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.

Check out Unsubscribe here.

 

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

 

Photo: Wisdom Publications

Editor: Dana Gornall

 

 

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Brent Purple Oliver

Featured Writer at The Tattooed Buddha
Brent Purple Oliver is an award-eligible writer, mindfulness coach, and speaker. He’s spent more than 20 years studying and practicing fairly conventional forms of Buddhism. These days, he’s a politely radical proponent of the modern mindfulness movement, advocating for a universal, practical, non-religious path to happiness and self-transformation.
Brent is a coach in Shinzen Young’s Unified Mindfulness system because it’s just such an approach. He works with individuals interested in everything from alleviating stress to pursuing classical enlightenment. He also coaches groups, and offers presentations to companies, schools, and organizations curious about the benefits of mindfulness. In addition to being a columnist at The Tattooed Buddha, Brent’s writing has also appeared in Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, and Morpheus. He lives in Lexington, KY with his wife, two cats, and a crippling addiction to horror. Swing by his website brentpurpleoliver.com for more information.
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