The Middle Way

Zen Spot #52 — Mindfulness, meditation and a big green monster February 6, 2018 00:05

Whose imagination?

Some churches have soaring stained-glass windows that light up their insides likes neon signs light up the streets outside corner taverns. Other churches are planned and precisely plain. Altars, too, occupy a continuum, from the serene to the inspiring to the intimidating to the torturous. What one brings to the interiors, in the shopping bags of the mind, while standing with head bowed, often determines the quality of love.

On Lansdowne Street, in Boston, a minimalist gargoyle stands guard inside a particular church. That church is the finest professional baseball park on planet earth — Fenway.

The first time a believer walks through any tunnel, from underneath the grandstand, and watches a billion square feet of diamond fold open, a monster rises three stories from beneath the sea of green. An aberration to the extreme, the left field wall appears impenetrable to those who stand in the batter’s box. Perhaps another million square feet of vertical fear — the Green Monster — elicits legends of love, hate, fear and loathing.

Built in 1912, many of the world’s best professional baseball players have stepped onto the field of dreams that is Fenway. The list goes on forever — Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, Wade Boggs, Carlton Fisk and many more.

Who imagined this?

It’s one thing to stare at it

Sit on the third base line, about thirty rows above the field, just beyond the infield. Preferably in the heat of the afternoon, on an oppressively humid day in July. By yourself. With luck, you can see the heat slightly distort the monster. The sun will burn, especially if you hale from an ish culture. In Boston, there are plenty of the ish. Throughout the planet, there are plenty of the ish.

The right field bleachers in 1995

For seven innings, on a May evening, three wankers continued to throw peanuts from almost the last row. One at a time, at times. Gaping handfuls, like hail, at others. Few hit my friend and me, our seats were halfway up. The apex of the arc was almost directly above us. Thirty feet.

Those in the first few rows showed great restraint for seven innings. First, politely asking the fans to stop. Shortly thereafter, speaking with security. Later, after letting fingers fly and shouting warnings about smashing skulls to the size of grapefruits, a wanker hit one fan with one particular peanut.

She stood, spun and sprinted — across the tops of of the backs of seats as if being ferried by angels— believing God was calling her into heaven following one final task. Upon the arrival of her train into the station, the man with a half-eaten bag of peanuts nose exploded — and everyone lived happily ever after.

Even the Buddhists.

The bleachers are the holy place.


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 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

 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?