The Middle Way

Zen Spot #198 — Mindfulness, meditation and another doodle Dharma Wheel November 26, 2019 00:00

Scribbling is immediate and perfect

Sometimes, the easiest way to remain in the moment is to doodle -- mindlessly and mindfully -- at the same time.

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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 #225 -- Mindfulness, meditation and hanging a Dharma Wheel in your home November 14, 2019 00:00

No more. No less.

This Zen Spot post — my 225th — is the first that directly addresses the commerce of artwork. Since the beginning of my career, having sold everything from cars to medical device repair, it was always impressed upon me that business must be requested. That is to say, the person selling a good or service must ask the customer to make a purchase.

Before doing so, however, a discussion needs to take place between the buyer and seller that will determine if the product will meet the customer’s need. Perhaps in all of the capitalist world, it is this conversation, along with the request to purchase, that makes people most uncomfortable. Most people don’t like to sell. Most people don’t like to be sold.

Art, however, is different. There are no features and benefits. The single determining factor, unless art is being bought as an investment, is the buyer’s visceral response. That’s it. No more. No less.

Except, maybe

Strong, unmistakable symbolism is perhaps the one exception to a collector’s visceral response. To be more clear, symbolism combined with a naturally potent visceral response adds to the possibility that a buyer will make a purchase.

Beyond the visceral, the issue of an artwork’s size can play a role in a purchase — as can the decor of the room in which the piece will hang. As a young artist, to think that decor would determine a purchase was infuriating. Now, it just is what it is. In this context, the Dharma Wheel is tremendously versatile.

Personally, I love its symmetry, versatility and meaning. It can be both a highly personal spiritual icon and a universally accessible image enjoyable for its simplicity, shape, color, materials, finish and presence. It offers endless visceral possibilities that can connect with any viewer. One need not be a Buddhist to appreciate the Dharma Wheel. It helps, however, to have an open searching heart.

The artwork available at SilkDharma.com can be hung in kitchens, living rooms, foyers and bedrooms, and can fit nicely with many different kinds of decor. 

In the future, if my health improves, I will be building larger Dharma Wheels from wood, metal and found objects. Some with be 14" in diameter, others will be eight feet across. I hope you’ll consider purchasing a framed or unframed imagand, when the time comes, consider a larger piece. Until then, I hope you will continue to follow the Zen Spot essay series and other social posts describing the creative processes for building the bigger wheels.

Thanks.

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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 #102— Mindfulness, meditation and the difference February 16, 2018 00:00

That time

That time, while awake, when not trying to clear my mind — but trying to participate in every activity with compassion.

I fail most of the time.

That time

That time, while awake, when I am trying to clear my mind — so that when I am not trying to clear my mind I can try to participate in every activity with compassion.

I fail most of the time.

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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 #71 — Mindfulness, meditation and One Buddhist Voice February 14, 2018 00:05

My voice is not my own

With every word, I am living Right Speech — or not. In doing so, the echo is rarely experienced at low volume. The knob is always turned to 10, no matter how benign the words.

In particular, this idea is personified in children. What we say, they hear. What we do, they do. The volume of our interactions is a jet engine so quiet that, even while looking down the runway, waiting to take off, we are unaware, until in flight, when our words are repeated back to us by an innocent voice.

I learned this lesson too late, if there is such a thing.

The same holds true for the collective. We are a choir. What we sing is louder--truly louder — and it moves the most stoic of listeners. It prompts and influences. It effects choices, personal and parish. In this sense, we are all Buddhists. Accidental or otherwise.

Our words must be kind and thoughtful and purposeful and compassionate.

Or not.

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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 #11 — Mindfulness, meditation and a street art zoetrope June 27, 2016 18:01

Nude descending a staircase

An urban park, the kind that embraces a full city block, holding a massive green field home to baseball in the summer, sits across the street from this small mural. The female figure stands about two and a half feet tall.

Among my first thoughts, after having stumbled on this artwork, was a question as to the gender of the artist. I don’t know why. 

The rendering is gentle and lithe, as is the subject. It borders on the erotic with an emphasis on the bare female bottom that could just as easily have been covered by a skirt. Did a female paint this figure based on an appreciation for the gift of the figure's shape or to express an ideal her body can’t achieve? Was she crafting a myth or illustrating a children’s story by blending Duchamp’s Futurism with a crude whimsy?

If painted by a man, why? Why the grace? Why the hair? Why the features? Why strand her in the dark as the sun goes down every afternoon? Why paint her in the dark as he almost certainly had to do?

This image is quiet, gesturing in a manner as though preparing to dance, waiting for that first bar of music. Its quiet, though, is visceral as well. As if the figure knows the artist never intended for the music to begin. 

The image brought me an interesting perspective on the physical movement we each take just before — and after — we sit to meditate. There is that process of slowing down, then preparing our minds to become still--and then   the stillness. The process, in my mind’s eye, takes on a stop-action quality until a single frame freezes into a mindful position.

Then, with a final breath, life begins again. The mind awakens, moves forward and the day provides.

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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?

 

 


A Perfect Mindful Symbol May 24, 2016 20:18

Inspiration

Nature is not ornamental. Every tree - the sapling and the fallen - offers complete and perfect substance within the Dharma. Grass, dirt, water and rocks comprise an interdependent state that resides within a greater whole that is the air, clouds, sky, wind, sun and rain. Nothing is extraneous. Nothing is ordinary. Nothing needs more color or decoration.

Without explanation, I drew this wheel while dreaming of sitting on a special rock, hanging over a secluded path, winding along a remote stretch of woods near my home. I had recently begun reading an economics book that was a gift from my son. Inside the front cover, the author’s signature is a doodled tree, with bark that resembles the ornamental spokes on this wheel.

Curious and unexplainable inspiration, for which there are thousands of questions and few, if any, answers.

#perfectmindfulsymbol