Like BusyMindThinking, I, too, am often awake at 3 or 4 in the morning. It is a sweet time of deep pondering, my mind alert to Being. (I wish I knew your name, dear light.)
This journey within has led me to the heart of dharma, an interesting Sanskrit word meaning many things: truth, duty, law, an ethical way, teachings about these, moral responsibility, and virtue. These first 16 days alone have been a tilling of my inner ground and cultivating the seeds of dharma.
Shakyamuni Buddha did not invent the word. It was well established within the Hindu culture of the time, and still is. The full range of meaning and application of dharma is the study and practice of Karma Yoga, Jnana Yoga, the Jain faith, the teachings of Krishna, and the general way of being for the people of India. Born into this like Jesus born as a Hebrew, Buddha built upon this foundation. The Buddhadharma is substantial.
I have also been supported by the Tao te Ching through Rory’s writings on a verse at a time with his commentary at Beyond the Dream. Yesterday’s post, verse 21, is one of my favorites. Every line is perfect, and its completion could be nothing else. Lao Tzu was clearly a realized master, in a way very similar to the Buddha.
Hours of meditation in the forms of sitting, each step, cooking, eating, reciting, and mantrically aware of all beings have led to one place; the heart, and all to one clarity: dharma. There is nothing else. Living mindfully is the only thing to be done, living mindfully is Being. Truth inside my mind creates truth in words and actions, steadfastness with the luminous nature of mind reveals the spacious light that displays as person, place, and thing, and living according to ethics and the truthful way of inter-dependence everything accords in harmony and dissonance is undone.
And meditation has led me to ponder ideals. Is living as such an ideal? Yes, in that it is an orientation toward an ever forward moving goal. But no, in that it is completely doable, completely within my and everyone else’s nature to achieve. At essence, a human being is truth and truthful, is ethical and just, is kind and generous, is steadfast and has a core of dignity. Realization is simply seeing through the bullshit, simply being honest and respectful.
I have clarity now. Clarity gives me direction. “Wind blows, grass grows.”* Human beings are here to BE. How do I know this? “By looking inside myself.”**
* Old Native American teaching about essential being
** Tao te Ching. the last line of verse 21
-Tao te Ching, verse 21 –
The greatest virtue you can have
comes from following only the Tao.
The Tao is elusive and intangible.
Although formless and intangible,
it gives rise to form.
Although vague and elusive,
it gives rise to shapes.
Although dark and obscure,
it is the vitality and essence of all things.
Since the beginning of time, the Tao has
It is beyond existing and not existing.
How do I know the way of things?
By looking inside myself.
Beautiful post, Donna. It evokes the feeling of grace and harmony and peace.
Yes, it feels like that in every way. That much meditation and attentiveness provides for depth, insight, and bliss as well as the constant visitation by superficiality, randomness, and entitlement. All shades of the same continuums. But clarity always feels good to everyone. Peace!
Maybe I will reach that place one day. Right now it is more tumultous in my head end emotions, probably this is why my writing put your mind in a swirl, as you put it.
No, friend, the swirl is all that it brings together,lLike a confluence of multiple streams. It’s good.
Do you meditate?
That is a relief.
I meditate on and off. I am such a Gemini at times. But once I do it I feel it gives me so much stillness and strength. Meditation is the answer, I know.
There are many options out there. One is sure to meet the inner need. And let us not “blame” our astrology or anything else for our personal lack of effort or steadfastness. I had to learn that myself, and remind students of it too. We are our wish fulfillment or our lack thereof. I use the analogy that meditation actually is nourishment and as vital as proper food, water, and breath. It is non-optional when we really think about it.
Enough from me! You know where to find The Practice of Living Awareness if you want. much love!
Thank you, Donna!
Beautiful post, and thanks for the mention 🙂 Dharma is such an important thing, often ignored in western spirituality and its emphasis on manifesting what we want. I’m rereading James Swartz’s vedanta treatise ‘how to attain enlightenment’ and just got to the chapter on dharma. Dharma is like spontaneous right action, the Self operating in maya, keeping everything in balance and reasonable harmony. It’s easy to lose touch with it in this crazy maya world…especially in our society, but when we just settle down and let the mind rest, I usually find my way back to it, or it finds its way back to me 😀
Thanks for sharing this, I loved reading it!
Sounds like a good book. Let’s start a movement: dharma: ethics, right relations, others’ well-being in our consideration. What do you think?