I like the word, “dharma.” If I had a female child, (to me it sounds feminine, most likely because I loved that show Dharma & Greg), I’d consider naming her that. I very well may name my next canine child that.
I like the idea of yelling it in my yard or in a park to call this pup. “Dhar-maaaa!” I’ll yell joyfully, with arms open wide. The dog will come and hopefully the Universe will listen and deliver as well. Come, dharma. Stay, please.
Oh, that it was that simple. That your dharma could show itself as literally as a sweet pup standing in front of you, wagging its tail joyfully and waiting on your love and a treat.
If It Were Easy, You Wouldn’t Learn a Lesson
I think most of us spend time trying to figure out our place in life. We ponder and question whether to do this or that. Not just big decisions, little ones, thinking that if we choose that or this, our path will fork in another direction. It does, I suppose, but doesn’t it always lead to the place you are supposed to end up in the first place?
I’m diving deep on this idle Thursday. I have a birthday coming up and each one gets me to thinking, Okay, what now?
My purpose. My soul’s journey. My place in this vast universe. I consulted the all-knowing Wikipedia and according to it, there’s not a literal translation into Western language of the word, “dharma,” but we’ve come to think of it as our purpose in life. Our “highest happiness“ according to an article I read today.
Not to be confused with its close relative, Karma which gives out rewards (and demerits) for the actions we do while we’re living this life. When I get ticked off for the umpteenth time when someone rides my bumper and I hurl bad words and thoughts to them from inside the safety of my car, I think…Oh boy, have many demerits did that cost me?
Like the spirit standing at the pearly gates checking your life book…”Okay, you really should’ve called her/him that and thought about having giant logs come out of the back of your car that would smash his/her large vehicle into that swampy pond filled with alligators.* Not good at all. Oh, and that time you lied about having something to do when you really could have gone to that party…not good. Not good.”
Does it delay your dharma or your realizing exactly what that (your purpose) is? Most likely. If we’re busy trying to control what we can’t or hold a grudge or refusing to let go of “what could have been, had I just…”
Our minds aren’t as open if we keep looking back.
Good Rules for Living and Finding Purpose
The same article I referenced above espouses that there are “10 Laws of Dharma.” Here they are in a nutshell:
Patience, forgiveness, self-control, honesty, sanctity, meditation or prayer (control of senses), reason, knowledge or learning, truthfulness and absence of anger.
I’m pretty sure this is exactly what I learned growing up as a little girl in a small town in Tennessee. My parents taught me this and so did the church I attended. Though I’m all grown up now, I still remember me, as that child, wondering the same thing I’m wondering now.
What’s my purpose?
I was a sensitive and deep kid. That hasn’t changed and I’m going to stop trying to be less so—that’s the truthfulness thing—when we stop trying to be “less” of who we are, then it stands to reason we only become more of who we are meant to be.
If I look through that list, I see some things I definitely need to improve upon (reference bumper riding traffic thing) and some others that I believe I’ve improved upon as a student of life on this Earth.
The learning and knowledge law speaks volumes to me, so as I write this, I’ve stumbled upon a direction toward that purpose. There is always a way to learn something new, always and I do love me some learning. I believe once I take a step toward more of that, the possibilities are limitless.
There’s an expression I read long ago and I’m paraphrasing: The teacher will keep showing up until the lesson is learned. I think that’s part of it and maybe being mindful, aware and recognizing who or what that “teacher” is when it shows itself, is the key to it all.
* * *
Do you believe we each have a specific purpose? Do you feel as if you’re close to that purpose or are you already “there?”
Have you ever been mellow? (Sorry, that’s a song that I heard in the grocery store yesterday that made me want to go home and drink an entire bottle of wine. But I didn’t.)
*For the record, I really don’t want anyone to be in a swampy pond with alligators or hit their car(s) with giant logs. It’s a metaphor for my frustration with inconsiderate drivers. I just want them to back off and there just happen to be a lot of ponds, marshes and alligators where I am presently. Just to be clear.
SIDE NOTE: This post was inspired by a friend who is a very astute student of life. Thank you.
I don’t know that I believe we each have a specific purpose beyond living the best life we can and treating others as we would wish to be treated, but I certainly hope we all *find* a purpose. Having one makes life more meaningful.
I’d suspect one living one’s best life ripples out to serve all kinds of purposes. And yes, the Golden Rule is a good guide to follow in order to find purpose. Or maybe it finds you. ☺️. Thanks Carrie.
Patience, forgiveness, self-control, honesty, sanctity, meditation or prayer (control of senses), reason, knowledge or learning, truthfulness and absence of anger= the golden rule. Sigh.. it hard to keep on the path of the unknown, isn’t it? But that is what makes us wonderfully human– the life long learning and changing. If we accept it and allow it are the tricky part. Purpose is my conundrum– do we really have to label it? How about just living well and living loved? Love this post–
Oh my wise friend I agree. After all you mentioned “purpose” being a topic for a post. I took it and ran with it. 😆😳.
I do think living a good life, being loved and loving back is part of a purpose-filled life. But being human, the (at least mine!) mind begins to wonder and wander…I think that’s my nature. That and learning about what comes next. Thank you my astute poetic friend and student of life. ☮️
you wrote it well… thank you for being so eloquent and thoughtful
The 10 Laws of Dharma? That a title/term is new to me, but I like the list – and in seems very inclusive. Purpose in life? That’s a tough one. In short, I would say be a positive contributor to society, treat others with dignity & respect, and keep learning.
Wonderful post, Brigitte … and in your own style of pondering wit.
