi (vital energy) by coordinating breathing patterns with physical postures and motions that integrate the upper and lower body. This practice breaks down energetic blocks to the free flow of chi throughout the body.

I’m currently taking a class in Chinese Medicine to better understand these profound ancient healing practices. If you’re interested in learning more about Chinese Medicine the book for the class is called “Between Heaven and Earth.”

Mark McKenna teaches Qi Gong on Tuesday mornings at the Circle Center in Fairfax, CA. His teacher is Fong Ha of the Integral Ch’aun Institute.

This is our first post for Videoblogging Week 2007.

Music: Biodrift by DJ BLUE via