The Middle Way

Zen Spot #54 --  Mindfulness, meditation and a flying mud bubble bath January 20, 2018 19:36

At altitude

I look forward to my first visit to Lhasa. For years, I’ve poured over books and pictures. Prayer flags. Scooters. Permafrost at altitude. Open markets. Fresh vegetables. Free dogs. Ornamental architecture. Homes, temples, gateways. Potala Palace in the sky

I’ve never seen rain or mud in the books or pictures. 

John Cage

A musician of sorts, Buddhist beliefs influenced his work. An overt eastern influence shouldn't be expected when one listens, though. Instead, quiet and chance are embraced. Roll a bowling ball down a piano keyboard. Put your ear against a brick wall. Hold a stick in a babbling creek. Remain quiet for 4 minutes and 33 seconds.


Perhaps too often, I write about a small group of artists. It’s not that I don’t know art history, it’s that my visceral connection resides within a particular minority of major artists and a particular majority of amazing, nameless minor artists. This essay, too, finds the work of the minority a focus. I will withhold the name. It’s easy to find.

Impermanence, nature, engineering and chance

I read about a 20th century mud bubble bath ten years ago, but long forgot its existence. Having only seen pictures in books, I hadn't embraced social media before its memory faded. 

Walking around a corner, paying attention to other artworks at MOMA, a black room holding a glass vat the size of a five car garage presented itself, farting and burping mud. Beautiful, sexy, wonderful mud.

Motors, forcing air through PVC pipes underneath the vat, pushed bubbles the size of softballs to the surface. Viscous. Thick. Bubbles rise from the bottom in slow motion. The music was sublime. Falling in love, I considered starting a mud fight. 

Taking a flying leap, one would be cuddled in goo, never to hit the bottom. Like a salt water lake, I could lie on my back, make a snow angel and let bubbles burst all around. I could fart and let the stench creep.

Buddhists fart.


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

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