Zen Spot #218- Mindfulness, meditation and life slowing down to let you take a look November 12, 2018 00:00

Recycled percussion

Hobbling away from a street fair in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood, I was immersed in the personal culture’s of many individual neighbors. Spontaneous garage sales sprung up in postage stamp front yards. Kielbasa was grilled within inches of several homes’ brink facades. Friends of all ages gave each other sidewalk dance lessons — with rhythm and without. Tattooed hipsters strolled with lawful plastic cups half-filled with Headless Flying-Angel Renegade IPA. A carnival was in full rage.

In particular, a young adult taught a five year-old how to drum on multiple upturned plastic five gallon buckets. Lacking rhythm, like some of the neighbors described above, the child was mesmerized when seated in front the plastic heads. Too, the teacher was gleeful. Taking place in a small tree-covered neighborhood park the size of a single rowhouse, the power of community was distilled into a single relationship.


A stop-sign brought most traffic to a complete standstill at the southwest corner of the park, at the end of a one-lane street. With the drum lesson taking place within fifty feet, looking down the street, I saw and heard an unusual vehicle at the other end. A whining red frog from a distance, I’d never seen anything like it and was stopped dead in my tracks, knowing I had no choice but to wait for it to ride by.

The closer it got, the weirder the experience felt. Time changed by slowing down noticeably, at the same rate the car sped up, until the driver saw the fascination in my face. Between the drumming, the engine stipple-staccato, the driver’s attention to my curiosity and the humidity, his allowing the vehicle to slow down slowed down everything around me.

Standing still, watching, listening, waiting, I was reminded to stop and look around without trying to stop time completely with meditation.

Fun. Cool.


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?