The Middle Way

Zen Spot #222 - Mindfulness, meditation, angels, demons and letting them go October 22, 2019 12:00

The departure point

Having been raised Roman Catholic, the idea of praying to Mary for divine intercession with God is as natural as breathing. My foxhole prayer is the Rosary despite the fact that I no longer practice Catholicism. I am at complete peace with this paradox, in part because I believe Mary is a Buddha, despite my belief's diametric opposition to my current path. Long ago, I gave up the need to explain my spirituality and its place among traditional dogma.

The Devil

I see no evidence of his existence, but the act of writing this sentence brings concern. Belief and faith, I’ve been taught, are the critical acts that he attempts to compromise. Popping up on his radar provides unnecessary risk. When I’ve made willfully bad choices in the past, a sensible explanation is grounded in the belief that I strayed from a covenant of the Eightfold Path, as opposed to breaking a Commandment. 

Too, I see no evidence of angels. They’ve never been a large part of the pablum I was fed for decades.

Walking away from the Devil effects the character of God and brings his existence into question. Walking away from angels effects my perception very little. Walking away from Mary is like walking away from my own mother. 

Walking, itself, is progress of one kind.

Möbius strip

Recently, a discussion with a loved one who was raised Christian, and is converting to Catholicism, revealed his confusion with directing prayer to any entity other than God The Father. In a separate conversation with a fundamentalist Christian who was raised Catholic, the believer submitted that the idea of praying to Mary could be characterized as blasphemy.

Speaking with an accent forever

Almost immediately I understood the confusion of my friend who is converting to Catholicism. If one isn’t introduced to the idea of Mary’s power from an early age, much like being introduced to one’s language, the idea could take a while to accept. Like a second language, an accent may exist permanently.

Submission doesn’t work for me

In the past, before friends began their walk along the fundamentalist path, and before I began the process of scrutinizing dogma, my reaction to the fundamentalist Christian’s position would have been a little more stark. I would have reflexively assumed the believer had detailed and specific knowledge about the hereafter that put my experience with eternity at risk. I would place power in the hands of another man.



I would never have considered the idea that involving Mary in one’s spirituality could be characterized as a reason for damnation. Considering the possibility that a belief that offers such comfort and warmth could put eternity at risk — a belief learned as part of my first language — is an idea that confuses me, much like Mary’s role as an interceding mother confuses my friend who is converting to Catholicism.

I love the paradox. Right mindedness.



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?