Uncover Your Soul’s Purpose: What is Life’s Intelligence?

Via Chanti Tacoronte-Perez
on Nov 19, 2011
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Chapter 4: Dharma ~ A Tree Bends Toward Light
Rod Stryker’s Four Desires (4D) Virtual Book Club

A Single Tree on the Chicago Lakefront by Marlene Kelly

Get ready, Part II of the Four Desires is dedicated to dharma. We will do some writing exercises and start to uncover our souls’ purpose. Chapter 4 throughly describes dharma with eloquent ,awe-inspiring words, capturing the feeling of dharma. That feeling helped me later in the process of uncovering my personal dharma (dharma code).

This chapter begins with the beauty of how nature follows it’s purpose: “a honeybee, drawing nectar from a blossom, bats its wings at 11,400 times per minute; an ant will carry twenty times its weight to serve a colony.” Dharma is natural for animals.  But humans tend to complicate existence. If only understanding dharma were that easy; but at other times, I feel that it is that easy. We are, after all, complex animals.

So why look to nature to understand dharma? Because as much as we separate ourselves from nature, we are intrinsically part of it. These next few chapters will guide us though very specific exercises and practices that will teach us how to better listen and uncover our own direction.

“From the microscopic to the cosmic, our world is a vibrant place, but it is shaped by more than sheer force. It is under the constant care and guidance of a kind of intelligence or order. Thus a tree bends toward light–always.”

But why, you ask? Dharma.

“The root of dharma is dri, which means “to support” or “to hold up.” What we are uncovering is what supports us to carry out our unique purpose. Joseph Campbell said that if “you follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track, which has been there all the while waiting for you.” I remember at an Yoga of Fulfillment workshop that I attended, Rod adding a bit of needed Earth consciousness to Campbell’s statement by asking, “How can we achieve our individual happiness while simultaneously having a positive impact on the world of which we are a part?”

If dharma is that intelligence that supports the world, than our discovery of our personal dharma is that which will support our time here on this planet. Because dharma will influence all other desires, we start with it first.

Here we go venturing out (and in) to uncover or discover our souls’ purpose. Be prepared, it could be a bumpy ride or smooth sailing. Those of us who have been practicing these teachings for a while could attest that “the more we understand and embody this force or intelligence, the more capable we will become and the more our lives will reflect the fullness of dharma’s endless power and capacity. Thus we seek it out in countless ways.”


Like the tree that bends towards light as part of its dharma, what do you bend towards as part of yours?

Next weeks reading: Chapter 5 ~ Understanding Your Mighty Purpose


Read The Four Desires book review on Elephant Journal.
Read other discussions about The Four Desires
Instructions: How the book club works


About Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

As a traveler and painter Chanti has grounded her roots in the path of yoga wherever she has landed. Chanti began practicing Yoga during her first year in college & continued when she left for Hampshire College to complete her BA in Painting/Fine Arts and Special Education. From 2001-2004 she lived and worked in Havana, Cuba as the Hampshire College Cuba Program Coordinator where she studied Iyengar Yoga. Chanti has been studying and teaching yoga in the Tantric Hatha Linage since 2005 with her teacher Rod Stryker, founder of Para Yoga. He has taught her that everyone has the ability to know their destination and find that road to walk on. She has currently completed the Para Yoga Certification (level I) & her Restorative Yoga training with Judith Handson Lasater. Her study of Sacred Art and Yantra Painting merge her love of Yoga with her passion for painting and education. http://www.ohanashakti.com


19 Responses to “Uncover Your Soul’s Purpose: What is Life’s Intelligence?”

  1. Nancy Long says:

    I studied with Rod for over seven years. This is an amazing process! How wonderful that you are writing this discussion series! I hope to be more involved in your discussions. Namaste!

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I LOVE these reviews. Love them.

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  3. Chanti says:

    Hi Nancy,
    THanks for joining us! Did you get the book yet? Let us know your thought, would love to have you here and part of our discussions.

  4. Chanti says:

    Thanks so much Tanya!

  5. Bill Eldredge says:

    This. for me, is where 'it' all begins. This is the chapter in which you start to see the road ahead, your path. I have wondered forever (feels that way!) what my unique purpose was, and with this book I am far closer to the answers, and far more comfortable with myself, than at anytime in my 46 years. Thank you Rod, for this book, and to Chanti for this ongoing, powerful, discussion!

  6. Chanti says:

    Bill you are so right!!! This is really the beginning. THanks so much for sharing, and hope to see you more on our discussions.

  7. trapsas1 says:

    Nice post Chanti, as you point out the key is to find a way to tap into this intelligent source. I've used the gamut, from prayer to meditation to contemplation, but look forward to picking up "Four Desires" for some fresh insights. Thanks. ~Tom Rapsas

  8. Chanti says:

    Welcome Tome. Looking forward to hearing about what you think about the Four Desires.

  9. Paula says:

    I bend towards self-understanding, with hopes that it will allow me to help others in this process. In coming to know and accept myself, I become more able to let my own light shine forth. Oftentimes I am crippled by fear and self-doubt, but having a clear Dharma code that is independent of circumstances always helps me get back on track. The meditation CD that I just received is really helping also.

    At times it is hard to be in the world (work, etc.) with this commitment to the internal process, but I keep reminding myself that it is all one, internal and external it is all part of it. So for today I hope to be able to share my light with others, connecting and recentering myself in my Dharma code no matter what is happening.

    Lots of love,

  10. Bill Eldredge says:

    Paula, if I may be so bold, I think you have it just right. You are looking for answers but have rational concerns about getting there. I firmly believe you are doing the right thing. I am certain that if you put the time into yourself that this process takes, you will be richly rewarded. Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who has not yet finished the book and its exercises! All the best to you on your journey.

  11. missmiapark says:

    bill, what a great post, thanks for this. i agree, here in the book is where the real work begins. let's strap in for the journey.

  12. […] Chapter 4: Dharma ~ A Tree Bends Toward Light Uncover Your Soul’s Purpose: What is Life’s Intelligence? […]

  13. Chanti says:

    Thanks for your comment. I have to agree that it is all one 🙂

  14. Chanti says:

    Love it Mia. mean-n-lean!!!!!

  15. garuda65 says:

    I lean towards love. I didn’t always and don’t always now. Sometimes I peep at it from behind hands that cover my eyes and guard my heart. I’m that person that cries at just about any authentic expression of love. I cry at most movies, totally sucked into the drama of love. The English Patient, The Joy Luck Club & Titanic involved wodges of tissue. Now I marvel at acts of love seen at parks or grocery stores, between mothers and children, boyfriends and girlfriends or just good friends. I’m touched and that's what I’m trying to translate into my own life. It’s all kind of new for me because I didn’t come from an environment that fostered outward displays of affection. Yet another reason I’m loving the Four Desires because it’s helping me get needs met both external and internal.

  16. […] invites us to hear the voice of dharma, to feel complete, and to access inspiration. Through meditation, we experience contentment […]

  17. […] Its sole (soul) purpose is to transform and manifest divine energy into the material domain. It is the link between our eternal spirit and the physical body. It is the driver of our daily life. […]