Zen Spot #108 — Mindfulness, meditation and the rats next to my head February 20, 2018 00:05

The internal monologue

Were there rats and maggots in the walls of the bedroom where I felt so safe as a child? Were they inches from my head, as I dozed, just on the other side of the plaster wall, chewing on the slats? Was my oblivion a blessing? Was I not fully connected to the world and, therefore, closer to truth?

Paschall Avenue

That row home has rats now. The date of their arrival is in question. In summer, well into the evening, when it was too hot to be inside, neighbors would sit on their front stoops, in lawn chairs and on concrete stairs, sharing and laughing. The rats of the mind have overrun the minds of the owners and the owners moved away.


The stoop in front of the door in the image above was always busy. Sitting was impossible. Inside was an art school. A fine, busy art school. A warm wonderful place. The rats of the mind have overrun the minds of the owners and the owners have moved away.


I closed my eyes and sat with my back against the plywood blocking the door, believing I was safe, committed to the path, but clearly much further from the truth than when the rats were inches from my head.


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?