Zen Spot #281 - Mindfulness, meditation and the shape of wind December 23, 2019 00:00

The wind is self-evident

Today , January 2, 2019, there is no wind outside my window. Trees are still. Branches are uniquely frozen in forty-five degree weather. No whistle whistles by when I open the window. Despite a grey Philadelphia sky, during the third week of winter, everything is still. Should you have had the luxury of simply appearing on the planet for the first time today — outside my home — you would have no idea that air can move by its own choice.

Sheer fabric draped against dancer’s bodies

The first time I saw the image above, I thought it was a figment of an artist’s imagination. Perhaps a hyper-realistic painting combined with a highly controlled abstraction. More likely, a photographer hired Merce Cunningham or a troupe of Alvin Ailey dancers to exist in motion, covered in sheer fabric, to be captured in time by a gifted photographer. Surely, no god or natural force could sculpt so brilliantly. Michelangelo couldn’t reach such heights, even if one agrees that his hands were touched by God.

Willem de Kooning — Abstract Expressionist painter

His best work — the “Woman” series from 1948–1952 — is stunning. So much so that, if one first sees the work in print, one might expect the paintings to be the size of a building. They’re that powerful. The atmosphere in each painting is a broken fly wheel, still spinning at a five thousand rpm, throwing off bits and teeth at the world around a single frontal female form.

Some critics and viewers consider these paintings to be a violent statement expressed against the female model. I don’t. Instead, I believe that de Kooning’s paint renders the violence in the atmosphere around the female form. Here, the Buddhist concept of inter-dependence applies. The air around a cup is as much a part of the cup as is the clay from which the cup is made. The female forms in his paintings are serene; the world is violent.

The wind.





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?