Balancing Dharma and Life

The full moon sent out quite a ruckus last night–or, rather, the filling moon–it won’t be technically at its exact fullness until 9:06 p.m. CDT, so if you were up in the night, as I was last night, you may be facing another restless night tonight. I got out of bed and read with a cup of chamomile tea at my side.

The full moon is always about balance: the moon on one side of the earth, the sun on the other. Balance. We all know what that is. Finding and keeping balance is the challenge in the midst of all our personal as well as societal and global changes. Many people don’t like change, but when it’s coming at us from all sides, about all we can do is learn to dance the waves. But whether we like change or not, that’s what we’re called to in our actions, reactions, involvements, and tasks.

We’re all pretty familiar with the word dharma, and most of us who are familiar with the word have a general understanding of what it means. I needed to look it up to see the definition beyond my general understanding.

The things is, there’s no definite, final definition. It’s the “cosmic order of things,” and “the way things are” and it has a moral foundation–how one lives life in accordance with the way things are.

In other words, it ain’t simple! The cosmos isn’t a simple place, let alone our little speck of Earth, our nation, our society, ourselves. Nothing is simple in the grand scheme of things–except it can be if we remember to dance the waves. Well, maybe not simple, but we can more easily stay in balance.

To live one’s dharma, then, is to practice being in balance with the complexities of living. When you think about it, there’s really not much we can affect in a big way: yes, we can avoid going further into debt; yes, we can help others who are struggling; yes, we can vote (sometimes it’s a wonder whether that has much effect!); and we can write letters or in some way call out injustice when we see it.

But I would posit that the most important thing we can do is stay in balance and dance the waves. And float on our collective backs when the waves get too high.

We’re all juggling too many things these days. Practicing a time to stop, to pause and regroup in order to re-think our responses, may be the most critical lesson we need to grasp. And the full moon is a perfect time to practice.

Even the cosmos gets into balance once in a while–or at least the sun and moon do, even if everything is whanging off somewhere to the side. Spend some time on your dance steps today; find your balance and breathe.

And let me know how you’re doing with the whole do-se-do!