How to Discover Your Dharma, or Life Purpose
Dharma is far more than what you are meant to do in this life; it is your true nature, your true North. Living your spiritual purpose, your dharma, can be considered a spiritual achievement. Some people are born keenly aware of their spiritual purpose, while the majority who recognize the path, take active steps to unearth theirs.
Awakening to dharma is like pulling the veil back on a vibrant garden that has always been in front of your eyes, where before you could only see darkness. You have a reason for being, you have a purpose, life makes sense, the world around you makes sense, all of your life’s experiences were in perfect order. Meaning…ah yes, this is what it feels like to breathe meaning out of every moment.
Dharma is a concept that is rooted in many Eastern traditions, dating back tens of thousands of years. Dharma is often translated as virtuous path or right way. The philosophy becomes applicable to life today when viewed through the lens of ancient Indian philosophy. Dharmas are actions performed in accordance with your svabhāva. Derived from Sanskrit, Swa = self and bhava = feeling, which means that dharma arises when you are in alignment with the feeling of being grounded in self, in your truth.
Ahhhh….Yes, take a deep breath, and take that in for a moment.
Beautiful, dharma is then both an action and a state of being in connection with your inherent nature.
This nature, according to one of the oldest Buddhist traditions, persists through past, present, and future, which means your dharma has always been with you whether you in touch with it, aware of it, or not.
You are already in touch with your dharma. It’s deeply embedded in your soul, in your cells, in every fiber of your being. Just like much of our spiritual centers and gifts, it is very possible it is asleep or buried. There are many disciplines and ways to discover the path, but there is always one key –
You must be spiritually in tune to tap into your dharmic design because it arises out of your essence.
If dharma arises out of the essence of being you then why is it so challenging to attain? Mostly because being one’s self, free from the layers of past wounds, free from burdens of the conscious mind or societal expectations (or a million other things that keep us from our true nature) – is quite possibly the hardest quest for spiritual seekers today.
I don’t know about you, but every time I think I’m closer to my essence, she hides again behind a dark corner and forces me to shine light inwards. Truth, purpose, and dharma are constant, daily efforts for even the most enlightened beings.
Yoga Nidra is a simple practice that refreshes your mind, body, spirit, and conscious processes, just like resetting a computer. One of the practices in Yoga Nidra is setting what’s called a Sankalpa, or an intention. The practice begins by repeating it three times, and it roots into your higher mind state throughout the journey.
Once you have a solid line of communication with your inner self and a firm grip on your purpose, use your insights to cultivate the Sankalpa.
I will be sharing a couple of my favorite Yoga Nidras in an upcoming email, and in the next blog post, I will be discussing Dharmic Design in action.