Discovering Your Dharma (True Life Path)
“Why am I here?” is probably one of the most commonly asked questions that we all face. Little do we know that this query resonates from our True Self, which gently takes us beyond the world of appearances to discover our inner divinity.
The answer is simple: you manifest in physical form to fulfill a life purpose only you can complete – your dharma. Finding your dharma can be a little more work, but once you figure it out, you can experience complete fulfillment and bliss.
According to the Chopra Center, “When you live in the harmonious flow of dharma, the entire field of pure potentiality opens to you. You’re able to create as much happiness and wealth as you want because you’re aligned with the domain of spirit, the unlimited source of all manifestation.”
The Law of Dharma
The Chopra Center goes on to lay out The Law of Dharma. It consists of three steps needed to align with the spirit and fulfill your life’s purpose with effortless ease.
The first step is the decision to seek your higher Self. You’ve known this is important, but now you have a good goal to reach by doing so. It takes all of us time, but the key is understanding that your essential nature is spiritual and that our potential comes from our divinity.
Secondly, the Law of Dharma instructs you to find your unique talent or gift. The law says that there’s at least one thing you can do better than anyone else on the entire planet. Have you ever found yourself totally absorbed and focus when spending time doing something you love? You don’t notice time passing or any of your circumstances, only following what you love. It’s a beautiful place to be, so finding this unique talent is important not only as a contribution to the world but to your own personal bliss.
Speaking of contributing to the world, to take the third step of the Law of Dharma, you must ask yourself the questions, “How can I use my unique talent to serve humanity? How can I help others?” Then it’s a matter of answering that question and then putting it into practice. When your creative expression helps your fellow human beings, you’re making full use of the Law of Dharma and experience perfect alignment with the infinite field of intelligence.
When you put the Law of Dharma into action, you aren’t struggling or worried anymore! Instead, you start experiencing your life as an ecstatic expression of divinity. An ancient Vedic sage described the natural unfolding of spirit in these beautiful words: “I am the immeasurable potential of all that was, is, and will be, and my desires are like seeds left in the ground: they wait for the right season and then spontaneously manifest into beautiful flowers and mighty trees, into enchanted gardens and majestic forests.”
It sounds like a pretty terrific way to live, right?
Good Places to Start
Here are a few handy tips on how to get started on your quest for your dharma:
- Pay attention to synchronicity. Life is very good at guiding you if you just pay attention. Notice what or who keeps showing up in your life. If someone or something shows up over and over, it’s likely that the person or thing is tied to your dharma.
- Follow callings. Callings are those things that you feel deep inside guiding you that don’t necessarily make sense to anyone else but you. You feel a direction to do something, but it’s not through your mind. These callings are preparation for your personal dharma.
- Know when it’s time to go. If you are feeling like it’s time to move on, then it’s probably time to move on. Your mind might be fighting you, but your soul knows best.
- Be aware that it’s not linear. The path to your personal dharma may, in fact, feel like a spiral. Just when you think you’ve gotten there, you find yourself spinning deeper into some aspect. It helps to surrender to the notion that the journey isn’t always forward.
- Make friends with the illogical. It’s important to know that your dharma is not necessarily coming from a rational place. If you are trying to over-mastermind it, you will probably drive yourself crazy, and your dharma will feel even further away.
- Have a practice that connects you to a greater source. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, painting, or walking in the woods, it’s important to connect with a source greater than you because that’s where the information about your dharma lies and that’s where you’ll find the support to step into it.
- Look at the people you admire. The people you admire tend to represent the greater aspects of you. Put on your detective hat. This can give you clues to your personal dharma.
- Take it seriously, but be light-hearted about it. If you take discovering your dharma too seriously, you may not actually be able to see it. It helps to have a light touch.
- Have the courage to walk into the mystery. If you are committed to discovering your dharma, you’ll need to call in a higher level of trust.
- Allow breathing space. Your dharma is not something you can “catch.” You need to take steps, then leaps, and then let yourself breathe. Patience is an absolute necessity.
10 Reasons to Make Inner Peace a Priority
Inner peace is the eternal quest for seekers everywhere. What used to be a rather vague and ephemeral concept has since been backed by modern science as a worthwhile quest towards accessing better health and happiness.
If you’re wary about the real-life importance of making peace of mind a priority, you’re not alone. The monkey mind is a cultural norm and, for most people, daily life consists of a constant stream of chaotic thoughts based in the past or the future.
Rarely do people make the space for presence and the experience of simply being. But when you do, you’ll be astonished how life can shift from tumultuous to serene, from judgemental to accepting. You can find inner peace even in the midst of external chaos.
1. Increased Intelligence
Perhaps one of the most popular benefits that inner peace can bring is the potential to grow your brain, literally. A study done at Harvard University showed that people who practiced mindfulness meditation (quick definition: accepting and paying attention to your thoughts and feelings without judgment) increased the thickness of their prefrontal cortex.
The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for regulating emotions, planning, decision making, and regulating social behavior. Just eight weeks of regular meditation practice also shows increased gray matter in MRI scans.
Turns out that seeking peace helps you gain greater intelligence and a stronger, healthier brain.
2. Rewire Your Brain for Positive Feedback Loops
You can change your brain and it’s as easy as being aware of the transience of every experience. Most people go into a fight or flight stress state at least a few times a day, but when peace is your primary pathway you can change that mental habit.
This is because our unconscious thoughts and worries (aka the monkey mind) engage the amygdala, the reptilian part of our brains responsible for keeping us alive in dangerous situations. When the amygdala is engaged we experience anxiety, tension, faster heart rate, and poor digestion, all things modern humans are very familiar with.
When peace is the primary pathway you can consciously comfort your amygdala with the assurance that all is well and the world is NOT ending. Because our brains are plastic and changeable you can change the tendency to activate the amygdala and remain calm even in the midst of chaos.
3. Grow Your Compassion Muscle
The Dalai Lama says that “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” Yet often we’re too absorbed in our busy lives to experience wholehearted compassion for both ourselves and our fellow humans.
A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that the practice of meditation and the allowing and acceptance that comes along with it increases the internal experience of compassion. Another study showed this affects the brain even when you’re not actively engaged in meditation.