Zen Spot #226 - Mindfulness, meditation and a brother helping me remain in light November 6, 2019 13:00

Once in a lifetime

I am a night owl, often staying up past 2 a.m. This fact is well known among my friends and family and, for those in different time zones, my habit offers opportunity.

On a recent Sunday evening, at around 11:30 p.m., I received what I thought was a butt dial from my brother from another mother. Picking up the phone, I heard indistinguishable music and the familiar background noise of a phone call made by any friend’s posterior. Shortly thereafter though, I received a text message with a photo attachment from the same brother — the image above.

Sure that I was an errant recipient, especially because I couldn’t discern the man in the image, I paid little attention to the text message.

Curiosity of association

The day before I received the message, I had written a Zen Spot post about the voice of my brother. Not having heard from him in six months, and not believing in coincidence, I was struck by the timeliness of his message. In particular, my post described the tone, timbre and spirit of my brother’s voice. His, specifically, is a combination of David Byrne, Warren Buffet and Bugs Bunny.

Coming of age at the dawn of MTV, having sat in front of the television watching Video Killed The Radio Star at the moment the network launched, I saw the Talking Heads video Once in a Lifetime recycle dozens of times following the launch. In 1981, it was ubiquitous. David Byrne starred.

The song was a bestselling single from their album Remain In Light — both the song and the album are among my all-time favorites. The picture contained in the text message — the picture above — features David Byrne. With many decades having passed since my brother moved several time zones away, and with our conversations being spread further and further apart, I was taken back to a time when love was different — back to the body and mind of the man I no longer am.


My friend’s butt dial was nothing of the sort. Thinking of me, and loving me over the span of decades, he dialed my number and held his smartphone in air, surrounded by thousands of fans, that I might hear the music I love. Experiencing a good portion of the songs from Remain In Light in concert, he wanted me to listen to the music and to see how David Byrne had changed physically over the decades my brother and I had been apart.

Truth be told, and given the fact that time has taken its toll on my eyesight, at the time I couldn’t identify unskinny the man in the picture, nor could I discern the music. No matter, I unknowingly heard the sound of my brother’s love, manifested in crowd noise, static and a rhythm that couldn’t be placed.

Yes, I unknowingly heard the sound of my brother’s love, manifested in crowd noise, static and a rhythm that couldn’t be placed.


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?