The Middle Way

Zen Spot #194 — Mindfulness, meditation and one hour sleeping next to a cow meadow April 14, 2018 00:00

Most cows won’t eat your face

I am not a camper. While most of my lifelong friends earned the rank of Eagle Scout decades ago, and enjoy camping, I was neither a Boy Scout or a fan of sleeping on dirt. At the very least, I need an air mattress. Too, I am afraid of Bigfoot eating my face in the middle of the night. 

The image above is painted on an clapboard fence that encloses a small side yard in one of Philadelphia’s trendier hipster neighborhoods. The technique is awesome, as is the color scheme. An admirable attempt to bring a pasture to a decidedly urban block was made — and succeeded. It’s notable, however, that the nearest real cow is about thirty-five miles away. And, while I prefer cement to dirt, I would no sooner sleep on the adjacent sidewalk than I would sleep face down in the mud.

Dirt nap

I’ve made the aforementioned thirty-five mile trek many times and, usually, the trip began in a driveway next to the specific pasture. A friend owns the farmhouse that sits on the twenty acres perused by the bovine.

The pasture’s grade moves north to south with a twenty-five foot increase above sea-level over the length of four acres. For reasons I don’t understand the cows usually face due north, unless they are wandering. While standing, an imperceptible sway from side to side seems to take place. It’s like they are trying not to fall off the planet. It can’t be seen but it can be felt.

Hundred year-old oak trees line the field. At three o’clock on any searing August afternoon, the relief offered by their shade is wonderful. Beading sweat on forearms with a t-shirt clinging is poetic. 

While I could never bring myself to lay down in the grass, leaning my back against a tree trunk while dozing is sublime. If sleep can be put off, and meditation embraced, the sound of the atmosphere — the quiet — provides a wonderful doorway through which to step.

Find such a field. The cows will probably not eat your face.


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?