As you may have heard there are now allegations of sexual misconduct about Noah Levine, founder of the Against the Stream Meditation Society (ATS) and author of Dharma Punx.
Here you can read the communication from the Against The Stream Mediation Society about these allegations and the current steps being taken along with Noah’s communication about these allegations as well.
Phoenix Dharma Punks (Punx) has two main points in response to this news:
- As we say in our ‘About’ page, “We are a peer lead meditation group loosely based on and (loosely) affiliated with. . .” What does this mean? Well, we are NOT really any kind of official group at all. We are not a non-profit, nor a school, nor anything more than a group of people who show up and sit together. When I (Blain) started attending Phoenix Dharma Punks almost 5 years ago I was told that back in the day a number of people read “Dharma Punx” and were inspired to sit together. Before Noah launched the Against The Stream Meditation Society (ATS) our little group got the nod from what was then the Dharma Punx web site and we were listed as a peer lead group. Outside of this simple recognition we have no standing with Dharma Punx nor the ATS at all. We don’t communicate anything to them and they have no leadership over us. We didn’t even know of this incident until we read about it just like everyone else. Our group really is nothing more than people showing up and mediating together and tossing some money into a shared pot to pay the small amount of rent requested of us for using the space we are in.
- That said, I recognize the seriousness of any allegations of this nature and in these times wish to show that we are sensitive to these issues. So myself and one of our other peer leaders have decided that we (the two of us) will not read any of Noah’s teachings at our meetings until ATS has completed its review and has reinstated his teaching status or has reached some other decision. We do this not to weigh in on one side or the other but to respect how important these issues are both in this particular case and in society as a whole.
Finally, I have personally lead this group from a place that ‘the group belongs to everyone who shows up (equally)’. That being the case I think it’s important to say that this response is mine (Blain) and would be happy to discuss with other group members (you show up you’re a ‘member’) any other steps they think may be important.
I will close with a quote that brought me to this practice, “Do not accept anything I say as true simply because I have said it. Instead, test it as you would gold, to see if it is genuine or not. If after examining my teachings you find them of value put them into practice, but do not do so simply out of respect for me” – Buddha