Dharma: Look Before You Leap

The question of the day in the afternoon seminar I attended at the SYTAR (Symposium on Yoga Therapy and Research) conference in Asilomar, Pacific Grove, California was, “how do we know the difference between dharma and wishful thinking?”  In Hinduism dharma refers to our personal obligations, callings and duties.  And wishful thinking?   Wishful thinking is…well…just that.

You’d think the answer would be pretty straightforward.  In fact when I sent the question via text to the friend I go to with all conundrums of the metaphysical sort his reply was  “If you have to ask…”

I suppose he’s right.  I shouldn’t have to ask.  I should know.

But here’s the thing:  how many times have I been swept up by an idea or an intention or a goal that I was convinced was my path?  My destiny. The reason for my existence.

And for a few weeks it is.  Until it isn’t.

So you can see why I’m a little hesitant to trust my instincts.

Then again, I’m one of those people who might on occasion leap before looking.  But when it comes to dharma blind leaping may not be such a good thing.

My friend has a point.  We probably shouldn’t have to ask if what we’re feeling is dharma calling or wishful thinking.  Instead of asking and then desperately grasping at any answer, perhaps it’s simple stillness that’s required.  A moment’s silence.  The space to meditate with a quiet spirit and a calm heart.  When we can temporarily vanquish the turbulence of life only then will we find the clarity to look our dharma in the eye.