A common fear that resides deep in the core of the soul of many individuals is that they will come to the end of their lives not believing that they have fully lived…That they allowed what was most alive in them never to be expressed and shared with the world.
All too frequently, people are busy “surviving”, therefore, the task of keeping a roof over their heads, putting food on the table, keeping the lights on, and/or providing health coverage for themselves and family members consumes every waking moment leaving no time or energy to focus on living a life of meaning and purpose. Can you relate?
Thomas Merton, Trappist monk and mystic, professed, “What you fear is an indication of what you seek.” Here, Merton invites you to explore your greatest fears in order to glean from it the gem it holds for you; that which needs to be released and that which is seeking expression in your life. So, if one dives into the fear of the conflict presented between the choice of survival and living one’s dreams, one can uncover what is energy draining and needs to be relinquished and what needs to be animated in thought, belief, emotion, and action.
Stephen Cope, author of The Great Work of Your Life, reveals in the introduction, “I am afraid that I will die without having fully lived…That I may be missing some magnificent possibility. That perhaps I have not risked enough to find it. That maybe I’ve lived too safe a life.”
Cope, heeds Merton’s advice and dedicates The Great Work of Your Life to taking a deep dive into his fear. Cope’s book is a masterpiece of his seeking and living into what it means to come home to oneself and live a life of meaning and purpose. He does this by studying the great works and lives of “ordinary” people and those of great mystics and luminaries who wrote about and demonstrated fulfilment of purpose. He also does a deep dive into sacred texts, such as, the Gospel of Thomas and the Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita is a 2,000-year-old Hindu Scripture that contains the world’s greatest teaching on dharma, one’s sacred purpose.
Over the next eight weeks, I invite you to explore the four pillars of dharma that revolve around the discernment of dharma and the difficulties of uncovering one’s dharma and living one’s dharma during a Sunday 10:30 a.m. talk series at Unity by the Shore.
As we begin to embark on this series let us take a closer look at the meaning of dharma. Dharma is defined as one’s sacred calling or vocation, or sacred duty. One’s sacred duty is to bring forth what is most alive in himself/herself in service to others. How one fulfills it can vary throughout one’s life. I leave you with this question, “What is an innate gift within you that is seeking expression and in doing so will bless the world?
Your love offering is greatly appreciated.
Talk originally given on January 13, 2019