Dharma. During these baffling times of political division and social confusion, what can help? Learning about your dharma, how to be a good person.
What Gives Me the Standing to Help You Understand Dharma?
Dharma is a sacred concept in some Eastern religions. Notably Buddhism and Hinduism.
Maybe you’re wondering. What gives Rose Rosetree the standing to write about dharma? Since I’m not that kind of a spiritual teacher.
Please know that I’m no fan of cultural appropriation. For instance, when people use the word mantra to mean a slogan, I cringe. Because, in the Eastern religions I’ve studied, a mantra is a sacred sound used for meditation.
Likewise, dharma is a word about something sacred. Accordingly, I plan to share ideas in this article in that spirit of great respect. Because I’m all for personal growth, spiritual awakening, and gaining success. We can achieve all of that without stooping to cultural appropriation.
Back at my standing to write about dharma. Maybe you know, I spent 16 years working for Maharishi Mahesh Yogi as one of his meditation teachers. Consequently, I learned quite a lot about Hinduism.
Granted, writing this article, I’m no longer a TM Initiator. As my guru’s devotee, I’d never have expected what happened. How, for good reason, I later quit teaching Transcendental Meditation. Or doing it, personally. Neither do I any longer recommend most meditation techniques. (Long story there, summarized in this article.)
Instead I wound up founding the field of Energy Spirituality:
- Facilitating thousands of sessions of Energy Spirituality-Style Energy READING.
- Learning from thousands of sessions of Energy Spirituality-Style Energy HEALING.
- Experiencing a world of improvement for the empaths I’ve taught Empath Empowerment®.
- And even becoming an Enlightenment Coach. Today’s article falls under the category of Enlightenment Coaching.
And so, now that we’re introduced….
What Is Dharma? 10 Ways to Understand Your Personal Dharma
Many authorities translate this word as “duty.” However, to me, that sucks out all the interesting parts. Instead, dharma means all this:
- Doing right action, according to your sacred beliefs.
- Finding smart choices that bring you spiritual joy.
- Making choices that help you to feel very alive. (To use a technical term from Energy Spirituality, there’s Soul Thrill.)
- Living in a manner that is harmonious. (At least, in contexts where harmony is compatible with integrity.)
- Treating others well, doing your reasonable best. (But also not acting like a dutiful chump. Such as letting others take advantage of you.)
- Telling the truth, even when that’s tough.
- Honorable actions.
- Living according to today’s new rules for being a good person… Rules for the Age of Awakening. Rather than following obsolete rules that applied previously, in the Age of Faith. (For a practical education in both sets of rules, get this book.)
- In short, being a good person.
- And also acting like a good person.
Practical point: Following your dharma doesn’t necessarily cause you to always feel like a good person. Or make you universally popular.
Are You Following Your Personal Dharma? 3 Quick Questions.
Granted, you could work yourself into a tizzy, trying to do a perfect job at dharma. Why? Since, technically, you’ve got all 10 previously mentioned versions of dharma. Which concern you, emphasizing life within, internal dharma.
In addition, you’ve also got 10 important external forms of dharma that I’ll clarify later in this article. But, always, let’s keep our conversation simple as possible. Emphasizing our humanity!
In that vein, let’s call this spiritual ideal by a human-type name, an internal ideal: Being a good person.
How can you tell if you’re a good person? Here’s a quick test.
Over the past 24 hours:
- Did you talk to somebody else with kindness? Or patience? Maybe you did a little small talk. Yet spiritually counted as big talk. Since it came from the desire in your heart to uplift somebody else.
- Did you actively listen to somebody else? Rather than what? For instance, ignore that person with a resounding inner “Doh!.” Judging that person. Secretly withdrawin from the conversation. (By contrast, with authentic listening, what happens? You smile. You nod. Connecting, even briefly, you might even say something friendly.)
- Suppose that certain things have happened to you. Consequently you’ve felt annoyed. Or, even worse, somebody betrayed you. When bad things happen to good people, we can turn bitter/vindictive/hateful… So here’s your third question. When (not if, sigh!) When that sort of thing has happened to you, did you aim to get past it? So that you could start liking life again. Maybe even remember someone or something to love! Good people gripe when we have to. Afterward, though, did you do your level best to move on?
ANSWERS to these 3 Dharma Questions
Did you answer YES to even one of these questions?
If you do your reasonable best to live like a kind, loving, person… That suggests you’re living according to your internal, or personal, dharma.
Did you notice? All three questions were about following through. Rather than living inside your own head.
Could following your dharma be possible if you live alone? Suppose that you have nobody to talk to except your cats. Alternatively you might even live alone without even a goldfish to talk to. Might I suggest, couldn’t you still do one of these every day?
- Greet a neighbor.
- Smile at some random person walking down the street.
- Call a friend.
