Brad Warner is a Buddhist monk who happens to like beautiful women, punk rock music, played in a punk band, and Godzilla movies. He uses foul language, wrote for a time for an internet site that published erotic nudes, drinks and is not opposed to porn. He is a Buddhist just not what you think a Buddhist to be.
Noah Levine is son to Stephen Levine, famous poet, author and teacher. Stephen is one of many who brought the teachings of Theravada Buddhism to the West. Noah as a young was incarcerated several times. He loves punk music and is covered in tattoos. Not knowing him personally and going off his boi, Noah still loves his punk music and loves his meditation. Oh and very hot. He is a Buddhist just not what you think a Buddhist to be.
Thich Nhat Hanh is Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Nobel Peace Prize nominee, author, poet, and teacher. He founded Plum Village, the Order of Inter-being, the Unified Buddhist Church, and lectures across the world. He subcribes to the Zen and Theravada philosophies and teaches all those who come. He is a Buddhist, just like how you think a Buddhist to be.
With all that, which one is the “true” Buddhist? They all are. The wonderful think about Buddhism is the fact that it is an individual spiritual path. As a practicing and novice Buddhist, I am inspired by the differences. In this day and age, Buddha couldn’t imagine what we have to compete with. As much as I want to be a vegetarian, it’s hard. As much as I would do better not to drink and curse, I drink and curse both responsible. The expectation is that as a Buddhist we should be passive, non violent, and a push over. We should always be optimist and cheerful, spreading nothing put love and joy and peace throughout the world. Really?
I am very human and a product of the 20th and 21st century. I like rap. I like action movies. I like violent movies. I like porn. I like Burger King. I like sex. And with all that, I’m still a Buddhist. Buddhism is about the middle way. Do not over indulge but do not deprive yourself as well. Do no harm to any living beings. The difference is how we DECIDE to handle our emotions. I can get anger and want to Judo chop you in the throat(and sometimes I will be left with little choice), but through mindfulness I can locate the source of my anger, nurture my anger and let it go with more precision that if I wasn’t a Buddhist. I can find balance and love in the darkest places. And I will Judo chop you when I need to.
I am a Buddhist. I am a Human. I am Me.