Lesson 2 - Dharma & Right Living
Tao and dharma
Man follows the Earth. Earth follows the Universe.
The Universe follows the Tao. The Tao follows only itself.
There was something formless and perfect
before the Universe was born.
It is serene. Empty. Solitary. Unchanging. Infinite. Eternally present.
It is the mother of the universe.
For lack of a better name, I call it the Tao.
It flows through all things, inside and outside,
and returns to the origin of all things.
The Tao is great. The Universe is great. Earth is great. Man is great.
These are the four great powers.
Man follows the Earth. Earth follows the Universe.
The Universe follows the Tao.
The Tao follows only itself.
Tao Te Ching
Dharma and right living “what is that??
Dharma “ the eternal laws of righteousness that uphold the universal structure and the very existence of human beings?. When there is harmony with the divine workings of creation, problems will solve themselves. It is as simple as that “ and as difficult as that?.
Paramahansa Yogananda: A World in Transition p. 128
Yogananda has this commentary:
The cosmic order (rita) that upholds the universe is not different
from the moral order that rules man’s destiny
Paramahansa Yogananda: A World in Transition? p. 185
Law of justice
Fate, karma, destiny “ call it what you will “ there is a law of justice which somehow, but not by chance, determines our race, our physical structure and some of our mental and emotional traits. The important thing to realise is that while we may not escape our own basic pattern, we can work in conformity with it.
That is where free will comes in. We are free to choose and discriminate to the limits of our understanding, and. As we rightly exercise our power of choice, our understanding grows. Then, once having chosen, a man has to accept the consequences of his choice and go on from there.?
Paramahansa Yogananda: An Autobiography of a Yogi?
Here quoted from Stephen Arroyo: Astrology Karma & Transformation p.5
Weighing of the heart
The Afterlife - The Egyptians believed that to get to the afterlife they would have to pass through a dangerous place with perils such as monsters, boiling lakes, fires and particularly nasty snakes that spat out poison. These evils could be overcome by the right spells and the Egyptians often wrote down the spells on paper and left them in or near the coffin. If they overcame the evils they would reach the gates of Yaru (the Egyptian afterlife) and meet their friends again. But first they had to pass the greatest test of all in the Hall of Two Truths. This test involved weighing the heart, the only organ which had been left in the body. The heart was placed on one side of a balance and in the other side was placed the Feather of Truth: the Feather of Truth held all the lies and sins of their past life. The 3 great gods, Osiris, Anubis and Thoth, decided the result of the weighing. If the heart passed the test then the dead person was allowed to enter the gates of Yaru but if the heart failed the test then it was eaten by a terrifying monster known as the devourer. The devourer was part crocodile, part hippopotamus and part lion and once it had eaten a heart the dead person was gone for ever.
Where does dharma originate from?
Yogananda says: Stars and planets, like your own body, are manifestations of spiritual realities that you can discover on deeper levels of your own inner being. The very physical universe is but symbol of those higher realities
For most of us this does not make sense, maybe in meditations we have felt something like it, nevertheless the majesty and beauty of Cosmos stirs
Why does a feeling of grandeur, of reverent awe come over us when we look into the starry heavens??
It is because without our knowing it, the feeling our soul™s home awakens in us.
The feeling awakens: Before you came down to earth to a new reincarnation you yourself were in those stars, and out of the stars have come the highest forces that are within you, your moral law was imparted to you when you were dwelling in this world of stars. When you practice self-knowledge you behold what the starry heaven bestowed upon you between death and a new birth - the best and finest powers of your soul.
What we behold in the starry heavens is the moral law that is given us from the spiritual worlds, for between death and a new birth we live in these starry heavens?.
Steiner: Life between Death and Rebirth? 1912?
Kriyananda quotes Yogananda for saying: You are spirit.
The very universe, vast as it is, is inferior to your soul’s majesty. Stars and planets, like your own body, are manifestations of spiritual realities that you can discover on deeper levels of your own inner being. The very physical universe is but symbol of those higher realities; it is the lesser always that symbolises the greater, never the reverse. Since those realities can be realised only in the Self, it is not wrong to say that the universe is the outer symbol of man’s inner world.?
Kriyananda: Lessons in Yoga, l4 steps to higher awareness. p. 467 & 499:
A complete zodiac is found in the spinal cord
Each of the [6 chakras, the Crown chakra is not included] has an anterior and a posterior pole so that we have twelve localised points, six on the front side and six on the back, in an ascending and descending order. These twelve localisations are directly related to the twelve signs in the zodiac. Therefore, one can say that a complete zodiac is found in the spinal cord of every individual.
