Against The Stream: The Buddhist Path Of Revolution

by Noah Levine, The Huffington Post, October 28, 2008

New York, USA -- Against the Stream is more than just another blog about Buddhism. It is a manifesto and field guide for the front lines of the revolution. It is the culmination of almost two decades of meditative dissonance from the next generation of Buddhists in the West. It is a call to awakening for the sleeping masses.

Wake up: the revolution has already begun; it started 2,500 years ago, when Sid (Siddhartha Gautama, Sid for short) emerged victorious over suffering in the battle with his own mind. But, as most things tend to be with time, the spiritual revolution that Sid started, which we now call Buddhism, has been co-opted by the very aspects of humanity that Sid was trying to dismantle. The causes of suffering and confusion in the form of greed, hatred, and delusion have continued to corrupt the masses and have even crept into the teachings of this revolutionary path.

This blog is my attempt to present an introduction to the radical path of awakening as I believe it was originally intended and instructed. I have done my best to leave behind the dogmatic and culturally biased perspectives that have come to be part and parcel of many of the current presentations of Buddhism.

That having been said, I must also admit that my own biases and conditioned experiences will surely color these blogs with the unenlightened views and opinions that limit my ability to always see clearly. I have not attempted to be precise or historically correct in my interpretations; rather, I have taken the liberty to share the path to awakening as I have been practicing it and experiencing it from the inside out.

I am convinced that what I will present in these writings is, for the most part, in line with the oldest recorded teachings of the Buddha, the Theravadan tradition, as preserved and practiced in Sri Lanka, Burma (Myanmar), and Thailand. Many of these teachings I received directly from the unbroken monastic lineage that leads all the way back to the Buddha. But more important is the fact that I have directly experienced these teachings and the transformative effects of this path over approximately two decades of meditative engagement. I have will not attempt to present all of the wisdom and compassion of the Buddha in these writings; rather, I will do my best to share teachings and techniques that I believe will lead to the direct experiences of the Buddha's compassionate wisdom.

Against the Stream is my attempt to illuminate the path to freedom as I believe the Buddha intended it to be, as a radical and subversive personal rebellion against the causes of suffering and confusion. We have the ability to effect a great positive change in the world, starting with the training of our own minds and the overcoming of our deluded conditioning. Waking up is not a selfish pursuit of happiness; it is a revolutionary stance, from the inside out, for the benefit of all beings in existence.

May the teachings and techniques in this blog inspire you to serve the truth of generosity, kindness, and appreciation and to defy the lies of selfishness, ill will, and jealousy. May all beings meditate and destroy the causes of suffering in the forms of internal and external oppression and ignorance. And may the inner revolution bear the fruit of freedom you took birth to experience!

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