The Middle Way

Zen Spot #67 — Mindfulness, meditation and the scroll of Kerouac’s soul January 21, 2018 23:08

Kerouac was a Buddhist

I’ve never read On The Road. A right of passage for most writers and artists, perhaps my ignorance means I am neither. An argument could be made.

Spontaneous prose

When I saw the image above, I thought it was a gimmick. A Dada-ist afterthought trying to create something physical — and valuable — for the sake of it being physical and valuable. An artist’s imagination made commercial and fine at the same time. I am not pointing a finger.

Further research revealed that Kerouac actually taped typewriter paper together, top to bottom, into long sheets that could be fed through a typewriter without the interference of changing sheets. True stream of consciousness writing. In the moment. Not editing. Probably not stopping to consider choices. Just choosing. Or not choosing. Being nothing by creating something without creating a thing.

Perhaps every writer and artist who read On The Road while coming of age held the knowledge I chose to avoid.

The act of creation

There is no bad art or bad writing. There is no failure. Being true to one's inner artist, revealing something profound, or committing to do so, is all that matters. Absolute improvisation can never be imperfect. A voice speaking back to itself, even if no one else is listening, documents both nothingness and somethingness.  Paraphrasing Miles Davis, “Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”

Your creations

I submit that no person can walk the Buddhist path without performing an act of creation, if only because the act of destruction is so much easier. One cannot exist without the other. If improvised, and spontaneous, your work is as valuable as every Picasso, Hemingway, Mozart or kindergartner's.

Be mindful.


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?