DVD Review: Meditate And Destroy

Meditate And Destroy: A documentary on punk rock, spirituality and inner rebellion
Alive Mind/ Blue Lotus Films

By now, most of us have heard the name Noah Levine. You’ve probably even read one, or both, of his books “Dharma Punx” and “Against The Stream”. You may have even been to a retreat he has run or meditate regularly at his Against The Stream Buddhist Meditation Society (at least those on the West Coast might).

“Meditate and Destroy” is the brainchild of Sarah Fisher, Blue Lotus Films. The documentary follows Noah through various forms of media using some cool footage recorded directly from the online community of Second Life), telling his story of growing up a drunken and drug addled street punk, to his many times in juvenile hall/ incarceration and his growth in learning from those experiences now. If you’ve read the books he’s written, you pretty much know the story that is told, but “Meditate and Destroy” speaks a bit more intimately, as you actually hear and see Noah telling the story.

There are cut-ins with his mother, father, his various teachers and his childhood friends who knew him best. Sarah follows him to some of the teachings he has held on his book tours, and even teachings he gave at the same juvenile hall he was locked up in a youth.

Since Noah’s books have been published he has amassed a mere army of Dharma Punx, many of which are interviewed in the documentary about their experiences with Noah as a teacher. As daunting as that sounds, the charge of this army is compassion, kindness and genuine consideration for the lives of all beings. The amazing thing is, he is not only breaking down barriers within the Buddhist world with his alternative approach to Dharma, but I think is helping to break down barriers in the world in general. Who would of thought a man, coming from where he has, with as many tattoos and gold capped teeth could be so full of wisdom and genuine loving-kindness? As soon as you meet and talk to him, the “masked” man in front of you vanishes and you realize that this man is the real deal, as real and true as it gets.

Noah’s story is so real you can’t help but get charged up, and come to the realization that anyone can change, even ourselves. You don’t have to be some quiet, timid monk with robes. I’m sure some people could be put off by a “tattooed Buddha” but what other form do you think a Buddha could take. Buddha taught that we all have Buddha nature, so why not some in your face, tattooed guy who doesn’t candy coat the truth? I know that without him having written these books I may not have pursued the path as stringently.

The DVD has come cool extras, including some of his teachings. So, even if you’ve read the book, I would still recommend viewing this documentary.

Find out more about the movie at www.meditateanddestroy.com

Trailer for the film…


  1. Noah was my introduction to Buddhist practice a few years ago. I related to his background and cultural indentity. He is kinda like the cool teacher in school that all the rejects like….Noah can relate the Dharma to the rebellious nature of youth in a way few can..I think in the end he will be one of the wests most influencial Buddhist teachers…My own practice eventually evolved into Zen, but without Noah’s story and words i would have been lost……I am glad this film finally has a DVD release…If you like Noah, read Brad Warner for a different voice but cut from the same cloth (Brad rules!!!)…Zane

  2. Against the Stream was the first book about Buddhism that I read and actually understood. He puts everything in plain English, and doesn’t care if it doesn’t sound pretty. I’m lucky to work with someone who has gone to some of his classes, too (I live in South Carolina).

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