In the same way, there exists a relationship between the seven principal planets of the solar system, the Sun, the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and the seven chakras.
In concrete terms, according to the hour and place of birth, the planets hold a particular position in the sky. They reflect their influence upon each of us in a specific manner which has effect in our chakras and centres of energy.?
Swami Shankarananda Giri,Kriya Yoga Darshan
Individuation is a moral decision
The development of the personality is at once a blessing and a curse. We must pay dearly for it, and the price is isolation and loneliness:
It™s first fruit is the conscious and unavoidable segregation of the single individual from the undifferentiated and unconscious herd?
But to stand alone is not enough, above all one must be faithful to ones own law:
Only the man who can consciously assent to the power of the inner voice becomes a personality?
-And only a personality can find a proper place in the collectivity; only personalities have the power to create a community, that is, to become integral parts of a human group and not merely a number in the mass. For the mass is only a sum of individuals, and can never, like a community, become a living organism that receives and bestows life.
[…] Thus self-realization, both in the individual and in the extrapersonal, collective sense, becomes a moral decision, and it is this moral decision which lends force to the process of self-fulfilment that Jung calls individuation.?
Integrity: Coming from one’s own mind, not from patches of other’s minds
Ability to maintain ones own standpoint without loosing respect for other standpoints
Grounding and integrity - Psychologically speaking
That the individual is able to be present and partake in everyday life with its duties and joys.
Ungrounded “ Psychologically speaking
Inability able to be present and partake in everyday life
Grounding and integrity “ Spiritually speaking
Openness for the higher with the integrity of the mind intact
Ungrounded Spiritually speaking
Do as you please and lament the consequences
Spiritual and or psychological ungroundedness will also show up as physical ungroundedness, cold feet or hands, lack of balance.
Here from Counselling Skills and Basic Psychology
Dharma as a tool to reach God
This path does not hold any attachment to experiences,
Just to please God “ our higher self, our inner conscience,
our love for truth.
Grace or disaster,
How grounded do you want to be?
Each of us cultivates a karmic state, which is an exact reflection of the distance we have created between our existence and our Being; between illusion and truth.
Dr. Stylianos Atteshlis "The esoteric Teachings
Dharma as a tool to reach God
An approach to self development that is radically different from the therapeutic tradition is that of Dharma.
Therapy is based on strengthening and balancing the ego, ultimately working with projection, but with the object of work determined by of the client’ choice, via intellect, emotions, dreams, body-language, aura etc. Working from the perspective of dharma, we go the other way “ regardless if I know I have a problem, regardless if I consider it important, my distance to dharma will tell about my distance to my higher Self or God; if we act in accordance with right living, if our lives please God, our higher Self, our deepest sense of ethics, we will have contentment. (Do not confuse this to mean that things are nice and easy).
If on top of this our previous karma is not in the way,
We will live a good life.
All our miseries are a result of transgressions against Dharma from this or another lifetime. If we therefore, faced with life as it is, have the integrity, flexibility and strength that some years of self development can give, maybe a next step would be to ask
If I mirror my life in key words of Dharma, How is the score??
If we look honestly, we are likely to see, that in particular areas our deeds are some distance from Right living?. Seeing this, we know where to start working, if we want to live a spiritual life, if we want to please our higher Self or God, and if we want to get beyond the challenges the distance? creates.
Dharma as a tool in therapy
A way of using the concept of Dharma as a tool in therapy would start, together with the client, to determine which spiritual tradition to work from.
Many religions have all their own beautiful and deep set of key words of Dharma.
We will cover some important descriptions of dharma,
Patanjali’s Sutras; Sermon on the Mount;, Islam’s 5 pillars of faith;
Buddhist’s eightfold way.
Having determined the tradition, seek the specific keywords on Dharma or Right living from that tradition.
A possible next step could be:
From meditations, dreams, feed back from friends, gauge “ how are you conducting your life?
Remember to include your thoughts about the world
And about yourself, including ego-mantras?.
Contemplate the Dharma description you have chosen.
Where is there a discrepancy between the way you conduct your life and the key words from your chosen Dharma-description?
Whatever you realise in this process, face it, write it down.
The alchemical approach (The hermetic vessel) may be a good form of contemplation: Have your awareness on your spine, maintain this awareness, while you at the same time hold your awareness alternatively on the Dharma-key-word and the observation on your life.
This may be too difficult, or simply not the right approach, normal counselling, hot chair etc can be of immense value here.