The Middle Way

Zen Spot #61 — Mindfulness, meditation and a chipped, spinning flywheel of anxiety February 6, 2018 00:05

I don’t know what a flywheel is

My knowledge doesn’t matter. A flywheel is, in this circumstance, whatever I say it is. I imagine a thin gear, missing teeth, spinning so fast inside me that it is quiet, acting like a gyroscope, keeping me on a crappy rollercoaster track. In particular, the ride crashes through any interaction with people, especially crowds. When I’m alone, it still happens, with an emphasis on the prospect of preparing to deal with people. It is best to be alone.

Sometimes, it feels like a very low level of electricity shaking me and shocking me--but not enough to kill me. I want to cry. I want to live. I want to run. I want to sit in a chair and wait for the night to come. I want to sit in my car instead of entering whatever circumstance I am about to enter. I want to trust.

I can’t. I can put my head between my knees so that blood rushes to my eye balls. Sweat can soak my clothes. My lower back can ache so much that I hobble. I can lash out like a wounded dog, if I can lift my head. 

Finding my path

Meditation works. Time must pass. Medication can help. Avoiding anything mind altering, except as prescribed. Compassion, beginning with other human beings, helps. Compassion for oneself has great power. Learning one’s limits has the surprising effect of extending one’s limits. Trusting those around you and eliminating anybody you can’t trust from your circle is surprisingly effective

Anxiety is a destination. Until you get off the train, and walk away, it’s just a matter of time until the locomotive stops and you’re forehead is pressed against the glass, looking at happy and dead people standing outside on the train platform. That said, the only choice is a first step, perhaps to the next seat on the train, until after multiple stops, you are as close to the door of the train car as you can be. Then, you choose to walk through the door and down the stairs. Between seats and stops, meditate, be mindful, be kind, read, engage professionals and be brave.

The Art of Happiness

I found the Buddhist path, in part, because it was the only thing that made sense when I was staring into the void. It helped to read. Books written by the Dalai Lama were of great help. His logic is sound, especially in the face of frequent paradoxes. 

Read The Art of Happiness. It is a great destination.


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

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?