Zen Spot #299 - Mindfulness, meditation and the nothingness of Sting, Flea, Bono and Banksy January 2, 2020 00:00

Call me Dude

My favorite movie is The Big Lebowski. Having seen it at least fifty times over the last five years, watching is now an annual event. On Thanksgiving morning, while preparing for my family’s arrival, during that time when my father used to watch the Macy’s Parade, I give thanks with the Dude.

Not knowing the story before watching it the first time, I was riveted by the weirdness — especially the absurdity residing at the cross-wired intersection of the Dude’s and Walter’s personalities. I channel both characters. And, while I don’t see it or hear it, I am reminded that I resemble the Dude at least once each week. It’s an observation I welcome despite it being completely invisible. If the observer sticks around, I am inevitably called "Dude" until they leave.

The first time I watched, I cringed when the Dude told an acquaintance not to call him "Jeffrey" or "Mr. Lebowski" and, instead, requested to be called "Dude". I almost changed the channel. Where I come from, nicknames are bestowed, not chosen. I persisted through another five minutes and was hooked.

The Dude, as he reminds us, abides.

One syllablish

Bono. Flea. Sting. Banksy.

Brand names. Names that mean business, all. Each has a story connected. Each person had a hand in crafting the name, if only by not protesting too much.

Paul. Michael. Gordon. Whomever.

I am DharmaMechanic

A screen name I pulled out of thin air fourteen years ago, I was intrigued by the idea that the dharma is an engine I could rebuild. I loved it the moment I wrote it in a notebook. As a brand, it works exceedingly well. As a name that would turn my head, if used by a friend, it seems silly.

My peers would be confused and tease but, since I was too young to suggest an alternative when the name Michael was bestowed, I am taking the opportunity to change my name in the world of art. 

I expect nobody to call me DharmaMechanic. I expect everybody to know to whom the name refers. Perhaps the notion of any name is at odds with the idea of nothingness, but even nothingness needs a name.

I am DharmaMechanic.



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?