Offer up your actions
The way how to switch from karma to dharma is selflessness. Whatever you want to do, whatever you like to do is called karma. If you do it in a selfless manner then you turn it into dharma. That means you are going to offer your life: your skills, your talents, your personality, your time. You offer it up to God or to humanity. You have to give it and you have to let go. That is called selflessness. You give it and you let go of the results.
Your karma will still happen, but you do not identify with it and you don’t withdraw from it because you have offered it up. That same action, that karmic action, will be transformed into dharma, into that right thing that will free you, fulfill your soul. That thing that you are looking for, the meaning of your life.
So if you have a skill, how do you turn it into dharma? You offer it up, that’s all. Offer it up without attachment, without control.
Find your Dharma
Lets say a person has a desire to have a child and cannot have a child. That is called karma, what you desire. So, how would a person turn karma into dharma, into their mission in life? Adopting is one way. Basically, taking care of children that are not your own.
The karma is wanting to have a child and without a child I suffer. So now, you turn it into a selfless love and be of service to children that are not your own. That means you don’t have control. Serve some kids that you cannot call your own and yet love like your own. At that time the selflessness happens, you work out the karma and it becomes your dharma to take care of children. The karma is fulfilled and you are happy at the same time.
Example of Dharma
Mahatma Ghandi was a lawyer. He was skilled as a lawyer. Then he offered this up. He still argued, he was still doing politics, but not for himself. So then he became a great soul. He used his political skill and community skill, he used it not for himself. Then he became fearless, then he attained greatness.
When you try to find things within yourself without the highest Self, you become the low self or the limited ego self that becomes narcissistic. You think of yourself. You become self-concerned. We always try very hard with our own ego. It doesn’t work.
If you want to find fulfillment of your ego, fine, you will get what you want, but your soul will not be happy. It cannot be. Ego surrenders to the soul, the Spirit. The soul cannot surrender to the ego. Even after some time, it doesn’t work.
That is why people have to take pills and drink themselves to death so that the soul will be muffled and the ego can win. It doesn’t work.
So, whatever you have to offer, offer it up selflessly without wanting anything in return.
Asking the right questions
Very often people ask the questions, “What is my mission?” or “What is my goal in life?” They feel they do not know their purpose and embark on a soul search mission to find it.
However, you will never find the purpose of your life by asking questions from the ego. You are trying to find the answer in the wrong place.
If you suffer, it is due to the karma of the past. Experiences or pressure to complete unwanted tasks bring suffering. If you continue to react in the same way you always have your suffering perpetuates.
Following what you like and avoiding dislikes is operating out of karma. So is reacting to experiences according to the habits of your mind. The ego’s point of view is always based on karma. Karma can never fulfill your soul and free you from the wheel of samsara, the birth and death and suffering.
Selflessness is the Key
We need to switch from operating out of karma to operating through dharma. When actions are done selflessly, then karma becomes dharma. Dharma is the universal law that seeks to bring all to a state of perfection. When we follow the flow of the Divine Will rather than the ego, we realize the purpose of the soul and fulfill our spiritual needs.
How can we move from karma to a way of living according to dharma, and from there to moksha, to liberation? Through selflessness.
Selflessness means you offer everything up to God, a higher power or humanity. You offer your skills, talents, personality and time. Now, if I offer myself but hold on to one half. Will that transform karma to dharma? No.
I have to offer it all and then let go. That is called selflessness. You give and let go of the results. Then karma will be transformed to dharma. Karma will still happen but you don’t identify with it anymore. Karmic action is transformed into dharma, or into right action which will free you and fulfill your soul.
This is what you have been looking for. This will bring meaning to your life. Selflessness allows you to experience joy.
Finding Your Dharma
If you have a skill how can you turn it into dharma? Let us take the example of poverty. You think, “ I am very poor and I am suffering through this karma.” Offer this poverty up to a higher power and work with the poor – with people who don’t have money, enough to eat or live in a slum.
By doing so you become rich. You find richness of the spirit because you work with suffering people. You understand poverty because you experienced and suffered firsthand. As you serve people your mind will change and your soul will become enriched. Simultaneously, you see your personal poverty very differently because its transcended. You become so rich and so happy.
Another example: Our karma may be an enthusiasm for life. Then we can serve those who are enthusiastic about life, for example children. Your enthusiasm for life can turn into spiritual joy.
Whatever is in your mind, serve so you can let go of the ego identification through selflessness. Then connect to your true self and free yourself from karma. This is the formula.