The Middle Way

Zen Spot #83 -- Mindfulness, meditation and the Eightfold boomerang January 30, 2018 00:05

The accidental Buddhist

My father was a devout Catholic. Never missing mass, he prayed faithfully and, more than anybody I’ve ever met, practiced The Noble Eightfold Path. Humble and committed, he struggled and was more poor than I knew. His generosity and patience belied his struggle. Years passed before I realized.

In particular, I remember a light blue polyester hoodie, the sleeves of which strained to reach the top of his wrist. People remarked that he was cheap. Twenty-two years of a sweatshirt that didn’t fit properly because he was poor. The money he earned went to my mother, brother and me.


He worked a lot and, as a result, I didn’t see him much. When he was around, we didn’t spend time together. In hindsight, I don’t think he knew what to do, because his father didn’t do anything with him. An alternative is that he felt he had earned rest. It never mattered that we didn’t connect more. I knew he was there. I knew he loved me.


One day, when I was about nine, my father bought a cheap boomerang. Explained, the prospect of throwing anything in the air with an expectation of its return seemed silly, but I trusted him. With a ten acre park close by, I couldn't wait to witness the flight. We walked together, hoodie prominent. He promised magic and delivered. Its path curved tight. Spinning funny, like it was being jerked into a turn, it fell to his feet.

It was an Eightfold boomerang.


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

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