Zen Spot #73 — Mindfulness, meditation and a broken folk art reliquary February 7, 2018 00:05

Recumbent ceramic

Driving through a wonderful section of North Philadelphia, east of Broad Street, filled with mostly Hispanic neighborhoods, I found the sculpture shown above. Sitting in an overgrown community garden, it was surrounded by broken city blocks where enough buildings had been razed that one could see an unusual distance in every direction.

The garden is off the beaten path. Enough small neighborhood streets exist between the garden and the nearest main road for the traffic to be silent and the voices in the surrounding homes to be loud. As distance bleeds blocks from the thoroughfare, the English language becomes less useful.

I love this part of the city.

Fruit or flowers?

It is easy to imagine families picking fresh tomatoes from the garden, sitting down to feast at the picnic table, the bounty never making it home. 

If not fruit, a fanciful story of flowers would be easy to write. Envision children picking roses for their mothers and grandmothers. Boyfriends preparing for a date. Old men still courting their wives, fifty years in.

The figure

The sculpture is larger than life. Standing, it would reach nine feet. Driving by in the dark, it is unmistakably shaped yet astonishingly confusing. Because it's broken into two distinct pieces, it could be a reliquary that birthed a being of one kind, or another.

The table

One afternoon, I waded into the greenery, sat on top, placed my feet on the bench seat, closed my eyes, took a breath, let go and listened to my friend.


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?