Zen Spot #224 - Mindfulness, meditation and the emptiness of a wooden bowl October 21, 2019 10:30


Hung upside down on a string, like a bell, a wooden bowl will not ring if struck by a stick. A thud or clack will follow, but the vibration required to sustain a voice will be absent.

The fabrication required to attach the string will likely require a hole be drilled into the middle of the bottom of the bowl, through which an eyelet screw will be twisted. String, running through the eyelet, will allow the bowl to hang freely, providing an opportunity to search for a voice.

None will come. And, because of the hole, the bowl will cease to be a bowl. 

Neither bowl nor bell

Unable to fulfill either purpose, the remaining object remains filled with air--no matter the purpose of the object. Without the air, whether a hurricane force that blows the object for miles or dead air that can’t escape the object’s walls, the object is never again the object that it was, ever. 

Perhaps more importantly, while the air cannot shape the object, its role in defining the object is absolutely critical. Too, while the  object is stationery, the air is fluid. Movement defines a static object like it defines all objects, without changing the object, the nature of the object or the air itself — whether bell, bowl, object or being.

Bring a bowl into your home that you intend to never fill . 


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?