The Middle Way

Zen Spot #75 — Mindfulness, meditation and the beauty of a gathering storm February 4, 2018 00:05

Wandering thunder

Every animals stops, if only for a millisecond, at the smallest rumble of thunder. Humans are no exception. It’s as if there is radar built into the base of our skulls. The difference between primal nature and the bass tone of anything ambient is unmistakable. The body electric can hear a pin drop next to a jet engine.

With it comes, if not fear, caution. One’s tracks stop. A head turns an ear in the direction of the guttural.

Sometimes a storm front portends the caution. In summer, the timpani appears out of fractured humidity — sometimes on the horizon, sometimes right over one’s head.

Walking into a temple.

The sound of rain

On the broad leaves of maple trees. On fresh cut grass. On the hood of a rusted pickup truck. On summer window screens, stippled. On the surface of a pond.

No thunder.

The Banzai Pipeline

On the north shore of Oahu, in January, the primal rises from the depths. Fifty foot waves eat the beach. What fell with grace or anger from the sky, or was fed quietly from rivers, swells into a wall of sound. 

The underside of a monster that just passed by, without looking back, mimics a storm front.

The joy of an upholstered couch on a covered porch

The farmhouse was a hundred and fifty years old. Surrounded by a hundred and fifty acres, with drifting milk cows, a hippy chicken coop, five hounds and a rooster, the western side was covered a twenty-five foot wood porch. Clay-red shingles covered the incline. Someone had left a comfortable paisley couch up against the painted stone of the exterior wall.

June. Humid. Four o’clock.

I was napping. The underside of a monster rolled in; the quiet was enormous. Thunder was miles and miles away. Cows stopped drifting. The hounds twisted toward the guttural. Rain drifted across the pasture and onto the shingles.

A profound comfort — the kind that arrives, perhaps, a dozen times during one life — embraced me. 

I closed my eyes.


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?