#765 Your Idiosyncratic Dharma

Honoring Our Sacred Duty (Yours?)

In our last couple +1s, we’ve had fun exploring some wisdom gems from my recent PhilosophersNotes binge-athon.

Today we’re going to talk about another great Idea from another great Note. This one’s on Stephen Cope’s The Great Work of Your Life.

Quick context: Stephen is the director of the Kripalu Institute for Extraordinary Living. Kripalu is the largest yoga research institute in the Western world. (And being the director of “Extraordinary Living” may be the coolest job title ever, eh?)

As the Senior Scholar in Residence at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, he has been integrating Eastern contemplative traditions and Western philosophy and psychology for years.

In his great book, Stephen brings the wisdom of the Bhagavad Gita to life in our modern lives.

One of the big themes of the book is the idea of dharma.

He tells us: “The yoga tradition is very, very interested in the idea of an inner possibility harbored within every human soul. Yogis insist that every single human being has a unique vocation. They call this dharma. Dharma is a potent Sanskrit word that is packed tight with meaning, like one of those little sponge animals that expands to six times its original size when you add water. Dharma means, variously, ‘path,’ ‘teaching,’ or ‘law.’ For our purposes in this book it will mean primarily, ‘vocation,’ or ‘sacred duty.’ It means, most of all—and in all cases—truth. Yogis believe that our greatest responsibility in life is to this inner possibility—this dharma—and they believe that every human being’s duty is to utterly, fully, and completely embody his own idiosyncratic dharma…”


I just LOVE that word.

And, I love the idea that “every single human being has a unique vocation” and that “every human being’s duty is to utterly, fully, and completely embody his own idiosyncratic dharma.”

That’s Today’s +1.

What’s YOUR idiosyncratic dharma?

Here’s to honoring our sacred duty as we give the world all we’ve got.

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