There is not a liberal America and a conservative America – there is the United States of America. There is not a black America and a white America and latino America and asian America – there’s the United States of America.
Even if you know by heart all 84,000 teachings of the Buddha,all the sutras and tantras, the hundreds of volumes of the Buddhistcanon, and can explain and teach it all, if in your daily life youdon’t protect your mind from the delusions, the disturbing,obscuring thoughts, you’re not practicing Dharma. Why? Becausethe definition of Dharma is that which is a remedy for delusion,like medicine is a remedy for sickness. For your actions to becomeDharma, they have to be an antidote to your delusions. Therefore,if you don’t protect your mind from delusion, if you constantlyallow your mind to be controlled by delusion, to be overwhelmedby delusion, if you become a slave to your delusions, to your realenemy—ignorance, anger, attachment and so forth—if you don’tpractice controlling your delusions, protecting your mind fromthem, freeing your mind from delusions, nothing you do becomesDharma; you never create the cause of happiness.
On the other hand, whenever in your everyday life there’s thedanger of delusion arising and you protect yourself from it, at thattime you are practicing Dharma. Whenever you free your mindfrom delusion, prevent even one delusion from arising andcontrolling or overwhelming you, at that time you are practicingactual Dharma.
–Making Life Meaningful (Lama Zopa Rinponche)
“Whatever may be the mode and measure of self-denial that God asks of us(and this is a matter that cannot really be decided without prayer andspiritual direction), all Christian asceticism is characterized bywholeness and by balance. Christ admits of no division. He who is notwith Jesus is against Him. There is no fellowship between light anddarkness, between the temple of God and idols. God asks us to give Himeverything.”
The Sanskrit term (Devanāgarī: धर्म) (Pali: Dhamma) signifies the underlying order in nature and life (human or other) considered to be in accord with that order. The word dharma is generally translated into English as’law’ and literally translates as ‘that which upholds or supports’ (from the root ‘Dhr’ – to hold), here referring to the order which makes the cosmos and the harmonious complexity of the natural world possible. As in the West, the concept of natural or divine law, has, throughout the history of Indian civilisation, governed ideas about the proper conduct of living. The symbol of the dharma – the wheel – is the central motif in the national flag of India.In its most frequent usage (in the sphere of morality and ethics) dharma means ‘right way of living’, ‘proper conduct’, ‘duty’ or ‘righteousness’. With respect to spirituality, dharma might be considered the Way of the Higher Truths. What is in the West called religion in India comes within the general purview of dharma. Thus the various Indian religions (sanatana dharma, Buddhadharma, Jain dharma etc.) are so many versions of Dharma — versions of what is considered to be ‘right’ or in truest accord with the deepest realities of nature.Each of the various Indian religions emphasize Dharma as the correct understanding of Nature (or God, as the origin of nature) in their teachings. In these traditions, beings that live in accordance with Dharma proceed more quickly toward Dharma Yukam, Moksha or Nirvana (personal liberation). Dharma also refers to the teachings and doctrines of the founders of these traditions, such as those of Gautama Buddha and Mahavira. In traditional Hindu society with its caste structure, Dharma constituted the religious and moral doctrine of the rights and duties of each individual. (see dharmasastra). Dharma in its universal meaning shares much in common with the way of Tao or Taoism.The antonym of dharma is adharma meaning unnatural or immoral.