Shared Dharma

Throughout our lives we find ourselves with different roles and responsibilities. Dharma, a Sanskrit word with many meanings often refers to these roles and the duties they involve. Our first dharma is to maintain our own health and well-being and to care for our families. Lately I’ve been reflecting on another dharma we all share, social dharma, our responsibilities to society and the world. This may move us to become activists,volunteer our time caring for an individual in need, recycling our trash or simply bending down to pick up litter on our daily walk. In fact, by paying for products or services from others, we are contributing to the economic dharma of our society.

Discovering our responsibility to society requires more of an effort and may take us out of our comfort zone. It is easy to be insular and to only focus on our own needs to the exclusion of everything else. When the needs of self and family are met, only then can we begin to explore social justice issues or find a cause that we can take on in our community. When we do this selflessly, it offers an opportunity to share the teaching of dharma and inspire others to do the same. This truly then becomes “Yoga in action”.

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