He wants to share some of his story to illustrate the point that the overhyped, consumer-based, American Dream we’re being force-fed may not be the best route to satisfaction. It certainly wasn’t for Korda, and he’s developed a plan based around the Buddha’s teachings that gives readers another option, one that can lead to happiness independent of possessions and circumstances.

 

By Brent R. Oliver

I’m a champion of the modern mindfulness movement.

I think the scientific path of rigorous meditation unbound from religious traditions is the key to improving our human condition. It’s easily accessible to a massive audience and doesn’t require any beliefs to yield benefits. It’s what I study; it’s what I teach; it’s what I practice.

But I am a Buddhist. Secular and post-traditional, but a Buddhist nonetheless. I’m not a joiner and I never settled on a specific lineage or approach that felt right for me. The one that comes closest, the one that’s always felt like my spiritual home base, is the Dharma Punx community. It’s founder, Noah Levine, is a fantastic leader whose teachings have really spoken to me, honestly moved me and truly shaped my practice and views. I finally met Noah a year ago at Against the Stream in Nashville and I was instantly comfortable with him and that sangha.

Someone else I’ve long-admired is Josh Korda, guiding teacher of Dharma Punx NYC.

I find his story inspirational and highly motivating. Korda walked away from a big deal advertising career, drug and alcohol addiction, and a life that he saw as empty and materialistic. He became a dharma teacher, living off donations rather than a high-roller salary, and has found deep meaning and fulfillment in a very non-traditional life.

In his new book, Unsubscribe: Opt Out of Delusion, Tune in to Truth, Korda wants to tell you a little bit about that. This isn’t an autobiography, though. He wants to share some of his story to illustrate the point that the overhyped, consumer-based, American Dream we’re being force-fed may not be the best route to satisfaction. It certainly wasn’t for Korda, and he’s developed a plan based around the Buddha’s teachings that gives readers another option, one that can lead to happiness independent of possessions and circumstances.

It’s pretty simple, really. Unsubscribe isn’t a heady, mystical journey through Buddhist esoterica.

It doesn’t concern itself with metaphysics or speculation. Instead, it’s a practical, down-to-earth, how-to guide for living a more fully human life. Korda includes simple meditation practices that can be done by anyone, with full explanations of what they do and why they’re relevant. He also offers some of the Buddha’s philosophical and psychological views on why we’re unhappy and how we can change it.

Unsubscribe is a solid little book. It’s very friendly and approachable and won’t scare readers off with exotic terminology and a lot of talk about religion. As an introduction to Buddhist meditation practices and a short overview of how we create suffering, it’s an excellent choice. Pragmatic without being cold; spiritual without being goofy; personal without being boring; universal without being New Agey.

If you’re looking for something a little more than mindfulness, for something that has a solid Buddhist base and flavor, Unsubscribe is it. What’s more, the Dharma Punx community is warm, welcoming, and spread all over the country. If you like Josh Korda’s book, if it speaks to you as it did to me, there are plenty of ways to connect and learn.

 

Like this article? You might also like: A Dharma Anarchist Goes to Summer Buddha Camp. {Strong Language}

 

Photo: Wisdom Publications

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

 

Comments

comments

Brent R. Oliver

Brent R. Oliver is a freelance writer, horror enthusiast, amateur Buddhist troublemaker, comedic mastermind, and genuine tattooed freak. Reading his work has been compared to stepping on Legos and he’s been offered several high-profile positions scrawling absurdities on some of the finest bathroom walls in America. He has turned them all down in order to stay home without pants so he can tell ludicrous tales in front of his grimy computer. Ninety percent of what he writes is outrageous nonsense and the other ten percent is genius beyond compare. The trick no one has figured out is deciding which is which. He lives in Lexington, KY with a beautiful wife he doesn’t deserve and a jet-black cat that shreds furniture and flesh alike. He does deserve that.
(Visited 55 times, 1 visits today)