The Middle Way

Zen Spot #82— Mindfulness, meditation, parking meters, poems, love notes and library books January 22, 2018 22:28

Tres bien

In Philadelphia, WMMR’s midday disc-jockey’s name is Pierre Robert (pronouced: Roh-bear). Spreading good vibes among the citizens of our fair city for 36 years, Pierre vibrates humor, kindness and a special kind of light. I was listening to his first show.

Street parking

When Center City parking meters still gulped quarters, and four quarters could still buy an hour of street parking, Pierre would encourage friends and neighbors who had yet to meet to drop a quarter in an expired meter to save that friend a ticket.

Indeed, the smallest of gestures can build the healthiest of communities.

A book is a book

A book is a wellspring. A book is a prompt. A book is a pipeline. A book is an artwork. A book is a trivet. A book is a cover. A book is a medium. A book is doorstop. A book is a vehicle.

A book is a parking meter

I don’t read poetry. More accurate, perhaps, is the fact that I don’t pursue poetry. Either it reveals itself to me or it doesn’t — but it always does. 

Read enough of anything and poetry presents itself as reliably as tomorrow’s daybreak. In biographies, blogs, novels, textbooks, magazines — even technical briefs. Look closely. It’s always there. 

For years, following Pierre’s lead, when I was in used bookstores, thrift shops or libraries, I would open random books and drop a slip of paper, with another writer’s poem, between the pages. When I left my home, I always made sure I had something printed on sheets small enough to fit in a paperback, and always made sure it was an unknown poem.

Love notes

Moving forward, once a week, I am going to handwrite a love note to a human being. Any human being. Genderless. Genuine. Unknown. Thoughtful. Empathetic. Compassionate. Real.

I’ll leave it in a book.

Perhaps it will be to me. Perhaps it will be to you.

I’m asking you to do the same.

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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 #5 -— Mindfulness, meditation and blessing every book March 19, 2015 07:31

Book stores possess an unusual quiet that I find particularly conducive to meditation. The Book Trader's quiet, in the Olde City section of Philadelphia, is full. Distant sirens filter through the front door like water across rocks in a creek. Pages rustle and sing an unmistakable song of fingers sliding across paper, occasionally stopping to pinpoint an individual word. The aisles are narrow and intimate, requiring patrons to excuse themselves when navigating columns of books stacked knee-high in any given part of the store. 

In the back of the store, in the southeast corner, one can sit in the corner early in the day, before customers begin to arrive. With your back to the corner of the shelves, and your legs folded, the left pointing west and the right pointing north, you can absorb a rare energy, as if the store is an amplifier. For two minutes at a time, while you close your eyes, the experience is sublime.

Stop by and ask the owner for a few minutes in the back. He's a fine, well-read man whose life has been spent as a bridge between those who have read a book and those who want to read. It's impossible that he's read every book that crosses the bridge - or is it?

Don't ask, just enjoy the possibility.

The Book Trader - Philadelphia

Address: 7 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

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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 Michael 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?