Use this practice from Coral Brown to illuminate your faith, your purpose, and enhance your overall well-being.
START WITH my article on exploring the concepts of Shraddha and Dharma.
THEN TRY this exercise to discover your own shraddha and dharma.
4-Step Meditation to Identify Your Dharma
1. Ask yourself 3 questions.
Meditate on the following three questions:
1. What are my core beliefs?
2. What am I most passionate about?
3. What are my most valued virtues?
2. Take notes.
As you meditate, make a list of the feeling states that come to you, as well as the answers. This list can be linear or more of a circular mind map. How you write it doesn't matter.
3. Assess your answers
Once you feel complete, observe the list for a theme and answer the final question: When, where, and how often am I in the greatest alignment with my answers?
4. Write your “dharma statement.”
Combine your answers to formulate a dharma statement. Similar to a mission statement, your dharma statement is a filter through which you can pass situations of conflict. If it flows through the filter then, odds are, it is in alignment with your shraddha and is part of your dharma. If not, then maybe it is time to recalibrate and navigate in a different direction.
My Dharma Statement
I’ll tell you about my own dharma statement as an example. When I was 18 I got a tattoo on my ankle. I don’t know whether it was luck or wisdom that led me to choose a symbol that has more meaning to me than I even knew at the time. I very easily could have gotten a dolphin or cartoon character, but I chose an I Ching symbol, which stands for the process of desire, perseverance, and fulfillment. I have a more detailed dharma statement, but this tattoo serves as my reminder to stay on the path, the path that I knew was before me even as a naive 18-year-old philosophy student.
Here are my values and virtues from my meditations:
Truth, Compassion, Reverence, Commitment, Considerate, Ethical, Generous, Service, Respectful, Humility, Resilience, Perseverance, Mindful, Integrity, Loyal, Purposeful, Empathy, Faith
And here is my dharma statement, reflecting them:
I strive to mindfully live in alignment with my authentic self and to risk discomfort if it serves my personal evolution.
In dealings with others, I will act with integrity and goodwill. I will be graceful, fair, conscious and truthful.
I will tenaciously continue to develop my skills and use them with humble confidence to raise the collective consciousness toward healing, fortifying, and integrating body, mind, and spirit.
I will live what I love.
YOGA JOURNAL, DEC 2014