Zen Spot #42— Mindfulness, meditation and the impossible wood cut January 26, 2018 00:05

Woodcut burning

Like a mandala created from brightly colored sand, by Buddhist months, then ritually dismantled, I burned the wood panel used to create ten woodcut prints, like the one shown above. 

Shortly thereafter, I burned the prints.

Nothing is left. Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to disclose that only digital files are left. Nothing of the physical is left. 

The fire felt weird.


I’ve never sold a piece of fine art. Not to be confused with art, I made my living, for a while, as an advertising art director. Commercial visual designs made me fat.

I am caught between a desire to sell my personal artwork, if there is a market, and keeping it all for my family to burn upon my death. Ashes being the only remnant of thousands and thousands of hours of improvised joy and voice. 

The pyre has been designed in my mind’s eye. It looks like a plywood sandwich press, about 30" x 40", with extra-long headless bolts, perhaps five feet long, drilled into the corners, with wingnuts clamping a stack of every drawing into a ham on rye — thanks to Bukowski. The bolts are long enough that they extend well beyond the flat of wood, more than one foot on either side, top and bottom. The contraption would look like a tremendously thick coffee table, with weird thin legs and spiraling minarets rising from each corner.

That the pyre is made of plywood is proof of a positive move on the path toward Enlightenment, because it is leaves few resources behind. The wood is not real, like life.

A spot

The Zen Spot is impossible to find right now. Sometimes, in my mind's eye it is the warning track in front of the Green Monster at Fenway. Perhaps it is Heyward field or the beach in Wildwood or under the Arc de Triomphe on the Sunday when Le Tour rides into Paris. All places where people can see something burn as art and spectacle.

My ego is alive and well.

I have some work to do.

Today, I will meditate in the quiet of my bedroom, with the window open, as the birds sing and the Pennsylvania Turnpike offers a muted mantra from a half-mile away.


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?