Zen Spot #115 — Mindfulness, meditation and that place where the rapids begin February 14, 2018 00:05

Math and fluids

Engineers love me. Throughout university, they were my friends. Still are. A much-beloved giant black sheep, unlike my friends, I never sat in front of a college professor trying to learn fluid dynamics. Reminders of this fact abound from my friends. Truth be told, I had no idea what fluid dynamics were. Formulas of mathematical Greek, powered by factors and viscosity, were thrown at me, like mud, in only the way friends can splatter with love.

Crushing a brick

A friend’s professor, upon some inquisition, described a research project trying to determine the failure point of a red brick. Specifically, a variety of red brick, the kinds of which are used to build a home, were placed in a press and an increasing amount of pressure was applied until the brick crumbled.

The concept fascinated me. Rest dust was the result of the project. Red dust.

At the conclusion of the research project, the question posed by the researcher was answered based on the parameters, and the next research project was begun--moving on to metaphorically create more red dust, time after time after time, ad infinitum.  

To me, the failure of the brick was much more than the math of the failure. Suggesting discourse, when questioned about my larger/smaller curiosity, the engineers offered blank stares. To them, red dust was simply red dust. No more, no less--higher math.

The failure of the brick, to me, was an example of the crossing-over point from the blind mind to the clear mind. That precise nano-second when the brick crumbles was, as best I can describe, the building of a bridge.

A question about water

An influencing factor — a dynamic — is required for a fluid to move from its rest. Wind, erosion, heat, a broken vessel and a thousand other influences can disturb the rest. 

Water, when found in a natural setting, rests until it does not rest. Sitting on the bank of the stream shown above, it was easy to see a glass top section of water that appeared completely still, no more than fifty yards away. 

At some point between where I sat and that point of still water, a nano-second passed — a precise point in space/time — where the water transformed from stillness. 

Something failed and influenced the water's state in a most beautiful, sublime and natural way.

Oh, to fail.


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?