Dharma is the way of all things. It is the natural law which holds all things to their essential being, to their essential purpose of existence. When Dharma is followed, life moves in an orderly way. Water flows, fire burns, living beings live in harmony with the world around them. They live the life they are meant to live. When human beings follow Dharma, they become connected to their essential nature. When you are in alignment with Dharma you begin to feel and express your spirit, your essential nature, and in you, deep in you, is a great longing for the divine, a great longing for unity, for love which is unconditional, for wholeness of being. There is a restlessness within the human spirit that keeps you moving from one day to the next, from one activity to the next, from one idea to another. That restlessness of the human spirit is always searching for the resting point, the place where you are complete, where you are whole. And that search in human life, for that resting point where there is wholeness, that is essential to human nature. And to be in touch with that is to follow
Dharma. To follow that way of your spirit is to follow Dharma. When you are out of alignment with Dharma, you become out of touch with this essential nature. Rather than seeking that wholeness of spirit, that place within you where love is complete, rather than searching for love, you begin to grasp for material objects and things in the world that may give you pleasure for a time. And in that grasping and need you forget your spirit, you forget your heart. You forget that which is core to you. And when you begin to forget and your thoughts and actions move out of alignment with your deep inner purpose, you become out of alignment with Dharma.
Each person has an individual Dharma, unique to you in your uniqueness, and a collective Dharma that is shared by all human beings. That collective Dharma shared by all human beings is this attraction to the great, the desire to return to a state of wholeness, of unity, where all the restless thoughts and needs and desires of body and mind and spirit are dissolved into a fulfillment of spirit, a completeness. This path to wholeness, to awakening, that is Dharma, and shared by all human beings is this longing.
But each person is a unique expression in this world, so each person has their individual, unique way of expressing this Dharma, this essential longing for the great. And for some it may be expressed in a painting, for others in words, for some in teaching, for some in working in the soil with the plants, for others with working with animals, for some for feeding others, for some building. Each and every person has their unique expression, and that is essential to find inside yourself, and to align your intentions with that expression. If your nature is to be a warrior, to protect and shield others, then if you try to live the life of a priest, you will be a dissatisfied person, because your nature will not be fulfilled. If your longing is to teach, and the way of your heart and your inner way to express yourself is to teach, yet you never teach but you do manual labor only, you will find dissatisfaction in your life.
So, when you live the Dharma of another, even if it looks very appealing and attractive, it cannot fulfill you as living your own Dharma. Finding what is truly your expression, your gift to the world, and your way of expressing your harmony and alignment and direction towards wholeness… There are so many ways to express Dharma. And there are expressions that do not harmonize with life, and that do not express Dharma. Greed, selfishness, self-centeredness, ill-will to others—these do not express Dharma, neither your individual potential or your collective human Dharma. Both are lost in these, in anger, greed, lust, jealousy, fear. These come when the sense of your alignment with Dharma is diminished.
When you feel you are truly expressing your inner voice, your inner potential, what is dear to your heart, and you are doing it in such a way that you are expressing your love for the divine at the same time, then you find that you are in a harmony with yourself. And as you come into alignment and harmony with yourself, you find you are in alignment and harmony with the natural world. You find peace in nature. You begin to appreciate moment by moment the natural world around you. You being to appreciate the paths of other beings, to be respectful to all beings, acknowledging the divinity in everyone. When you live a life in harmony with your own inner potential, your own Dharma, and in harmony with your human Dharma, then all things begin to fall in place, and happiness comes to you. It is the suppression of your spirit that brings dissatisfaction and restlessness, when your truth cannot be spoken in the world. Never let outside circumstances move you away from your inner path. All work is divine if done with intentions of love and service. And when it is the work of your heart, it flows, and you flow in harmony with all things. Learn to take the moment to feel the harmony, to feel the connectedness of life. Learn to look at the bird, at the leaf, at the sunset, at all things that surround you, and begin to see the flow of Dharma as all settles into its own nature.
Finding this harmony with self and all that surrounds you, you breathe with the breath of life, you move with the earth and the sky. Life presents a simplicity of being. It is a very simple path, a natural path. It doesn’t require that you follow any religion, any practice, any faith. It only requires that you find Dharma, and hold to it, and the simple harmony of all life.