The Middle Way

Zen Spot #172 — Mindfulness, meditation and a cat’s mantra April 6, 2018 00:00

Youth

Three cats lived in my childhood home: Kimba, Daisy and Mozart. Each named by my brother, one of which he brought home as a stray, they added an air of dignity to the flow of the home. The dwelling was small and there was no place for anybody — or any animal — to hide. It felt as if each cat was always within arm’s length. As such, the comfort of fur was always at one’s fingertips.

I am a dog person.

Quiet

At times, if a cat lives in a home, the purr can seem to be heard a mile away. A timpani that repeats, when it breaks the quiet, it offers the same comfort as the being's fur. That said, more comfort can be found in complete silence, with the knowledge that the animal is somewhere in one’s home. They appear to meditate — slowly — unless starved for attention.

For those who love cats, my observations are not new. For those yet to have spent time with a feline, spend time watching a cat, even if you are a dog person. Rarely does quiet surround a dog, which is why I love them. When a dog is quiet, the nature of its silence can be profoundly different than that of a cat.

Balance

Cats are gymnasts. Everything is a balance beam. There seems to be a method to every decision to move, with each movement designed to serve the cat. Where dogs are egos run amok, cats appear to plan — gracefully.

Render

The nature of most cats, in my observation, is that they make you come to them, both physically and emotionally. While, yes, they will nuzzle spontaneously and seek the touch of the underside of your hand, it is almost always on their terms. A cat renders forth a very particular energy from those with whom they surround themselves.

Smiles are rendered. Quiet is rendered. Words are rendered. Some recognized. Some unrecognized but visceral.

Perhaps the purring is a mantra. Perhaps they are connected to something. Perhaps I should rescue a cat that the cat might rescue me, change my home and provide an even better place to practice mindfulness.

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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?

 

 


Zen Spot #125 — Mindfulness, meditation and the face of a rescued animal February 17, 2018 00:05

Mayze in complete black

We were told that she spent much of her first seven years in the dark, waiting to give birth, over and over again. Today, she thrives in sunlight. 

In the morning, the sun blasts through the window in my studio. Now part slug, she plops on the rug--somehow following the trail of the sun as it moves across the room, remaining directly in its blast radius for about three hours, without moving a muscle. An eleven pound glacier.

Seven years in the dark. Now loved.

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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?

 

 


Zen Spot #138 — Mindfulness, meditation and an overload of cute salvation February 11, 2018 00:05

Four pounds

Chihuahuas are tiny. Tin-tin, shown above, is particularly small and particularly cute. Dressed up like an Inuit, his eyes seem to be asking his mother, Tracy, what he'd done to deserve being adorned in last year’s fashion. Despite wintering in Cleveland this year, he appears to know he would be a laughingstock on the slopes of Zermatt. 

Or, his eyes could be pouring profound gratitude for the woman who saved him. She took this picture. A pure love.

Two pounds

Skin was stretch over his spine like cellophane around the remainder of a Thanksgiving turkey. He could barely walk and weighed less than thirty-two ounces. Fitting in two palms, as if the hands were shaped to scoop water out of a cool stream, yawping and shivering, he was far closer to death than life when Tracy found him. When an opportunity to exercise compassion when compassion, at some point, becomes the unthinkable, she chose the gift of life. 

Tracy’s kindness manifest itself in 24 hour care until he doubled his weight. Her love manifest itself in being silly and playing. Her compassion manifest itself in a permanent unlimited welcome.

I could not have done what Tracy has done. I am not a Buddha. I am not enlightened. 

Perhaps a case can be made for Tracy, though.

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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?