The History and leadership of ATS Nashville….

ATS facilitator graduation. January 2011

Dave Smith: Dave Smith, a Buddhist meditation teacher and addiction treatment specialist was trained to teach meditation by Noah Levine, founder of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society and received training in Buddhist psychology from the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies (BCBS). As a long-time Buddhist practitioner and recovering addict, he has been working closely with recovering addicts for the past six years. During which time he operated intensive programs and trainings as the local director for the Mind Body Awareness Project (MBA). Dave has extensive experience bringing meditative interventions into jails, prisons, youth detention centers and addiction treatment facilities. He is the guiding teacher and program director of the Against the Stream Nashville Meditation Center and teaches over 300 meditation classes and workshops a year. He provides direct services for mental health agencies, the public library, and speaks nationally at Addiction and Behavioral Health conferences.  Dave recently relocated to Los Angeles and continues to be the guiding teacher for ATS Nashville.

Contact Dave: therebelsaint@gmail.com


Andrew Chapman: Andrew Chapman has been engaged in Dharma practice over the past several years, studying under empowered Against the Stream teacher, Dave Smith. His practice has been supported by several training and retreat programs focused on early Buddhism, Buddhist psychology, secular mindfulness, and through his work as an addictions and mental health counselor. He will complete Spirit Rock’s Community Dharma Leader program in spring of 2017, and he will be receiving his licensure in Social Work in the spring of 2016. Inspired by his own experience as a person in recovery from drug addiction—with 10 years of sobriety—he is currently working towards becoming a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor (LADAC). Andrew currently manages operations at Against the Stream Nashville; he also facilitates weekly groups, day retreats, and other monthly events. Currently, Andrew teaches mindfulness-based therapeutic interventions at several mental health and addictions treatment centers in the greater Nashville area, specializing in adolescent and youth treatment. He is also actively engaged in the thriving Refuge Recovery community in Nashville.

Contact Andrew: nashvillemindfulness@gmail.com












Noah Levine: Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx, Against The Stream and The Heart of the Revolution is a Buddhist teacher, author and counselor. He was trained to teach by Jack Kornfield o f Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. He is the founding teacher of Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, with a center in Los Angeles and over 20 affiliated groups around North America. He teaches meditation classes, workshops and retreats internationally. Noah holds a Masters degree in counseling psychology. He is also on the board of directors of the Buddhist Recovery Network. Levine lives in Los Angeles.








What is Theravadan Buddhism? (Old School)

Theravada (Pali: thera “elders” + vada “word, doctrine”), the “Doctrine of the Elders,” or the “ Way of the Elders” is the name for the school of Buddhism that draws its scriptural inspiration from the Pali Canon,  which scholars generally accept as the oldest record of the Buddha’s teachings. For many centuries, Theravada has been the predominant religion of Sri Lanka, Burma, and Thailand; today Theravada Buddhists number over 100 million world-wide. In recent decades Theravada has begun to take root in the West — primarily in Europe, Australia and the USA. The Theravada tradition, also known as “Insight Meditation”, has been practiced and cultivated during the last 40 years here in the Unites States.  Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg and Jack Kornfield are the teachers most popularly known for this movement.

What is the Pali Canon? (Original teachings of the Buddha)

Over 2500 hundred years ago, Siddhartha Gautama, (Buddha) reached a spiritual enlightenment and began teaching others of his time the fundamentals by which to do the same. Originally, his teachings were passed on orally, as was traditional of the times, and in this manner spread throughout the Indian subcontinent and parts of Asia. Over time, the teachings were written down, but as over four hundred years had passed since Gautama Buddha’s death, it is unclear how strong the connection is between the written Pali Canon and his original teachings.  Regardless, the Pali Canon is still often called the “Word of Buddha”.


What is Against the Stream?

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.

The Noble Quest (from the pali canon)

“I considered:  ‘This dhamma I have reached is deep, hard to see, difficult to awaken to, quiet and excellent, not confined by thought, subtle, sensed by the wise.  But people love their place: they delight and revel in their place. It is hard for people who love, delight and revel in their place to see this ground: this-conditionality, conditioned arising.  And also hard to see this ground:  the stilling of all inclinations, the relinquishing of all bases, the fading away of craving, desirelessness, stopping, nibbana.   Were I to teach the dhamma and otherswere not to understand me, that would be tiring and vexing for me.

“Why should I now reveal what I reached with difficulty?This dhamma is not easily awoken to by those in thrall to desire and hate. Those dyed by desire, covered by a mass of darkness

…will not see what goes against the stream, subtle, deep, hard to see and fine. 

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.

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 12 weekly classes and sitting groups serving over 250 people. We also offer special class series, daylongs, facilitator training and advanced practitioner study.  Dave Smith was encouraged by Noah to carry the ATS teachings to the Southlands; in 2010 Against the Stream Nashville was born.

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 gang and 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? 

Come out and sit…support the sangha and deepen your own awakening! 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.




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