The Middle Way

Zen Spot #142 — Mindfulness, meditation and finding a spirit guide February 24, 2018 00:05

More simplicity

I limit my practice to a belief in The Four Noble Truths, The Eightfold Path and The Middle Way. I read less and less about the Buddhist path. Actively avoiding the esoteric, inclusive of anything that complicates my practice, my stillness may or may not change. I am suffering less and the people and animals around me are suffering less.

That said

As I began walking the path, about fifteen years ago, I encountered a man who could reasonably called a mystic. To be clear, I don’t believe in mystics, despite having been in the presence of human beings who seemed to have mystical powers that translate into charisma. Mother Teresa is an example. Standing in the same room with her, one could feel a frightening otherworldly power that is not altogether light. In fact, there is a darkness to it. Proof that there’s a lot of stuff we can’t see and have no control over.


I was born in the Chinese year of the tiger — an unabashedly ferocious beast. Too, I am built like a bear. I have physical power and intellectual power. Nothing about me is light or lightweight.

The mystic had a pool house in his back yard, without the benefit of a pool. Perhaps it was more of a barn or a studio, with a central fireplace, several large sofas, overstuffed chairs and something of an altar. In the company of four friends, and the mystic, he had each of us lay on our backs on separate sofas. Directing us to close our eyes, he suggested that we count our breaths and clear our minds and, when ready, simply allow our animal spirit guide to present itself.

Instantly, a small, bouncy, long-haired, smiling white goat popped up from behind a stack of metaphysical rocks. He was friendly and wanted to play, like a puppy.

I freaked out and sat up, leaving the goat behind. I was expecting a tiger or a bear. Believing, in part, that people see in others what they feel about themselves, I expected some dark reflection of myself.

Nope. Instead, I was introduced to a ten pound bouncy goat. Following the experience, I did some homework. Research revealed, surprisingly, that my goat was me. As spirit guides are defined by multiple cultures and disciplines, a certain consistent profile exists that is descriptive of my true self.

The goat is with me at all times. I have no name for him. He has no name for me, but we’re always there for each other.

He’s light, lightweight, friendly, fun and undoubtedly from the other side. Concurrent with my expectation for a large dark ferocity on the other side, due to significant karmic infractions on this side, his light brings a little less fear of whatever comes next.


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?