The Beauty of Dharma

I thought I understood the term “dharma” until I researched a bit and discovered that my assumed meaning was only one of many—depending on the religion that espoused it.

duty dharmaAfter hearing someone’s online spiritual discussion of dharma and how that person interpreted it, I took his meaning as “dharma refers to living your sense of life-purpose and fulfilling your personal duty to your own soul’s evolvement as well as to the evolvement of the collective consciousness.”

In a sense, that’s still fairly true, but depending on whether the interpreter is Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh, the word bears greater variance and meaning, and for those variances I’ll include a few quotes from Wikipedia which is hardly the last word in total accuracy, but for this posting it is close enough.

Hindu dharma

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dharma

  • “In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible,[10][note 1] and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’.[7]
  • In Buddhism dharma means “cosmic law and order”,[10] but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha.[10] In Buddhist philosophy, dhamma/dharma is also the term for “phenomena“.[11][note 2]
  • In Jainism dharma refers to the teachings of the Jinas[10] and the body of doctrine pertaining to the purification and moral transformation of human beings.
  • For Sikhs, the word dharm means the “path of righteousness”.

In comdharma wheelmon parlance, dharma means ‘right way of living’ and ‘path of righteousness’.[23]

Dharma, according to Van Buitenen,[42] is that which all existing beings must accept and respect to sustain harmony and order in the world.

In Hinduism, it is the dharma of the bee to make honey, of cow to give milk, of sun to radiate sunshine, of river to flow.[42]

In terms of humanity, dharma is the need for, the effect of and essence of service and interconnectedness of all life.[23][34]

So in essence, as I now understand the term, when I contemplate MY dharma, I am considering my sense of purpose for personal existence as well as my service to the whole of humanity, …which makes me then ponder this:

  • What do we really owe each other?def dharma
  • How responsible are each of us to the greater good and to the betterment of our human condition?
  • What roles do we play in the drama unfolding all around us? Are we active participants or passive observers?
  • Do we make change happen for the betterment of all, or do we sit back and let others determine our fates for us?
  • What is our collective dharma at this pivotal moment in humanity’s evolvement?
  • Are we all here in this life together to help each other, or are we only here individually to advance ourselves by whatever means that we can?

As usual, I have more questions than answers.

So what do YOU think?  …What is YOUR dharma?

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Solar Flares Create Undesirable Sizzle

flares in spaceSince it’s been raining here for about two weeks (probably related), it’s harder to notice the intensity of the sun, but when the clouds do part for a time we get glimpses of the awesome white-hot power blazing above us created by the solar storms this past month or so.

Even folks in the middle of Iowa this week are noticing the northern lights, and like Scott Kelly mentioned from the space station a few days ago: they were Kelly's northern lightsred—unreal!

So what is happening up there? Why so much hyper-magnetic, solar storm activity on the sun?

I can’t even begin to know that answer. But I do know what I’ve been feeling here on earth because of all that extra energy and electrical charge—I’m absolutely sizzling inside. I’ve even had to use some black tourmaline stones to pull the excess energy out of me over the last two nights just to get some sleep.

Here’s my advice for those who are presently suffering through tremendous tests of patience and personal demeanor:

If you want to save your relationships during these major solar storms affecting the earth over this week aclenched teethnd in the future, you better Super-glue your mouth shut now or be on guard that uncontainable nastiness will explode from between your pursed lips or clenched teeth at the slightest provocation, because everyone is feeling the power and strength of these high-charged particles around us.

Keep in mind that sometimes silence is golden.

But right now, it is absolutely necessary for your health and well-being.

River Rocks

rocks in riverSo many ways to look at this title…but only one to follow. Kind of like the subject matter contained here that I metaphorically likened to “River Rocks.”

