All you need is Dharma is all you need
Brad made an interesting post over at Hardcore Zen, in which he stated, "the word Dharma is getting so over-used, it's become almost worthless anymore."
As an aside, he wrote the post "off the cuff" and I really liked the sponteneity of the resulting content, so I'm doing the same - that is, not preparing content in advance and then editing, and not really thinking about the result, but just letting the thoughts flow.
I would agree with Brad that it is useless in a pop culture context, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water! "Dharma" is really a wonderful, interesting, powerful word, and we can gain much insight into the Buddhist view/path by just looking at the meaning of the word itself.
"Dharma" is Sanscrit. In Pali, it is "Dhamma." The word has various different meanings in various traditions and contexts, but here are a few:
- Natural Law, or like Brad points out, "The Rule of the Universe"
- Process, or Method
- the way things work / the way it is
- the Tao (okay, I threw that one in as my own association)
- The teachings of the Buddha... and the Buddha himself!
Break it down, reassemble, and look at the relationships... Far from worthless, 'tis a thing of beauty!