The Middle Way

Zen Spot #103 — Mindfulness, meditation, precision and the deluge of the peleton February 17, 2018 00:05


The peleton is that swarm of riders bunched together in the middle of a long distance bicycle race. It is, at once, a cohesive unit on a mission, with fighter jets flying in formation, inches between wingtips, and a free-for-all of adjustment and individuality stalked by violence. Road obstacles, rider mistakes and mechanical breakdowns result in broken bones, torn joints, concussions and skin removed from large portions of the body.

Too, it is elegant. And efficient. And poetic. During the Tour de France, along any flat stretch of road, on a hot summer day, the peleton moves quickly and cleanly, with riders topping speeds of 40 mph for periods of time, listening only to the hum of wheels spinning and their own hearts beating. Concentrating on control, balance and awareness of those flying at their sides, riders in the middle of the group require much less effort to maintain their speed, experiencing a white noise that is almost silence. Clarity of mind is always nearby, kneeling within a temple of entropy.

A rider’s effort, in the moment, is measured in wattage, with coaches and support staff able to look, electronically, inside a rider’s infrastructure--and almost his mind. 


Right mind?

To know that spots of such profound concentration exist concurrent to knowing that, as an entrance point to mindfulness, they will never be reached by me, instills envy — and moves me away from the path to enlightenment. The gift of athleticism, too, bestows upon the athletes an access to agony that intrigues me, as an interdependent counterbalance to the whir.

I have work to do. Watts and watts of work.


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?