Last week I started back up with the How to Meditate series on the blog. I’m giving you a little insight into the deeper content of Yoga that we cover in my Yoga II course at CFCC. So, for the next four weeks we’ll be talking about Purusharthas or the Four Aims of Life. Some will translate this Sanskrit word to mean the soul’s purpose or the goals of human existence….so we’re going to take them one by one in meditation as they hold so much weight.
How do you have a successful, satisfying, and balanced existence in this world?
Our first signpost on this path to human fulfillment is Aredharma (more commonly referred to as Dharma) or our DUTY in life. This element of our study also refers to our ethics, our truth, and our responsibilities in life. This ties in nicely with our third chakra and our power to choose and to stand up for what we believe in…..but that’s a discussion for another day.The root of this practice of Dharma is to define what gives your life order and how you can serve yourself and society. Let’s consider Dharma as a calling in life….what are you called to do? For some of us this may be a clear calling of one position such as a doctor or a fireman. For others of us it may be more vague or you may find that you were called into more than one role.
When I was in first grade I had an kind and wise teacher named Mrs. Child. What a great name for a first grade teacher! Mrs. Child told my parents that I would be a teacher some day. For years I fought this notion. I didn’t want to be a teacher. At one point I wanted to be a nurse like my mother; a little later, a writer; later still the first woman to play in the NBA; and eventually I chose to pursue a degree in sport management. Where did I end up in life? As a teacher. I am a yoga teacher at a community college, a fitness presenter who teaches continuing education, a teacher in all of my jobs really….including my role as a mother.
This role of teacher and of mother (as I serve both) is partly determined by my place in society (I found a way to attend school), a result of my birth (I am an oldest child and I have always been a leader and organizer as well as a nurturer), my talents (I am bossy and verbal and a hands on learner, but also see things in a variety of ways so it makes it easier for me to explain and teach), and the choices I have made (eventually to be a teacher).
The way in which I serve myself and my community is a reflection of my truth that I should have been a teacher, my ethics (if you know me as a teacher you know that I have high standards, but also compassion), and my responsibilities (my children come first, but I don’t miss teaching if I can avoid it…..my students deserve the best of me each day as well). Each day I live my life as a teacher, a life long learner.
To discover your Dharma you may choose to meditate on any of the following questions:
- What is my role in the world?
- Which of my obligations feel right?
- When am I serving the best of me?
- Am I on a path to good and happiness?
Remember that Dharma is ultimately about making your life better while making the world a better place.
What is your calling?
How did you know?