According to About Dharma.org, “Dharma” means “protection”. By practicing Buddha’s teachings we protect our self from suffering and problems. All the problems we experience during daily life originate in ignorance, and the method for eliminating ignorance is to practice Dharma.
That seems to say a lot and nothing specifically. But here's what I get out of the concept of Dharma. To align with your Dharma - your higher self on the perfect path - you must live your truth. Stop fighting against your soul and the flow of the Universe (which is always present and there to protect and serve if you let it) and to get into the Stream of Life (that's Life with a capital L, the true Life we are each meant to live and fully embody, not the life we often find ourselves stuck in that bogs us down, zaps our energy and makes us sick and miserable). You must live a life of Ahimsa (non-harm), to both yourself and all other beings, and bask daily in the glow of Buddha-the Universe-God.
A big part of Dharma is the teaching that we should put others above ourselves, to stop self serving nonsense and to embrace others as ourselves. For me, I view this concept as to consider yourself a part of the whole, to remember how we - all life - are connected; what we do to others we do to ourselves. So it's not so much about not caring for yourself and always putting others first - individually we are each part of the whole, that "whole" that we should love, care for, and protect. By loving, caring for, and treating with kindness all others (whether, human, animal or plant - the very Earth Herself) we are by default also treating ourselves in such a way.
I don't think I've been living my Dharma very well the past 10 years or so. I've treated both myself and others poorly. I've lost myself somewhere along the way and much of what and who I've cared about and loved so deeply. A dark cloud has descended on me and I've stepped out of the flow of the Universe and got stuck in the muck and mire of this self-created personal reality that I'm very unhappy with. Instead of seeing any beauty in the world, I see only darkness and sadness. My physical health has declined and my mental state is poor. I'm so very tired and sad. My life has been a series of one step forwards and 100 steps back. I am fractured, a million pieces broken apart and flying through space, disconnected and uninspired. So here I am, one last time, trying a new way.
This blog is going to be my chronicle of the next year in which I attempt to get back to living Dharma and manifest the life I truly want. Once and for all. So here I lay out all I want and intend to - WILL - manifest over the course of the next year.
And so it begins. Starting right now, my life is changed.
Here's me, no makeup, hair still wet, first thing in the morning at the office. It was so difficult for me to even smile. But I wanted a snap shot of me to capture the moment I started over and begin to manifest a new life as I walk the dharma path.