Hi Frank! You know if more people had that particular purpose you’ve described, the world would be a better place indeed.
I’m glad you enjoyed my ramblings and as always, your comments and kindness are always welcomed and appreciated. Thank you!
Absolutely … a much better place.
So much good food for thought here, Brigitte. It’s an interesting question, “What is my purpose in life?”, but now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve really consciously thought that. If anything, I was more concerned about finding what it was that fulfilled me and made me feel alive, because that to me was the whole purpose of living. Does that make sense? I relate a lot to what you said about learning and as I’ve experienced more of life, I’m starting to see that it’s not so much about the destination as it is about the journey. And when you realize that the journey is full of so much learning, the destination kind of doesn’t matter that much anymore. Thanks as always for your beautiful thoughts, so wonderful to get you twice in my inbox this week! 🙂
Hi Lillian! I think finding what fulfills one leads to one’s dharma or purpose. If you’re the best version of yourself, then I think everything falls into place. it is indeed the journey, but as humans we tend to fret about the future. I just love that quote: Be happy for this moment, this moment is your life. It’s so true! I would be a terminal student if education were free in this country. I watched a program where students moved to ‘Finland in order to get degrees debt free. There’s always that. :). And I know life is learning, but I so love an educational environment. I was one of those weird kids that loved school and always had my hand raised. To lifetime learning! And thank you for your kind words and I love reading your beautiful thoughts as well, Lillian. 😉
I’m so glad I spotted this post at the top of my reader following a very interesting week (which included planning an event whose theme will be, “Purpose”!). From everything I’ve experienced and learned so far, I think part of our purpose is exactly what you’ve already said – to be the most authentic versions of ourselves. Like you, I struggled with being labeled “hypersensitive” and finally realized, only within the last few years, that that was actually one of my greatest strengths. A metaphor that I love: You can’t stop an acorn from becoming an oak. We don’t have to TRY to be the oak tree. We just have to let ourselves unfold as exactly what/who we are meant to be.
Well Jules—hello! What a wonderful surprise to see you here!! It’s not always easy being your authentic self, is it? You put yourself out there—this is me, here I am— and there are inevitably those who will criticize or try to make you feel “less” than you are. (I’m saying “You” in the universal sense.) Thank you for your insight about being hypersensitive and I can glean that about you from your witty and sometimes self-deprecating writing. I do the same—maybe similar souls recognize that in one another. I’ve always had the kindest and most wonderful bloggers stop in at my place, you included. Good luck with that event but I’m sure luck has nothing to do with your success. It’s just you being your authentic self. 😊 And I agree with you…all we have to do is just be and be confident in the knowledge that is perfect and enough. Thanks for stopping in and I hope you’ll stop by again soon.
Very well said, Brigitte, and thought out. I’ve always believed in the ‘follow your bliss” philosophy. Maybe we are meant to do certain things with our lives and if we do, we will feel more balanced and peaceful. And contribute more. Like you, I love learning new things. I feel as strongly about that at 75 as I did at 25. It’s a wondrous world out there. –Curt
Hi Curt, Joseph Campbell’s “follow your bliss” has always been my motto as well, though it’s easy to forget sometimes when life gets in the way. Or maybe we let it. :). I think being balanced and peaceful is most definitely a purpose because when you have that, you have everything and then you’re able to give (in whatever capacity you can) more. It is a wondrous world out there and though age doesn’t have a thing to do with anything, you don’t look or act like you’re 75. And yes, it is a wondrous world out there, far more good than bad. Thank you, as always for your comment and your wisdom.
Campbell has been a favorite of mine for a long time, Brigitte. I have a number of his books. In fact, I’ll be taking one on my thousand mile backpack trip this summer for a little inspiration along the way! As for acting my age, that has always been a challenge. 🙂 I keep encouraging the kid that lurks down beneath the surface. Thanks. –Curt
I think that’s spectacular Curt. My inner kid is ALWAYS acting up. ☺️
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That’s a good thing! 🙂
I remember the show Dharma & Greg, it was a pretty good show and I also like the name Dharma
Hi Joanne- great to see you here again! I loved that show and identified with Dharma a bit. ☺️. Thanks for stopping by.
Hi, Brigitte. Nice to see you! At this point, I think my overall purpose is to grow in a positive direction. To expand on all things I intuitively know (deep in my soul) are good.
My purpose on a day-to-day basis, however, is something that changes over time. At times (for days, months, or years), it’s sticking close to home to be supportive of family or friends. Other times, it’s to seize opportunities that scare me but that I know I must explore. Still other times, it’s to isolate myself from others and delve deep into myself in search of wisdom I know resides deep within me to help get me on a better path.
The task at hand is to decipher where my energy ought to be directed at any given place or time.
The necessary skill for carrying out that task is to locate and hold steady that inner compass that instinctively knows exactly what I should be doing. The older I get, the better I get at finding and following that compass.
Hello Sue, my friend. What you wrote makes so much sense! I think our “purpose” does change and is dependent upon how our priorities evolve and change over time. I love to seize opportunities and they’ve not always meshed with staying close to home and loved ones which often has led me to doubt whether doing so was a good thing! But maybe all paths lead to the same place; just going off course is necessary in order to learn how to steer your direction a little better. 😉 I’ve always been a “seeker” and wanderer to some extent but I think deciphering one’s energy and determining where it should be is a very smart and admirable feat. I have a feeling you do that quite well. The following your bliss and trusting your gut at the same time… I think that’s when magic happens. It it SO nice to hear from you and I hope you and yours are wonderful. Thank you Sue.