Zen Spot #157 - Mindfulness, meditation and shredding that last piece of Velvet January 16, 2015 12:27

Lou Reed's face was smashed against the Plexiglas door of a sheet-metal newsstand box at the corner of 61st Street and 9th Avenue.  He had passed away seven days earlier.

On that seventh day, I was shuffling toward 10th Avenue, when the forceful face of the Village voice smacked me. I was as startled as if he had been standing there in the flesh. Twenty-thousand people must have passed by that spring-loaded trash can since it had been loaded with newsprint. One hundred copies had been left behind for the unwashed, the brilliant, the homeless and the illiterate; each with an opportunity to grab that last piece of Velvet.

Moses in monotone

Lou was the island's gutter poet; eating the filth that gathers at the edge of a storm drain after a heavy rain. Priest, Buddha, fortune-teller and fortune seeker wrapped in a leather veneer. Voyeur, addict, artist, man; the personification of an alternative truth that a great artist doesn't need to leave a single work of greatness in his wake. 

Like that last Japanese soldier dying alone in a jungle somewhere in the South Pacific, thirty years after Hiroshima, Reed's body succumbed to a life and war fought forty years before. Most of his comrades are gone; taken by cliches, disease and the Howl. I mourn the culture even more than Lou; knowing that he was one of the longer tentacles on a Portuguese man o' war that washed up in Union Square long ago.

It's a Wonderful Life

On this island, during that week, my mind's-eye envisioned a run on the art-bank of the East Village, and every one of its corner outposts, leaving nothing but trash behind; meat-hooks and manicures flailing for a chunk of the real Underground.

I got the last copy.


About DharmaMechanic

An artist, entrepreneur and writer walking the Buddhist path, his art focuses on the Dharma Wheel. The four wheels shown above are among over 600 DharmaMechanic has created over the course of his career. Each has a unique story. If you’d like to read the story of these wheels or purchase a framed 20" x 20" ready-to-hang print, visit SilkDharma.com.

What are The Four Noble Truths?

  1. The truth of suffering
  2. The truth of the origin of suffering
  3. The truth of the cessation of suffering
  4. The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering

What is The Noble Eightfold Path?

  1. Right view
  2. Right intention
  3. Right action
  4. Right speech
  5. Right livelihood
  6. Right effort
  7. Right mindfulness
  8. Right concentration

What is a Dharma Wheel?