Zen Spot #186 — Mindfulness, meditation and the visceral present May 3, 2018 00:00

Immersion crept up on me

Among the last of my friends to join Facebook, I took pride in being disconnected from the pop zeitgeist. Holding the belief that, if the majority of a group of people believe in anything, that the belief must be wrong, I further believe that insulation from all visceral experiences, except those of one’s choosing, can waste a measure of one’s life. 

In this context, I could never imagine, in a million years, running five miles wearing headphones. As much as I love some music, it could never replace nor complement the visceral experience of the natural world. To be sure, the opportunity to listen to music through headphones didn’t exist the last time I ran five miles. Recently, though, I took to listening to music while sitting on a recumbent bike at the gym. Shortly thereafter, I was listening to music, reading news and checking email — all at the same time. On particularly productive days, I could watch a YouTube video about how to code software and listen to music. 

While the natural world is nowhere to be found on a stationary bike, with active headphones, the profound quiet of pronounced breathing and focus required by extended physical exercise was given away — the gift was given away. Too, the sustained increased heartbeat that can be reliably counted, especially one beat at a time, was lost in service to trying to triple the value of a single minute.

I've since discarded my headphones, learned to close my eyes and begun counting heartbeats one at a time, never getting to the second heartbeat.

A mantra, perhaps?

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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?