17 Jul Living Intentionally: Understanding Dharma
Dharma is a word that finds it’s origins in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit word that signifies living in a flow with the universe. some would say it is connecting with your true self or following your path but whatever you call it living in dharma is knowing what makes you feel most yourself and living in accordance with the universe.
there is not struggle when you are living in your dharma. your actions are a natural expression of your true self.
Discovering Your Dharma
Look For Moments Where You Feel Most Yourself
What do you most love to do? In what moments do you feel most yourself? When you feel genuinely inspired to do something don’t wait. Follow the feeling and act on it in the moment. These feeling are fleeting and should be followed. In the same way change direction when something feels wrong. this isn’t giving up but it is honesty. Forcing yourself to do something is not in line with your dharma and chances are when you give yourself the space you’ll find an expression that feels authentic.
What Inspires You
Think about the people who you look up to, consider what is it about them that you find inspiring. The funny thing is that they are probably qualifies that you already embody and seeing them in another person gives you a mirror to cultivate this aspects in yourself.
Look at the moments that you feel most inspired. These moments when you loose track of time completely when you become so a part of what you’re doing that everything else disappears.
Look For Synchronicities
In many ways life sends you signs when you start looking. Sometimes they are subtle and other times so strong they are unavoidable. Synchronicities are these chance moments that fall into place without conscious effort.
Trust Your Intuition
There is an inner part of you that knows exactly what to do and most problems arise when we start to go against that. The puzzle is distinguishing between all the voices in your mind, sometimes it seems impossible to pick out which one is profound and which ones are merely clatter. But in a sense this is the practice. To learn to trust your sense of knowing, all be it shifting all the time.
Living In Your Dharma
Your dharma is your route through, it’s the way you are going to learn. It is determined through circumstances and it is governed by your true nature. There are no rights and wrongs there’s no correct path. As Ram Dass puts it, “It doesn’t matter because whatever you do you’ll do as consciously or unconsciously as you are.”
You fall into alignment with the world around you and everything you do becomes a natural contribution to something larger than your individual existence.
Life Is Not Linear
It’s important to understand that your dharma isn’t there to get you somewhere. If anything it’s there to bring you back to yourself. Sometimes it might feel like you’re moving forward and other times life might throw you back into the confusion. This isn’t a bad thing. It’s an opportunity to know yourself better, to redirect and connect back to your true purpose. Dharma isn’t logical in the rational sense. It is learning through experience and when you look at it this way failures or so called setbacks are opportunities to grow.
Connect To A Source of Inspiration
It seems that everything is a balance between creation and connection. As important as creating is connecting with your source of inspiration. Ihis is unique to each individual but it’s essential to living in your dharma. To connection to something outside of yourself. Creating, yoga, walking, something where you start to feel connected to the world around you and loose that small ego version that is too often talking without stop.
Give Yourself Time
Dharma isn’t something you can catch. It must come about naturally and if it isn’t you’ve lost it. You don’t have to try to control it all you really have to do is maintain your connection to yourself and life will show you the most natural thing to do.
The somewhat laughable part is that dharma cannot be taken too seriously. More important than anything is the remembering that this is a beautiful game. Of course it is serious in the sense that your actions matter. How you treat people and even your thoughts have an effect on that world around you but this doesn’t mean you have to get so caught up in doing things perfectly that you cannot enjoy the process. Laughter seems to be the best remedy. We will continue to trick up and learn as we go, but instead of seeing these shortcomings as failures develop the capacity to laugh at it.
The Point of Return
Life will continue to throw you back into the confusion and this questioning of your motives and your authenticity may not really end, but it is also a part of the process. This confusion is the point of return. And these moments of uncertainty are really just opportunities to return.
Grow comfortable in the confusion.
So what is dharma really?
It’s a beautiful Hindu concept that Alan Watts probably could have explained a thousand times better. Unfortunately I do not have the same mastery of words as Alan Watts but I find the concept statically fascinating. Ram Dass puts it wonderfully,
“Do this every day until there is no one doing it at all”
So in my last attempt to leave you with a grain of truth I will say this:
Dharma is living with honesty. To cultivate the capacity to be so honest about that you would like do with your life that you stop thinking about the whys and the hows you just do it.
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