The Buddhist concept of Dharma has a central philosophy that all is whole and complete as it is. There is no accident in the entire universe. Even your reading this right now is not accidental, nor my writing it. We are together in this grand interplay of cosmic elements.
Most of the daily challenges we experience as human beings originate from a lack of understanding. Dharma is the way out of this. The way to cultivate refinement of the mind and uplift the human experience from ignorance and suffering, is to practice Dharma.
So what is this cryptic and mysterious notion of Dharma and is there a way to decode it for modern consumption?
Dharma is a broad concept with many understandings and definitions, very much like the term coined by Chinese philosophy as Tao. Its translation as "the path" or "the way", Tao and Dharma support the natural order of the universe and those who are in harmony with it.
Dharma could also be described as the nature of "what is" and in Buddhism, refers to the practice of following the Buddha's teachings. The diligent observance and practice of these teachings, is seen as the way to enlightenment.
One could argue that Dharma is a truth, a teaching, a practice and enlightenment itself.
Living in Dharma means living ones' true purpose and personality, and expressing it in the world. By living quietly in fear, limitation, or otherwise, we are denying the world our one-of-a-kind gifts. Living from the ego denies the full expression of our talents for the benefit of others. The purpose of Dharma is to allow the everyone in the world to evolve to their full potential.
"We know we are in Dharma when we cannot think of anything else we would rather be doing with our life." —David Simon
How does one relate to the seemingly mystical and intangible elements to finding one's Dharma?
For the whole symphony of the universe to vibrate at its most refined and poetic, it requires all individual instruments (that's us!) to play their part. Thus, one thing is essential for the greater good — each person must follow their authentic path.
If every person sang their song, the symphony would be sublime, whole and complete.
I am not here by mistake. And neither are you! I am serving the whole, as are you. The Dharma needs all instruments to express themselves.
And then the whole universe supports us when we act according to our true nature, our calling and our purpose — our whole reason for being.
Living a meaningful life requires that we live in Dharma, in service of the whole of creation. Dharma is an active opening, a mission, a doorway, a purpose, a destiny, but also a passive process of surrender.
So how do you find YOUR Dharma? Here are seven questions to meditate on:
- Do you have any idea what your Dharma is?
- Have you found it yet?
- Where have you looked?
- How would you live differently if you knew your days were numbered?
- Which people do you admire most and why?
- What are your fondest memories?
- What were you doing when you recall having the most fun?
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