I have a favorite online astrologer that I follow: Tom Lescher (Astrology for the Soul https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OGanHCos14 ). I’ve mentioned him many times as someone I find extremely accurate in overall energy readings as associated to the planetary alignments of the time.Tom

Whenever I feel something strange or intense in the overall energies around us/affecting us, I listen to his weekly video and usually hear an astro-explanation from him that substantiates what I’ve been kinesthetically noticing. (In a sense, he reassures me that what I am sensing energetically is ‘right on.’)

And because I’ve listened to him so many times and he’s been so reliably accurate to what I had been noticing, I keep listening to him week after week.

But a few months ago, one of his protégés who I shall not mention, caught my ear and I also listened to his vlog for awhile until I began to notice something very different between the two astrologers: a difference in the accumulated wisdom from age and experience, and a lighter (higher frequency)-energy attitude used to deliver the information.

In other words, the younger protégé was a poor substitute for the original, because life does that ‘thing’ to us during the process of living: it ‘seasons us’ the way only time and experience can. It broadens our perspectives and grants us compassionate witnessing.

river rocksThat’s when my mind showed me the image of a rounded, palm-sized, white stone—a river rock that had been tumbled and pounded along the stream bed by torrential rains, flash flooding, and by all things violently affecting the flow and force of a river.

Or to put it more simply, the white rock’s original rough edges and sharp corners were now rounded off from time and river-bottom travel.

That once jagged-edged stone was now smooth to the touch and felt very comfortable in the palm of my hand. That’s the after-effect of being bounced along a rocky, river bottom—you lose all those sharp edges.

To me listening to Tom is like holding that river rock, and his reports are softer, more humorous and compassionate, yet still substantive and real. He keeps his energy light and flowing, and refrains from getting “preachy” with you because he’s been there himself where we all are, and he gets it. It’s more of a been-there, done-that, sharing-the-information-report with friends, than a proselytizing opportunity for an egoic neophyte trying to stand out in an over-populated, astrology-reporting community.

The river rock image I mountain streamsaw in my mind ALSO epitomizes that LIFE may not be as predictable and gentle to us as we often wish that it were, but you eventually learn to tumble along with the flow until those rough edges wear away. Then we can roll more easily during the water’s occasional turbulence instead of catching in every crevice that might snag at us.

Ultimately we learn to ride and tumble along with least resistance to the torrid current around us, until we reach a destination more to our liking; or we may eventually catch an inquisitive eye and find a kindred, fleshy palm to nestle into. Then we can employ a new mode of transportation for a time.wisdom

But wherever it goes, a river rock rolls on and on, because the journey never really ends. Only the terrain changes once in awhile.

Making Meaning

If there were a recipe for living successfully and there were willing cooks to concoct it, how many fragrant loaves of “meaningful lives” would there be?breads

(It’s a trick question really.)

In essence I’m asking does living successfully equate to living a meaningful life?

Perhaps the answer might vary and lie more in the eye, mind, and body of the perceiver.

ordinaryI mention this here because I discovered long ago that I could write about any topic that flitted between my ears, and that each one would be EQUALLY important to me since every aspect of our existence on this earth is ripe with miracles and meaning. It’s just that some of the more mundane things that we experience daily are simply too familiar for us to recognize their genuine significance.

To me, meaning is something that shouts “IMPORTANT” to us in some way; but meaning by its very nature also implies that it might be more of an aesthetic/spiritual importance than a material one.

So the next question might be: Does living successfully imply a spiritual or a material standard of success?

Again for that answer, I think it would be up to the perceiver who would consider what “success” means to him or her.

Personally, time has shown me that material success and monetary pursuits are enticing challenges that can indeed offer greater opportunities for experiencing a variety of “things” that money makes possible.meaningful life quotes

But creating a meaningful life has little to do with material/financial success. In fact, a money-based focus usually obstructs feeling genuine meaning in our lives and often pits our higher intentions against egoic pleasure.

To a deeply-spiritual person (and I’m not saying deeply-religious as it’s not the same thing), spirituality is a connection to a source of energy and inner nourishment far greater than earthly confines can provide us. Material items and possessions simply cannot rival that depth of inner satisfaction.

