No Mat Required - Part 2Jun 01, 2022
Every Spring for several years now, one of the trees in our front yard becomes home to a family of Turtle Doves.
Every morning, without fail these days, I watch from the window as the adult birds fly down from the tree to find food for their hatchlings, and then fly back up to deliver it to them. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth they go, so resolutely fulfilling their responsibility as parents to feed and nurture their babies.
To me, this is a great lesson about the power of dharma.
Dharma is a Sanskrit word that means sacred duty or righteous action. It is the principle that each of us, and everything in nature, has specific and essential roles to play in upholding and contributing to the harmony of the whole.
Last week, I wrote about expanding your ideas of what yoga practice looks like so you can stay connected to yoga even when formal practice is difficult. Seeing your actions through the lens of dharma is another powerful way to bring the spirit of yoga off the mat and into your daily life.
Whether you are parent taking care of your child, an adult child helping an elderly parent, a homeowner attending to the upkeep of your house, or whatever else your everyday tasks entail, they can become spiritually fulfilling when understood in the context of dharma.
You can recognize that even mundane activities are part of the roles and associated responsibilities you’ve been entrusted with at this time in your life. You become aware of how your actions contribute to larger picture of your life, the lives of your loved ones, and perhaps your community as well.
In the most expansive sense, you understand that all beings are part an interconnected web of existence and that we each have our specific roles to play as part of that. Therefore, our actions aren’t only for ourselves. They also impact, in some way, the harmony of the whole.
You can try this out today with whatever you have on your to-do list. See how the perspective of dharma can infuse your daily actions with a sense of meaningful connection and deeper purpose, elevating the ordinary to the realm of the sacred.