another punk rock buddhist lesson

Fortuitous. I like that word. Lucky chance. Happenstance. Not that I believe in luck. Or chance. But I think it’s the perfect word choice for where I’m at today.

I’ve been listening to a lot of old punk rock music lately. (I blame (thank) my cousin-in-law.) Following long-forgotten roads of musical connections from the New York Dolls to Suicide to 7Seconds.

I re-discovered a song called “In Your Face” by this hallmark of straight edge, hardcore punk. Here. Let me let them speak for themselves. (But those with an aversion to the f-word may wanna look away.)

you wanna be the way i am
but you could never understand
you shave your fuckin head
then you turn your back
on your best friends

it’s not just in my head
it’s in my heart
(it’s in my heart)
and you’re not gonna
tear this one apart
the way you look it fits
how come your attitude is shit?
you say you do it your own way
but now i have the price to pay

if i can give a fuck
you better start, so…
use your head be aware
give a fuck!

the same routine. fuck up again
you have no real regrets
but this is not just something
i can easily forget

i can’t believe you’ve come this far
yet still so unaware
no cause no brains no fire inside
when will you learn to care

And then I read this beautiful, compassionate, and moving piece from the Buddhist Peace Fellowship by Mushim Ikeda-Nash wherein she talks frankly, openly, honestly about racism, sexism, homophobia — and notes that sometimes folks can’t just “accept” these things. Sometimes we gotta face them head on, undo their roots and the suffering they cause.

I am fully aware of my limitations as a Buddhist, as a blogger, as a scholar, as a sentient being. I am fully aware of the fact that I often do not express myself as clearly as I ought to in this space and others. But here is your punk rock Buddhist lesson for the day: Use your head. Be aware. Give a fuck. Christ, these guys are speaking our language.

May as well be use your head, be mindful, practice compassion. That’s all I’ve been trying to say. That’s all I’ve been hankering for in the Buddhist community.

One thought on “another punk rock buddhist lesson

  1. Fuck it, give it a fucking fuck!
    Wonderful.
    The late Osho, for all his sins, had a beauty of a speech on the various senses of ”fuck”. I truly like people who dare to be blunt in the pursuit of truth, and unite bluntness with sincere caring for the benefit of others. Sometimes you got to bring the sweep for the dust on people’s brains.

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