At its most basic, dharma is to live a decent life.  As a practice, following the principles of dharma leads you deeper into the nature of being human and exploring pathways that connect to spiritual understanding.

When we are immersed in an activity with a focused mind, flowing with the actions or process of the activity itself, we are ‘in the dharma’.

Like physical laws, dharma endures as an inseparable aspect of the universe. It is the law of all creation, from which emanates all physical, moral and metaphysical order.

Dharma is an essential component of the lifestyle of harmony with the spiritual energy of the universe. It’s about making informed choices and acting with intention and awareness.

Following the dharma or living in the dharma is a dynamic process. Mistakes happen, life evolves, pathways change, but connection to the heart and the spiritual self can always stay constant when we want to make that connection.

Here are a few guidelines for living in the dharma.

* Investigate your inner world.

Spend time in contemplation and meditation to explore what you  think and how you feel.

* Balance inner and outer lives.

If you have a busy outer life, consider spending more time looking inward. Likewise, if you tend to spend a lot of time looking inward, consider becoming more active.

* Check your intention.

It never hurts to take a look at your intention in order to identify your true motivation in what you do and what you say.

* Offer others good will and respect.

Wishing others well acknowledges your connection to your own higher self and respect for that same connection in each other person.

* Read books of wisdom.

Rather than allowing your mind to focus on daily events, consider reflecting on contemplations about the nature of spirituality.

* Stay true to yourself.

In making decisions, choosing career paths, partners or even everyday activities, we are sometimes inundated with advice or pressure. Ask yourself: how does it feel? Deep personal reflection helps you align yourself to the truth within.

* Be here and now.

The more present you are, the more your life resonates with spiritual energy. Being present also offers opportunities to absorb information, weigh the possibilities and make good choices.

* Stay real.

It’s the nature of the mind to create ‘what-if’ scenarios as fantasies or worry.  Rather than how it could be or should have been, look at how life actually is.

* Deepen your wisdom.

In what ways can your cultivate mindfulness, deepen compassion, improve communication and tap into your inner wisdom? Observe yourself, reflect on your true nature, use your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses.

(Australian Yoga Life, Issue 17, 2007)

“Dharma of the sun is to shine… Dharma of the river is to flow… Dharma of human beings is to uphold that which is true to our higher nature, our life purpose.”