The Middle Way

Zen Spot #152 - Mindfulness, meditation, Les Paul and an East Village Bodega February 22, 2018 00:05

The Gibson Les Paul Custom Black Beauty — 1970

Wolves wait years for this Alpha to bend its howl into their darkness. Some succumb without every having heard the growl and sex. Those that have, never forget.

Found in the sub-basement of a bodega in the East Village, it had been tossed on a cot, passed out from exhaustion. A hot plate and wind-up alarm clock gave away the fact that, two stories below Avenue A, there’s a safe house for an ascetic savant who, without doubt, takes this one guitar very personally and keeps it for himself. A Bullmastiff was dozing and nuzzled.

This instrument has a presence, especially in the quiet; a soul-hum from singing the body electric. Blackened dark chocolate, but blacker. It houses that primal rumble of dread and awe and exhilaration found only when a rabbit dies.

Eyes widen. Heads shake.

He’d beaten this mahogany diva thousands of times with the underside of a picking fist. Its finish had been mush-waxed with a bitter paste of milk-sweat, ash, grease and gutter grit that the unholiest of the species beg to scrape away and flush. Mindful spirits build altars from this holy crud. Churches, however, are built by its progeny.

The neck was stolen from a Brahma bull and sculpted into a call girl. Medusa’s hair shot six snakes wildly from the head stock — unsnipped, raw, urgent. Half-wrapped in a veneer of dried plasma, each string was a tendon ready to snap or sing.

Brick house. Solid body.

Kluson tuners, hairline fractured — each begs for a fingerprint. Three cracked pearl inlays lived in poverty, having learned, years ago, that the wolves listened. A brilliant six-knuckled bridge flashed and cradled the only six voices the artist ever cared to hear. Sideswiped Ferraris dream of this incarnation.

Most would think the silhouette belongs to a mistress. Maybe it does.

Define fidelity.

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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 SilkDharma.com.

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?

 

 


Zen Spot #157 - Mindfulness, meditation and shredding that last piece of Velvet January 16, 2015 12:27

Lou Reed's face was smashed against the Plexiglas door of a sheet-metal newsstand box at the corner of 61st Street and 9th Avenue.  He had passed away seven days earlier.

On that seventh day, I was shuffling toward 10th Avenue, when the forceful face of the Village voice smacked me. I was as startled as if he had been standing there in the flesh. Twenty-thousand people must have passed by that spring-loaded trash can since it had been loaded with newsprint. One hundred copies had been left behind for the unwashed, the brilliant, the homeless and the illiterate; each with an opportunity to grab that last piece of Velvet.

Moses in monotone

Lou was the island's gutter poet; eating the filth that gathers at the edge of a storm drain after a heavy rain. Priest, Buddha, fortune-teller and fortune seeker wrapped in a leather veneer. Voyeur, addict, artist, man; the personification of an alternative truth that a great artist doesn't need to leave a single work of greatness in his wake. 

Like that last Japanese soldier dying alone in a jungle somewhere in the South Pacific, thirty years after Hiroshima, Reed's body succumbed to a life and war fought forty years before. Most of his comrades are gone; taken by cliches, disease and the Howl. I mourn the culture even more than Lou; knowing that he was one of the longer tentacles on a Portuguese man o' war that washed up in Union Square long ago.

It's a Wonderful Life

On this island, during that week, my mind's-eye envisioned a run on the art-bank of the East Village, and every one of its corner outposts, leaving nothing but trash behind; meat-hooks and manicures flailing for a chunk of the real Underground.

I got the last copy.

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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 SilkDharma.com.

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?