Zen Spot #119 — Mindfulness, meditation and loving the buffalo February 15, 2018 00:05

Like buffalo

You can hear the gun go off from half a mile away. Fifteen seconds later, a phalanx of 500 latter day Scots, led by a high school harrier, like William Wallace, break the horizon, and charge across fifteen acres of bliss and pain, toward a cornfield funnel that will only fit ten across. Not to mix metaphors, but the funnel leads, like a tunnel, through two separate corn fields that split, like the Red Sea, for Moses.

Tunnel. Funnel. Moses. William Wallace.

Heaven, too, for those who love the sport of cross country.

I love the buffalo

There is no reason for me to visit these races anymore. My children are grown. There is, however, love for this event that is the only child who never grows old.

The buffalo.

Invisible four feet away

The tunnel is about 150 meters long. And, while the buffalo are civil, for the most part, they jostle and elbow and yelp and spit when confined, cramming together at the mouth of the funnel and moving into the future. Spit, perhaps, will invade the force-field at the edges of the cornfield, but little else.

Standing behind one row of stalks, facing the funnel of stampeding herd, the buffalo passed within arm’s reach, but they couldn’t see me. Too much speed. Too much focus. Too much to follow. The corn is almost sacred.

From green to brown

The herd having passed, I stepped into the funnel/tunnel/pathway and spun 180 degrees to look into the dark oblivion of cornfield where, whatever is on the other side of the field, is blocked by all the vegetation. No hard edge exists, the stalks just swallow each other into dark oblivion. No single stalk impedes one’s vision; they work together, without working at all. 

The stalks, too, are buffalo, standing still, dying. Chlorophyl draining slowly. Once thriving leaves turning into a kind of tobacco. Soon, these buffalo will pass, their remains will be cleared, the horizon will be obvious and the tunnel will be gone.

Were I too stand in the same spot in the cornfield as that where the buffalo passed, in six weeks, I could be seen from a mile away. The dark oblivion and its edges will have found dark oblivion.

A cornfield at night

At night, whether at the height of summer, when the stalks are twelve feet tall or, in winter, when the stalks are gone, I could stand in that place and there would be absolutely no difference. 

I once was a buffalo.


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?