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A Fusion Of Buddhism And Punk Rock

Dharma PunxJenn Pelly Josh Korda meets with a participant after leading a meditation session at Dharma Punx, a free, walk-in meditation class that fuses the tenets of Buddhism and punk rock. Below: The Dharma Punx logo.
Dharma Punx

In late October, my stress levels hit an all-time high. I wanted to escape, but no fancy spa for me. Being the sort of girl who wears vegan combat boots and listens to Bikini Kill while steaming kale, I decided to hone inner peace at Dharma Punx. The free, walk-in meditation class fuses the tenets of Buddhism and punk rock every Tuesday at 7 p.m.

While some may question whether these sessions confuse achieving Nirvana with listening to it, participants note that there are common threads running between the Buddhist faith and the punk movement. Like Buddhism, punk music and lifestyles are centered on streamlining and simplification: three-chord Ramones-like song structures, straight-edge lifestyles, and Do-it-Yourself work ethics that cut out the middleman.

Led by Josh Korda, a tattoo-covered Buddhist Brooklynite with gauged ears, the 25-minute sessions at Lila Yoga, Dharma, and Wellness, 302 Bowery attracted a variety of practitioners. On that particular Tuesday night, a young beret-clad woman sat in front of me, and a grey-haired man in a yellow polo to my right, along with many tattooed 20 and 30-somethings. Mr. Korda opened wide the front windows, surrounded by tiny portraits of Buddhist gods, and in floated sidewalk sounds, cabbie screeches, and ambient New York noise.
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