The Middle Way
Zen Spot #205— Mindfulness, meditation and every imperfect silly bloom June 14, 2018 11:48
One / Million
Perhaps the aspect of the Buddhist path I love most is its ability to host paradox and logic equally well. One voice is no different than one million voices. One mind is no different than one million minds. One mile is no different than one million miles.
One flower is no different than one million flowers.
Somewhere, a blueprint exists for every specie of flower. Perhaps it’s not traditional, like that created to construct a building. But, at some point, a central design evolved, and an argument can be made that every flower — quintillions and quintillions — evolved from a single bloom.
A quintillion flowers
The sum total of every flower that ever bloomed, across all species, across all of time, is uncountable — somewhere less than an infinite number but somewhat more than any number countable. Assuredly, there have been a million flowers that could have been picked by every human being in history, with the knowledge that to do so would be impossible if done with care, one at a time.
A single flower
To carefully harvest one bloom, acknowledge it’s place in the soil, shape, aroma and beauty, is a sublime gift. To do so, is no different than to close one’s eyes and sit quietly for the same length of time in front of an infinite number of blooms.
A billion petals
Perhaps counting the number of flowers that have bloomed across the entirety of history is a silly exercise. If so, it would naturally follow that counting the sum total of all petals is even sillier. Silliness, in this context, is more sublime because it often leads to a smile.
A single petal
Happiness and silliness are different. And, should one petal be truly silly, and lead to a smile, it might begin to explain why giving a single flower to a loved one can lead to a happiness that far exceeds the smile provided by the sum total of all silliness.
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?
- The truth of suffering
- The truth of the origin of suffering
- The truth of the cessation of suffering
- The truth of the path to the cessation of suffering
What is The Noble Eightfold Path?
- Right view
- Right intention
- Right action
- Right speech
- Right livelihood
- Right effort
- Right mindfulness
- Right concentration
What is a Dharma Wheel?
Zen Spot #135 -- Mindfulness, meditation and the unexpected flower bed February 8, 2018 00:05
I am not a flower guy
As a child, I was allergic to a lot of the foods kids love — apples, bananas, strawberries, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, limes, grapes. In addition, my seasonal allergies were so bad that I would literally cry spontaneously in March with the full knowledge that April showers bring May flowers. The required nasal decongestants were so strong that I was either sleeping due to their sedative effects or sneezing until my nose was bloodied because I chose not to take the medication.
For decades, I loathed flowers. Their beauty was indistinguishable from profound discomfort.
I’m a concrete guy
Many of my allergies have improved in the ensuing 45 years. Apples and strawberries can still be a problem, as can cats. Springtime, too, is still a little problematic but no more for me than the average hay fever sufferer. Still, though, when I see a bed of flowers or a field of newly mowed grass, I become Pavlov’s dog.
Sidewalks and asphalt and cobblestones are all my preferred surroundings, even to this day — and I’m comfortable with this comfort. My friends and family want me to stretch my limits.
Facing down a flower, as if it were a live hand grenade, is too strong an analogy to describe my pathology, but you get my point.
To experience the sublime beauty of simply standing in close proximity to dozens of flowers would be to stare down a lifetime of discomfort. Said staring match recently happened when I was walking along a sidewalk — a concrete sidewalk — through my home city, with my head down, having cruised passed this magnificent newly constructed cathedral, needing to stop at a red light before crossing the street.
While standing, waiting, I spun around for some inexplicable reason, and was confronted by a bunch of pansies nestled in a chest-high raised marble bed, firmly planted in peat, within two feet of my face. Panic ensued, but I stopped and took a breath.
Then, I folded my legs and sat on the sidewalk, with my back against the side of the marble bed and closed my eyes until the panic went away. Minutes later, I stood and waved my hand across the petals having touched my first flower in 45 years.
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.