To a deeply spiritual person who feels that intense connection to a power far greater than his earthly presence—who feels his spirit’s transcendence far beyond the body it inhabits—to THAT person, a meaningful life will be viewed as a successfully lived life, and vice versa—a successfully lived life will be a meaningful life.

To all others who do not feel that amazing higher connection to something far greater than themselves, I do not know whcartoon on meaning-Calvin and Hobbsat their answers would be, but I am thankful that mine would be considered one and the same.

So if all of life is considered a miracle, then all aspects of our lives are mini-miracles, and they should be considered as such—all are equal in value and equal of consideration.

All are fair game for meaning exposition. The quest is to simply uncover it.

Honoring the Senses

This morning I saw the clouds approaching from the western horizon, but at that distance I couldn’t cloud bankdetect their speed. It really didn’t matter to me because I knew there were tasks to be completed today and endeavors to attempt. My mind had set its own agenda for this small window of “work opportunity” and was not going to be deterred by distant possibilities lying outside its “being productive” intention.

As I donned the clothes appropriate to the industrious labor awaiting me, I looked once more out the open window at the fast-advancing cloud front, and then caught the whiff of something distinct and easily recognizable—the scent of rain in the air. Now my wavering mind said, Hmmm, …maybe these work clothes won’t be needed after all.

It wasn’t long past that thought that the first “tinks” and plops” sounded as large rain drops hit the window glass and the AC unit housing beneath it—audio verification to what the visuals and olfactory senses had first alerted me: Yes, rain was on the way and some was now here.

rain puddleJust to be certain, stepping out the backdoor, I raised my palm to the sky and received yet another wet affirmation that the distant possibility preventing outside laboring had just become an actuality. My kinesthetic sense had made the final verdict loud and clear—yes, it was raining. (Yeah!)

My mind then released me from its industrious intentions—there would be no sense of guilt or shame at my outside inactivity when legitimate reasons (like it’s raining) had magically developed for me to now sit in front of my computer and write. One could even call it Divine Intervention if one wanted to stretch it a bit. And I did—I stretched it a lot. That’s why I’m sitting here now.

This morning’s rain event might seem a little mundane to even mention as a blog post, except I suddenly realized that the only human sensing device that I didn’t use this morning to determine my future actions was to stand outside with an open mouth to the sky and await a rain drop landing on my tongue—to taste it. That’s when it occurred to me what all was at play during this simple morning reassignment.

Our brain, the most amazing central processing unit (CPU) ever created, uses our individual sensing units to layers of braindecipher our surroundings, create mental intentions for our appropriate reactions to them, and then it sends electrical impulses out to our muscles for our physical responses.

Our minds have created extensive databases of information mainly based on our previous cause/effect actions that create desirable or undesirable consequences for us. The mind uses that behavioral pain/pleasure gauge continuously throughout each day and night to guide us in moment by moment responses.

Our memories, tinged with past emotional attachments to the situations that we have already faced, are the basis for that present-moment perspective filter we use to view the desirability or undesirability of each situation now before us.

brain 1The five senses and the emotions (which are both the energetic and the body chemistry reactions to whatever we encounter or perceive) alert the brain—and more accurately, alert the layers of the brain with their own individual functions and purposes to the overall CPU’s operation: from specific brain stem functions, to limbic functions, to cortex functions, and so on. There’s a lot going on up there that we take for granted until something doesn’t function as well as we hope that it would.

So when I first underplayed the importance of something as simple as a slight change in morning intentions or plans, I stopped myself in my tracks, and said, “Whoa, …look what really happened—look what my engirl in raintire body’s sensing devices told my mind for it to “let me off the hook” from doing that hard labor this morning. Maybe I should take just a moment to honor those sensing devices I’m so blessed to have and be glad that I’m not out there getting soaked to the skin—which I process as undesirable.”

There you have it—all this to say, “I wrote because it rained.”