Who We Are

Who We Are.  Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society was founded by Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Against the Stream, and Heart of the Revolution, to make the teachings of the Buddha available to all who are interested. We wish to create and sustain communities of healthy, accountable, wise and compassionate people from every walk of life. We welcome people from all racial, economic, sexual, social, political and religious backgrounds and preferences and believe that the path of awakening is attainable by all and should be available to all. We strive to create a safe environment for all who come to practice.

The Story So Far.  Thanks to the contributions of some extremely generous donors, we opened our Melrose doors in February 2008. In early 2009, we moved into the Santa Monica Center. Over the years we have continued to grow and as of now, we have 17 weekly classes and sitting groups serving close to 500 people. We also offer special class series, daylongs, facilitator training and advanced practitioner study.   

What’s Next?  Part of our core mission is a commitment to social action. We are moving in this direction with projects to feed the homeless, work with prison populations and those in recovery centers. We are continuing to engage our community and build a center that serves it’s population in ways that will support the dharma and our practice both on and off the cushion.

How You Can Help.   We are a non-profit in challenging economic times; over 25% of attendees at our special classes and events received some type of scholarship assistance. Against the Stream is 501(c)(3) non-profit and supported solely by class fees, donations and your generosity. As we move forward, we need your support more than ever, just as this center is needed more than ever. Please consider becoming a monthly contributor so we can count on a guaranteed income each month and plan wisely. No amount is too small and all donations are fully tax-deductible.  Currently we are not making our monthly bills and have to dip into our reserves which are greatly depleted.  Traditionally, those who have more give more to support those who have less. We invite you to participate in this tradition so we can all weather this economy together. We are eligible to receive matching grants your employer may offer so please inquire at work about this program. We can always use volunteers to help with events and projects. There is room for everyone in our Sangha.

Join us as we continue to be at the forefront of American Buddhism, a tradition influenced and inspired by the wisdom and compassion teachings of all the Buddhist traditions.

The Buddha said his path to awakening was one of rebellion – a subversive path that is against greed, against hatred, and against delusion. It is a path of radical, engaged transformation, a path of finding freedom and spending the rest of our lives giving it away. It is a path that goes Against the Stream.