Zen Spot #18 — Mindfulness, meditation and the Four Noble Truths in a private public staircase January 29, 2018 00:05

Worn painted landings and stairs

If an art student were doodling in a notebook on one of the landings of this staircase, passersby would probably tip-toe around. The spot is womb cozy despite its concrete and metal exoskeleton. A pillow would probably be welcomed by those wanting to sit and draw or meditate, but sharing time with one’s mother is sometimes uncomfortable. 

Like many others I share, this Zen Spot is surrounded by books — tens of thousands of books. The stairs spiral up to a second-floor walkway that perimeters a huge room, perhaps 100' x 100', with four two-story windows that, in turn, hold up a magnificent three-story ceiling. Solid oak shelving, built into the walls, cradles religious books that offer insight and opinions published around the time the library was built until, perhaps, yesterday.

The quiet is wonderful. Truly. 

Walk the perimeter slowly. Graze the railing with the palm of your hand with the same care you would wave your hand over a lotus floating. Breathe. Take ten minutes to walk the four-hundred odd feet. Halfway around, stop to face the windows. Witness the sunshine, the clouds or the night. 

At the conclusion of your stroll, stop on a preferred landing on the staircase. Sit quietly. If you have a pad and paper, draw a picture of whatever comes to mind and, as you leave, open a random book. 

Leave the drawing in a random page. A friend might find it the following day or in another hundred years.


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 Michael 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?