The Middle Way

Zen Spot #216 - Mindfulness, meditation and the transcendental joy of hugging a teddy bear November 6, 2018 00:00


A long time ago, upon the news that my wife was pregnant, I went out to buy a teddy bear for my unborn child. A cliche perhaps, but it made me feel good that, when my child was born, and I couldn’t be with them, they’d always have a friend right by their side. 

The choice of a bear is complex and sublime. It must smell nice, and feel good, and have a wonderful face. Impossible to pick a bear out on Amazon, considering the company hadn’t been founded until my son was eight years-old, the purchase required a trip to a toy store — an experience, perhaps, that millions of Millennials may never experience.


Following the purchase, I occasionally slept with the bear until my son was born. In addition to wanting my scent to rub off on his companion, that he might be warmed by a safe, familiar scent, I found the comfort of the bear to be profoundly safe.

Caring for someone besides oneself

In addition to the additional comfort provided to my son by the bear, I hoped that it would remain in his life long enough that he learn to care for a companion, and find the ability to feel compassion through imagination.

He did, and he has carried the ability through his life. Given the fact that a toddler mashing his fingers into a birthday cake only to mash the cake into their face is perhaps the greatest example of everyday Zen, it’s not a stretch that carrying a teddy bear offers the same experience.

I have one .


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?