Welcome brothers and sisters
I am DharmaMechanic
I am a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded by the Quakers in 1675, the spiritual foundation of my hometown shares the fundamental Buddhist beliefs of non-violence, quiet contemplation, simplicity and reserve. Quaker values still provide a palpable foundation for the region’s culture.
I graduated from Tyler School of Art, in Philadelphia, in 1986, with a degree in graphic design. Between then and now, I've been fortunate to work with many amazing people in companies like Marvel Comics, TV Guide Magazine, Mattel, HarperCollins Publishers, Madison Square Garden, Ibanez Guitars, Pfizer, Rutgers University and more. Along the way, I discovered the Buddhist tenets of The Middle Way and The Noble Eightfold Path.
Life has blessed me with three amazing adult children, a passionate life partner and a small set of smart and fiercely loyal friends. Their love and support has, at times, literally kept me alive. Among the most important lessons they’ve taught me over the last decade is that, in fact, we all really are brothers and sisters.
The Dharma Wheel
Artwork and symbols play a special role in living a spiritually-centered life. They are anchors, offering a silent connection to a set of personal beliefs that make our lives more rich and complete. The Dharma Wheel, in particular, is the symbol that reminds me that we, as human beings, participate in the path of our future in every present moment.
I love its symmetry, versatility and meaning. It can be both a highly personal spiritual icon and a universally accessible image enjoyable for its simplicity, shape, color, materials, finish and presence. It offers endless visceral possibilities that can connect with any viewer. One need not be a Buddhist to appreciate the Dharma Wheel. It helps, however, to have an open searching heart.
I created every Dharma Wheel available on this site. Each has been built on the traditional eight-spoke structure.
SilkDharma.com demonstrates my commitment to the fifth tenant of The Noble Eightfold Path – right livelihood. The goal of this tenant is to provide a living for oneself without adversely affecting another sentient being. After much reflection, I’ve concluded that this tenet is impossible to live purely. My attempt to share artwork that is a reminder to live ethically, combined with my commitment to treat people, animals and the planet with care and compassion -- will need to suffice.
Etymology: Silk Dharma
My surname is French and, depending on the usage, can mean either "self" or "silk". If spelled with an "e" on the end - soie - the word translates to "silk". Without the "e" - soi - the word translates to "self". Prefaced by the article "de", which translates to "of", my name can mean either "of silk" or "of oneself". Both are pronounced the same in French - "deh-swah".
Given the nature of my commitment to the Buddhist path, either translation fits very nicely. To be "of oneself" implies, much like an idea at the center of the Buddhist path, that the answer to existence lies within. That said, silk, in its purest natural form, is the wonderful result of a silkworm simply living its life - silk dharma.
According to available records, a gentleman named Jakob Desoi emigrated to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century. Jakob is my great, great, great, great grandfather. At some point between today and the first day that Jacob set foot in his new home, the pronunciation changed, as did the spelling.
Where and when are mysteries that will remain so.