The Middle Way

Zen Spot #147 — Mindfulness, meditation and the paradox of life blood versus compassion February 21, 2018 00:05



Our culture, more than any other on the planet, attaches a value to every asset — a house, a shoe, a can of soup. We love both depreciation and appreciation so long as we are on the side that benefits.

Everything — everything — gets compared to something else we understand personally. Our penchant for the free market, and the psychology of the contrary, is a case in point. Stand too far above your peers and one can be assured that they will tear you down. Alternatively, offer a self-deprecating remark about precisely the same topic for which they would tear you down and they will assure you that you are far better than your remark supposes. In a country where hard work is beaten into the zeitgeist, how could it be otherwise?


Intrinsic to capitalism is the fundamental need to keep the opposite constituency in place and, if possible, reduce their leverage. Where possible, the near destruction of the opposing player is sought, so long as enough life is left in the body electric to return to extract more blood. Perhaps most confusing is that, if you are American, this idea is a source of life blood no matter how compassionate you believe we are — we are both vampires and victims.

How to introduce compassion as anything other than a nice idea — today, right now, at this very minute? I don’t know.

Maybe tomorrow.


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

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?