Zen Spot #3 -- Mindfulness, meditation and art below the above-ground subway March 1, 2015 16:02

August in Philadelphia can be brutal

At noon, in direct sunlight, the skin can sear quickly. Squinting angrily to keep the sweat and glare out of one's eyes is required. 

While I was walking, at lunchtime, during my last several months working for a small public television station, I found the artwork above. Despite very fair skin, I was drawn to long walks after a small midday meal. The neighborhood through which I would wander is called Northern Liberties. On the eastern side of this neighborhood, the elevated portion of the subway cuts a loud rumbling shadow on the asphalt below. 

On a very particular street corner, a bar resides where live music is played nightly. The venue is the nearest thing that Philadelphia has ever had to CBGB. Its' exterior brick walls are painted with Scharfian characters. An adjacent empty lot, with a chain-link fence that covers most of the front of the property, faces the street underneath the elevated rails. The goofy face above is wood-screwed into a 4' x 8 plywood panel that's rivet-glued to the fence. 

The mural started with the pure intent that drives every artist. At some point after it was finished, graffiti and handbills were stapled and glued like weeds growing between cracks in the sidewalk. Life erupts.

Where life erupts, mindfulness can erupt as well.


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?