The Middle Way

Zen Spot #231 - Mindfulness, meditation, The Ten Commandments and The Eightfold Path December 2, 2019 00:00

Simplicity, again

I am not an evangelist. When asked about my religion, I will respond by saying that I believe in the Buddhist philosophy. I rarely ask people about their spiritual beliefs. Dogma is worthless and, for those believers who have pursued analysis of their faith, the answer would often be too personal. Philosophy, on the other hand, is always a discussion worth having.

In particular, the common precepts of different religions and philosophies can be intriguing, especially when the topic is boiled down to the essence of right and wrong. Inevitably, when a Christian is involved, the Ten Commandments are invoked as the guiding principles. Inevitably, I ask about their understanding of The Noble Eightfold Path — without connecting the topic to the Buddhist philosophy.

I suggest that, instead of a list of commands about what not to do during this lifetime, perhaps a shorter list of what can be done to help oneself and the surrounding world is a more positive and actionable strategy. To me, the difference is simple, the outcome is the same and the practice is a little easier.

Without trying to add confusion, I must add a quote from the most famous Buddhist philosopher since the Buddha himself: Yoda. 

“Do, or do not. There is no try.”


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?