Aug 22, 2014

Uphold Your Dharma. It is a Cycle Buster

It Is A Cycle Buster.

Your dharma is the red pill in The Matrix. It  can be exquisitely frightening until we realize we are finally beginning to live in "vidya", seeing true view.  Dharma translated can mean purpose, job or task or more literally translated as “upholding” or “ethic”.  Ethic comes from the greek word “Ethos” which means “character", meaning our ethos characterizes a person or group.  Dharma is a form of action and it reveals the tone of our ideology. It is related to karma/action.

 In the Vedic times, karma originally meant a "ritual physical offering”. This means every action is an offering to get us closer to God. It did not imply taking action was bad. It is a link. It did not originally mean “action”  alone but a very specific one which activates greater freedom and a remembrance of it. Ethos, the original root of ethics, does not mean it is socially imposed from outside of us but called upon from within. Ethics is very radical. It is a tool to get to the root of ethereal where ether or space becomes real and actualized. Our aligned, congealed actions of dharma also draw attention to the Ethereal. The purest dharma does means we do not attach to the result. Can you imagine an action so pure? This also means we are free of the reaction that cycles out, according to Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. That is really far out.

The ancient yogic texts imply that dharma comes from within and above, or where we arrived from here on the planet. Dharma, as a remembrance, is a act of inference. It is a mile marker for the possibility that perhaps something greater is at work too and is going on of which we can align with and recognize. Realigning into the original greatness, it becomes less daunting to know and actualize clear actions and reactions that are not mixed with selfish intents. In true dharma, we do not need attention or credit. Dharma generates a social and mutual working & serving class. It is a tool of connection to get closer to the Source.  The mere feeling of absence of purpose and dharma, which many humans feel, implies there is one or we wouldn’t yearn for it so and brings tremendous emptiness and suffering. Dharma can clean us of dominance or self absorption as we refine our yearnings to want the whole upholded and not just ourselves.

 Our "job", if we see dharma as such, from a personal blueprint before we arrived, has Universal clues for us ALL  in the "Yamas". The Yamas are the first ingredient of the 8 limbs prescribed by Patanjali or to Krishna's continued plea to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita. There is sustainability in the act of sharing and upholding dharma that is settling to the soul.  It is no longer entangling. These types of actions are a good gauge for true dharma at work coming through you. If our actions continue to inert us or entangle us it is a very good barometer for us as to wether our actions are purifying and uplifting ourselves and others. It is the remedy for curing all karma and personal curriculums. This is deeply moving and fulfilling as we feel more substantial trust and order form in experience and relationship. Even actions that on the outside look good can be quite mixed within. This is not dharma.

To practice dharma is the deepest fulfillment and soul purpose on the planet. It is beyond form but form is the tool for it's activation.  Many students and especially the ones in our teacher training at Swan River Yoga have eons of questions when the topic of dharma comes up. Many ask how it is that you know if you have found it, or how to get it. I do my best to answer that it is really not like that, finding the "right" one. Our eyes, often being the most dominant sense habituates us into looking for it on the outside. It is not about the “form” of the work even if some appear more glamorous, important or pious than others. Full-fillment is the opposite of clinging to form, appearance or outcome. Clinging implies by principle that there is not enough nor enough trust or worth in the current role or task that is before us. It implies it is not full but more limited and less than. 

 “Vairagya" in Sanskrit is non attachment, so the trick is to not attach to the roles, identity or traps of trends of the masses but to think big and progressively by undoing. Radical yogis must questions trends and identities constantly. By undoing, the idea is that the tasks and jobs at hand will reveal themselves naturally, not by the jurisdiction of a law or popular standard or hierarchal caste at all. Non- attachment (as a side note,  detachment or lack of enthusiasm or lack luster  is much different)  shakes us to our core and shakes off our fear and selfishness/aversions so that we compassionately consider & uphold all beings, usual or unusual. 

Honoring all customs and ways humans can be has been a tricky practice for me when I travel. It is the exact reason that I travel. I like to connect with the locals and endigenous peoples and animals.  I like to learn how I will respond to the unimagined, to the variance of religion, culture, lifestyles or the misunderstood. In the places I go that are way out there and unfamiliar, I have seen that is easy to draw fear or aversion or even judgement, all a trap. “Caught”, I too get uncomfortable. 

“Upholding" cleanly and well, as though we are doing it for God gets us closer to God. If we are sharing something with God, we do our best and face our fears. Then, naturally, many others are moved. I like to ponder here and there…”has my courage been tested”? Good. This is actually the first thing Krishna tells Arjuna he must have to be a Yogi. It means getting out of my own paradigm via experience so that the same agitation over and over again, called “Samsara”. My Soul, if I go deep and identify with it,  does not want to continue to generate more fear. Having a deep enough sense as to whether my Soul or ego are at play can give me the sense of if what I am "doing" draws me further from purpose and order or is aligned from within. My duty then, in the moment, each a new one, must remain clear so that I can sense the called upon order at hand. This is not a law or rule. It is much more innate and organic than that. Even if what is called upon in upholding purpose is  challenging, it is still full, and feels "right"..

 My last trip across the world, especially Morocco was that. I felt I had to really step “out” and consider new ways of being as a woman and a “spirited” being. And I learned a lot. I softened tremendously and developed greater compassion and appreciation to hardship and new ways of viewing God and social interactions. For me, stepping towards the teacher is that same thing, as I am doing now here in Woodstock. Stepping towards intimacy, sentiment and love is that for me too, all important parts to our evolutions. Sometimes, there is trepidation. I find trepidation to be a sign of respect. Fear is different than trepidation because I still move forward. Fear is a sign of stuckness and the false comfort of ego, getting me to further delude. That is when I stopped sharing and it is time for me to check in.

The “kleshas", obstacles or torments can be either major road blocks that inert us or speed bumps that inspire us to deeper greatness depending on our lens, willingness and readiness to get free and generate dharma. True freedom of Divine expression is wild and radical and takes tremendous harnessing of the more unrefined wild qualities of our senses, emotions and thought forms. True freedom comes from being able to handle and take responsibility for freedom and wish for this to be upheld for others.

The 5 kleshas are:
AVIDYA -not knowing (the cause of the rest of the kleshas and all suffering)
ASMITA- ego based life. All about I me mine.
RAGA- attachment (excessive unrefined desire)
DVESA aversion (excessive judgement)
ABHINIVESHA fear of death ( the only thing that dies is the ego)

I like to call kindness, sharing, good company, happiness & love cultivation, yoga, chanting the holy names, meditation and respect for nature the Real "weapons of mass destruction” that clean out the Malas… the obscurations and pain.

Sharing, which is the roots of dharma, is expansive and delightful. Unhealthy veils drop. In sharing, we will see direct results of what we share. Sharing, be it a vulnerable stance, aligns us with the Universe and is less painful than grasping. The kleshas are painful.  Pain generates more pain.  Fear more fear. They are confusing. They can turn on you and against you. This to me comes from not upholding dharma in the first place.

 Dharma is a way to get out of ourselves. It extends outward. It is the opposite of being self absorbed, caught and bound by personal gain and motive again and again. Dharma  is often not what we “think” so it is not something to think about in order to find it. It will come spontaneously. It is our origin coming out into the world. Upholding it invites us to see the sacred in our daily lives and get the scared parts of us out that are simply not real or true. 

 "Remember, all I am offering you is the Truth." Morpheus.

(Photos from my excursions in Morocco, August  2014)

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