- Maybe go somewhere where many people are shopping or walking. And smile at a few strangers.
In case you’re wondering… According to research I’ve done, through pulling out energetic holograms, guess what? Texting doesn’t count. Emails don’t count. Make human contact in energetic real time, please!
Got Questions, by Now, BTW?
Hey, you might have questions about energetic holograms or energetic real time? Or anything about dharma!!!
Ask them, please. Don’t just think them. Education is the purpose of our COMMENT boxes below. Education plus communication. And supporting each other as all of us follow our personal paths.
Actually, you’re welcome to COMMENT to share anything whatsoever. Maybe you’ve got a story to tell, for instance, of a time you did some little something. And now you just realized! Actually, that seemingly insignificant nod to a stranger? That’s evidence of how you are a good person.
Good people aren’t just good inside their own personal bubbles. Speaking of which…
How About People with Tribal Loyalties. Are They Good People?
Such a complex question! Especially at this dramatic time in American history.
For starters, I don’t think that Tribal Loyalties are exactly the problem. Rather, a problem develops when people forget they have more than tribal loyalty. Also known — from now on, since I’m coining a phrase here — external dharma. That contrasts with the 10 kinds of internal dharma discussed earlier in this article.
More about Your 10 Forms of EXTERNAL Dharma
Have you ever considered this extra set of “good person” possibilities? You can make good choices — and follow your dharma — related to every one of the following social categories:
- Your gender and gender identity.
- Your family of blood. And/or your family of choice. (Family of choice means the people in your life by choice. Folks who can become as important to you as blood kin. Like father, mother, brother, sister, children. This spiritual daybook includes many chapters on family of blood and family of choice.)
- Religious affiliation. Including, for some of us, affiliation with what I call disorganized religion.
- Ethnic and cultural background.
- Belonging to your neighborhood, your local community.
- Political life at every level where you can vote.
- Your connection to folks with similar socioeconomic status.
- Finally, connecting to people who share your political and social beliefs.
- Wait, you’ve got one more kind of external dharma worth noting: Your commitment to the truth. (Why’s that’s external drama? Because real news, and other forms of truth, are based on facts. Knowledge and experience that have happened in objective reality. External reality, not the personal kind.)
Yes, Blog-Buddies, I Just Gave You a SECOND List of 10 forms of Dharma.
Our first list emphasized your personal qualities. While our second list brings up the range of your social obligations. (Each one, potentially, involving a kind of Tribal Loyalty.)
Imagine if you could do both. (Because you can.) Even if two complementary ways of understanding your dharma seems complicated at first.
Since you’ve read this deep into a pretty long article, you can handle complexity. Thank you, btw.
Seems to me, handling complexity is the dharma of intelligent people. Others have no such obligation. Since they don’t really have the requisite capacity. Fortunately, simpler thinking can also include caring about the truth.
Blog-Buddies, I wonder if in that second list, Item #7 jumped out at you. Or did a different one leap out, for you?
Seems to me, at this time in history, society can’t afford people ignoring Item #7. And, of course, it matters that one of your dharmas requires informed participation. In this case, paying attention to the facts of political life. And then voting your conscience. (Every election, please. No exceptions.)
10 External Dharmas! What Can that Mean for Tribal Loyalty?
Could the truth be this simple? When people choose only one or two forms of social dharma, they go tribal. Like this kind of problem might have happened to you as a teenager. Imagine: Back in high school you wanted to date Pat. But then your parents forbade it.
Wrong race. Wrong religion. Or wrong accent. (Since lists of tribal loyalties can go on and on.)
In this example, parents got fixed on one kind of dharma. Just one loyalty, supposedly mattering more than all the others.
Sometimes folks revert to Tribal Identity by compartmentalizing. Such as happened to my high school friend Wendy. She wanted to date Michael. But noooooooo. Because he was black. (Still is, haha! We’re in touch via Facebook. I like him and admire what he’s done with his life. And btw in his seventies, he’s still really handsome.)
- Back at Wendy’s parents, they’d sent their daughter to the United Nations International School. Why? So their daughter would learn not to mix?
- Besides that, religion was a big deal in Wendy’s family. The parental unit? Heavy duty Episcopalians. Devoted to following Jesus’s teachings. Supposedly. Ooops.
See what I mean about compartmentalized thinking? And Tribal Loyalty! For Wendy’s parents, race trumped all. Not wicked, just human.
For many Americans, and their Republican representatives in Congress, which dharma wins? Tribal loyalty that omits Item 10, among others.
Not In Conclusion, But Pausing
Blog-Buddies, we’ve got a follow-up article coming. Hey, here’s your link. Meanwhile, let’s talk.
COMMENT away and you’ll enrich our bloggy conversation. For instance, what do you think of those two different lists, 10 dharmas apiece? At this time in your life, which kind of dharma matters most to you?