How do you Live your Four Desires?

Via Chanti Tacoronte-Perez
on Dec 3, 2011
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Rod Stryker’s Four Desires (4D) Virtual Book Club
Chapter 6

It still amazes me how writing about yourself teaches you so much and allows you to go so deep (if you really want to).
Rod structures the Dharma Code chapter in such a clear manner that when I first read it, I thought, “this is an easy step by-step approach, no biggie.” But of course, it’s a biggie! Your Dharma Code is the expression of your soul’s purpose.

The process of writing a Dharma Code starts with imagining your best possible life. This is something some of us could spend years imagining (but never doing). For others it seems unreachable, so why even try? Understanding our Dharma Code will open us up to the endless potential held captive by our self imposed restrictions. The following is a process towards unlocking your Dharma Code and as a result, enjoying your best possible life.

The next step in the Dharma Code process asks us to write about that life in the voice of those closest to us. We must look at it from the perspective of the four desires: dharma, artha, kama and moksha. For me, this step made that imaginative life flourish in my mind. I felt like this life was a possibility.

The point is these exercises are really life changing but we need to allow ourselves to speak as honestly as we can. Some of those honest words used in the short stories you create are key in formulating your actual Dharma Code.

“Reading your Dharma Code out loud to someone and getting his or her input on its clarity can be a powerful step to arriving at your final Dharma Code.”

I couldn’t agree more. The best part of this process for me was the group of yogis that were available to listen to my whole list (and it was long) of the “words and phrases that were most compelling” and to listen and dialogue about my Dharma Code. They didn’t just agree, they challenged me to really choose words that made this Dharma Code a true call to action. One of my Super Yogi pals said “it should have an edge.” This statement resonated with me, and I gave it a little edge, for myself.

Notice I didn’t share my Dharma Code with you in this post; I want to remind everyone that in the early stages of your Dharma Code uncovering, this is something you should share with people who are close and can listen with loving constructive criticism. When it starts to become clear, you just live it.

I will leave you with Swami Satyananda Saraswati’s Dharma Code: “To serve, to love, to give.”

There will never be a storm
That can wash the path from my feet,
The direction from my heart,
The light from my eyes,
Or the purpose from this life.
I know that I am untouchable to the force
As long as I have a direction,and aim, a goal:
To serve, to love and to give.
Strength lies in the magnification of the secret qualities
Of my own personality, my own character
And though I am only a messenger,
I am me.
~ Swami Satyananda Saraswati
This week, let’s dialogue about the process of writing these observations that discuss each of your four desires.  For now, we will focus on these observations and leave the Dharma Code for later.How did this process make you feel?Which desire did you like or dislike writing about?


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.


20 Responses to “How do you Live your Four Desires?”

  1. Tanja says:

    First of all, thank you Chanti, for all the wonderful work and sharing you do here! I have only been a transient tourist in this book club so far due to, well, you know the usual demands of life… but what I have seen I have loved and resonated with. I just felt compelled to respond to something you wrote – I have read the book and worked through the process, however, got a little stuck with my sankalpa and my dharma code, so what you wrote about your dharma code needing "an edge" really hit home. My dharma code, in process, has been quite general, too non-specific perhaps – so thank you for re-inspiring me to go back over my notes and thoughts to re-discover that edge!
    I hope to be able to pop back soon, in the meantime much love and light, Tanja

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    Yoga Demystified
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  3. This was such a pleasure to read – so clearly & beautifully written. I've been teaching a course called Writing Your Practice, which is a writing course designed for yogis (, so your article really resonated with me. Anytime we put something into words, it takes shape in the world – it manifests SOMETHING. The more we do it, the more our inner desires & our outer reality connect. Like you, I am amazed at how much writing continually teaches me about myself. It makes me a better person as a result. Thanks!!!

  4. The|Globe|Less|Traveled says:

    Thank you for sharing, Chanti! You have informed me and inspired me to undertake this practice 🙂 – Jim

  5. Amy W. says:

    When I did the four exercises they poured out of me. I was amazed at what was written down. There had been some uncomfortable words between my sister and me, and when I wrote the Dharma testimonial from her prospective, I was amazed that I actually saw things from her point of view. It took her words (that I thought were negative) and put a different spin on them. Only then was I able to let go of the resentment I was holding on to.

  6. Paula says:

    I was really intrigued not only by what came out (very different than what I thought, particularly Dharma), but also by whom I choose to write about it. For Dharma, it ended up being my boss that I disliked! Hearing her talk about me gave me such insight not only on my path but also on seeing that the things I disliked about her I hadn't yet accepted in me. Coming to see her as someone who is imperfect but also has a lot of experience and insights has made me accept her more, and working with her has become much easier. I loved writing about Moksha as this is something that has been so important to me, in the words of my yet unborn daughter, another surprising one. What a process!

    Lots of love,

  7. Amy W. says:

    It's amazing what happens when we write in another's perspective. It seems we cannot get to peace in our head, but when we write through our unconscious and heart, we get the truth.

  8. Chanti says:

    Hi Tanja, You are welcome, that is what really did it for me too, not to mention my super yogi readers who listen to every thing i say and know where a comma should go to make the statement even more powerful. If you have someone that would be willing to listen, it is really worth it.

  9. Chanti says:

    Thanks for sharing Susanna. Words don't come easily to me, so when they feel right, at least for me i believe they are strong.

    PS sounds like a great course!

  10. Chanti says:

    Blessings Jim,
    It's truly a wonderful space to be in.

  11. Chanti says:

    That sounds like powerful divinity!

  12. Chanti says:

    Wow! I love hearing about all these negatives turning into positive. I am mostly aware that we are human and hence, we act like one. But I have to say there is a lot of subtle Self pouring out when we are able to see something that may bring us suffering and accept it or see it for what it is (and not be compelled to follow the cycle of Karma or action towards it). Thanks so much for sharing this process!

  13. Chanti says:

    Thank you all for contributing! It really sound like everyone is working though and really learning about themselves. This is such an important part of transformation. We usually think as yogis we need to transform our physical body, which is one doorway; these other doorways of transformation are hard to "see" but if you start to cultivate the feeling of what these transformations are offering you, you may notice a little more happiness in your life. You will be less bothered by what some one says or does, and it allows you to be more compassion and to feel empathy.
    Abrazos & Aloha to all,

  14. Chanti says:

    I hear you sister. Should we capitalize artha to make it more powerful? Ha!

  15. Chanti says:

    Thanks Bob!! ALWAYAS

  16. sueneufeld says:

    Love all these posts. When I began this process, Dharma was calling out to me, and Moksha was in the uncomfortable background. Over time, Moksha stepped up loud and clear- and yes, insistent. Dharma is still present, its how I live my life and make my decisions. Moksha is now a beautiful gift. I follow my Dharma by living with Moksha – and yes, for me, the daily key is meditation. I daily have the choice whether to drop into a place that's whole, complete and filled with Sri (beauty and resplendence) or to get caught up in the ups and downs of life without a life preserver. For me, it's a no brainer!

  17. […] Chapter 6: What is Your Dharma Code? How Do You Live YOUR Four Desires? […]

  18. […] this way, when you’re self-empowered in your own life’s dharma, it’s easy to attract support. You relate to the “other” as you relate to […]

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