Dharma: Your Life Purpose

I’ve been dreaming a bit about the Purushartas – the 4 legs of the table – Artha (wealth, security in the phenomenal world), Kama (pleasure), Moksha (liberation), Dharma (righteous action) as my Life is about to change dramatically as it tends to.  And I don’t really know (my security with the Unknown is always being tested) how life is changing but I can sure feel it happening.  So I prepare myself always with a daily Yoga practice.

Invariably, I get asked by a lot of people, in so many words, “What is my life’s purpose? What should I be doing with my life?  What work should I do?”  And because I lead a Yoga Teacher Training which is truly an immersion into the practices of Yoga while giving folks the Choice to offer the teachings of Yoga to others, — I often get asked by my students – “Should I teach yoga?”

yogi tea, yogi bhajan, yogafly, yoga illumined, yoga teacher training, austin, texasThere’s something about having the blessing of one’s Teacher.  This blessing allows one to feel more comfortable about teaching.   It’s true.  And truly, if one can handle 9 months of studying with me and Zoe Mantarakis and immersing one’s Self in the practices of Yoga for life, of course, yes, you should teach Yoga.  I say “handle” because we do ask a lot of our students.  And yet, we forgive if what we ask gets to be too much.  We do promise this: with daily, consistent practice of Yoga, all the difficulties of life seem easier, lighter and yes, even filled with Bliss.  And teaching confers mastery.  It really does.

of cause, effect and have learned from the past.  And refuse to repeat stupid behaviors that lead nowhere.

But still, how do we know that we are fulfilling our Dharma?  Well, frankly, I believe every single person’s Dharma, in the ultimate sense, is the same.  I’ll tell you what it is:  It is to evolve.  And I don’t just mean evolution from the Darwinian standpoint.  I mean evolution from the standpoint of consciousness. We are here to evolve our awareness, our collective and individual psyches and our Hearts.

I think there’s this mistaken belief that evolution in consciousness means you become a placid stone-faced Buddha immune to the transgressions of others, smiling vacantly as people spew stupidities.  I don’t believe this at all.  In fact, the more aware I become, the easier it is to simply not be in the same plane of idiocy that I used to immerse myself in – in my younger years.  I mean, I’m not saying that I no longer act like an idiot at times, this is not what I am saying – I am still working on this thing called enlightenment.  But I am just less inclined to participate in idiotic acts because I see the bigger picture

One of my co-workers, a very intelligent man, David W. Johnson, whom I have oceans of respect for, gave me this quote:

“There is a mystery that even God cannot fathom, nor can he give the law of it on two stone tablets. He cannot speak what there are no words for; he needs divers to dive into it; he needs wrestlers to wrestle with it, singers to sing it, lovers to love it. He cannot deal with it alone, he must find helpers, and for this does he blind some and maim others.”

— “Pilgermann” Russell Hoban

And I thought, oh there’s a wonderful quote that elucidates Dharma, in a way, but not completely.  And I see that the last sentence of it can be confusing — “He cannot deal with it alone, he must find helpers, and for this does he blind some and maim others.”  I haven’t read the book, Pilgermann, but when I study a quote like this, out of context, what I understand it to mean is that when you are blinded or maimed – your other senses become heightened.  Your other faculties get sharper.  If you can’t use your legs, your arms get stronger.

Yoga Illumined, Yogafly, Dharma, Yoga teacher training, Your Life's purpose, Evolution

Yoga Illumined at Castle Hill Yoga, Austin, Texas

And from a metaphorical standpoint, I understand this quote to mean that some of us have gifts and talents where others are maimed and blind.  For instance, one person can sing – and another just cannot hit that note for the life of them.  But there’s a gorgeous relationship that happens.  The singer sings and the tone-deaf person listens and appreciates.  And the tone-deaf person is talented in cooking, for instance and the singer is maimed in this arena of life.  Therefore, the singer enjoys the tone-deaf person’s cooking.  Dharma, one’s individual righteous actions and finding one’s path or path(s) in life are defined by one’s gifts to the world, in a way.  But this is still not a complete picture of Dharma.  I have met people who can both sing and cook amazing food.  And by golly, they should express both.  AND even the tone-deaf person should sing.  Everyone should sing and cook.  One frees the soul and the other nourishes the body.  What person on this planet doesn’t need both?  Therefore, what you do and choose to express is still not completely your Dharma.  Your talents don’t necessarily define your Dharma.

Again I repeat, from the biggest worldview of Dharma – everyone’s Dharma is the same:  it is to evolve.

So there you have it.  Really, Dharma isn’t just about what you do for a living or even how you behave with others at particular times.  Dharma is the understanding that an evolution in consciousness is happening at every moment.  It’s the refusal to be stuck with others who are not evolving themselves.  Dharma, as righteous action, frees your Heart and Soul.  When you follow your Dharma – your Life’s Purpose – to continually evolve, you free yourself and others.  You stand powerfully in your two shoes, you sit comfortably in your Asana, your seat of meditation, and you Laugh along with Heaven.

Om shantih om,




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