Dharmist in Progress

"Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." ~ Einstein

Labels, Schmabels

Well, folks, I’ve come to a conclusion.

I’m Hindu.

I’m not Hindu.

I also am/am not many other things.

I’m a very spiritual person, and believe things from many different religions to be true.  However, due to an inherent desire to find a label for myself (read: fit in), I found the one most suited to my beliefs and claimed it.

However, it’s not that simple for me.  And I’m okay with that.  I have to find my own special path, and it will take a lot of trial and error.

I’m keeping the blog title, of course, but I won’t necessarily refer to myself with specific terms anymore.  I am, definitely, a work in progress.


I also believe I may be an empath, but that’s a discussion for another day.


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Finding my Path?

Okay, so I know it’s pretty hit or miss how many or few of you are actually Hindu.

But, in case anyone who reads this does tread this path, I need help.

I’ve lost my way.

I’m still a vegetarian, and more and more a pacifist, but that’s it.

I’m not meditating or reading, or anything else.  I know that basically the entire point is that I make my own path, but I could really use a map or a street sign.

I’ve wandered off into the hardships of a full time job and everyday stress, and lost my spiritual way.

Any advice?


Project Conversion Book Out…and FREE!

So, if you follow my blog, you should know about Project Conversion.  Andrew inspired me to seek my own path, and I have his site listed on the sidebar —–>

Anywho, he wrote a book about his incredible spiritual journey!

Buy it for $14.99 here at Amazon


Download the Kindle version here for free until Midnight Eastern Time, February 6th!  You may or may not be able to convert Kindle books to other formats, I really wouldn’t know, as a Nook owner, so you should do some research or something.  Ahem.

So yeah, huge inspiration, buy his book.


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Twenty-one followers!

Hi there!


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Yoga + Candles = Happy

I joined a gym a few days ago, in hopes of getting more healthy.

I lost 40lbs last year, and my Fibromyalgia symptoms have decreased dramatically; so I’m hoping that building my muscles will help even more.

But what I’m really excited about is that Wednesday there’s yoga with candles and aromatherapy.

Not every Wednesday, unfortunately, but it’s still super exciting.

So, yay 🙂

Positive post!

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” ~ B.K.S. Iyengar


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Baby Steps

That new job feeling.  When everything that you do makes you feel like a bumbling idiot.  You’re taking in so much information at once that you find yourself unable to master any of the techniques.  During down time, you have no idea what you’re supposed to be doing, and follow your boss or trainer like a poor lost puppy.

You just feel…dumb.

I’ve been experiencing this in my new job for a few days now, and I’ve realized that this is exactly how I feel in my new religion, as well. The inability to recognize the things that I already know, the things I have yet to learn, and the unnecessary information getting in the way of everything.


For most of my life, I’ve found it confusing that people don’t understand the difference between stupidity and ignorance.  Yet, it’s suddenly apparent to me that I’m being a hypocrite.

Ignorance is a lack of knowledge.  It simply means that you have to learn more on the subject to fully understand it, whether you’re aware of that or not.

When I struggle at my new job, it’s not because I can’t do something, it’s that I don’t know how.  I have to remain aware of that and not become frustrated.  The same applies to my conversion.  I’m not going to magically wake up one day and find myself to be a yoga master fluent in Sanskrit.  This is going to take a lot of time and effort on my part, and I have to accept that.

I’m a perfectionist, with patience issues.

I have a very long road ahead of me.


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Wake Up in the Morning Feeling Like…

My alarm goes off at 6:00am.  One of two scenarios:

  • I get up, take a shower, get ready for work.
  • I roll over and go back to sleep, because I was only waking up early to do a bit of yoga and pray.

Now, wait a moment. Only getting up to pray?  Only getting up to meditate and try to become closer to Shiva?

No.  That is not how it works.  So why does it seem impossible to drag myself out of bed, even when I promise myself a nap afterward?

Why is work a higher priority than my soul?

Well, there is a simple answer.  Work gives me money for food.  Work gives me something to do.  Work allows me to support my family.

Work is selfless.  Worship is selfish.

No, not buying an $80 pair of shoes when you’re on a ramen noodle budget selfish.  Selfish in that the only person that it directly benefits is me.  I am not my top priority, and I never have been.  I feel guilty every month when I see the $43 automatically withdrawn from my bank account to pay for my Weight Watchers membership.  I was only able to talk myself into that membership by convincing myself that I needed to do it so that I would live longer and be with my family longer.

My self esteem issues and selflessness are deeply rooted within me.  I’m not saying that I am never selfish, but I have always been fussed at for spending Christmas or birthday money on other people.  I have always been there for my friends, even though they’re rarely there for me.  I even cook meat and vegetables that I don’t like for my fiance, because his happiness is such a high priority for me.

I am not submissive.  I never ask his permission to do things, and we discuss big purchases like two responsible adults.  Never would I consider either of us to be subservient.  He carries all of the groceries despite my protests, and I always cook.  It’s a partnership, not an ownership.

So, I can stand up for my own well-being with my fiance, but not with myself?

I have to ponder this subject more.  I am a priority, and I need to make myself aware of that fact.


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On Eggs, and Breaking the Rules

Yesterday I ate a fried egg.  Nothing fancy, just a touch of canola oil, pepper, and seasoned salt.  Done.  I had gotten some extra protein in without eating meat…..

But, wait a second.  Vegans think of eggs as meat, don’t they?  What about Hindus?  Did I just break a rule?  Am I going to Hell?

I composed myself, and tried to think rationally.  No, I’m not going to Christian Hell.  I might just end up being a chicken in my next life.  But is that even true?

I Googled Hindu beliefs on eating eggs.  None of the posts contained the same information.  It ranged from eggs being impure, to eggs being meat, to “WELL, I’M A HINDU AND EAT WHAT I WANT.  YOU PEOPLE ARE DUMB.”  Obviously, I paraphrased.

That little egg, that was never meant to be fertilized, taught me a valuable lesson.  A lesson that it will take me a very long time to fully understand.

One of my mentors, Niki Whiting of My Own Ashram, told me this:

There is no Right Way. Let that go right now, as that is a very Christian way of thinking and gets in the way of devotion and unfolding.

And she was absolutely right.  I grew up hearing “do this, don’t do that,” to the point that it is seared into my brain.  It’s incredibly hard for me to grasp that there are no real rules in Hinduism.  Whatever you do is your business, and your karma.  If you want to eat beef, you go right ahead, but you may be a cow in the next life.

You choose your own path, your own life, your own destiny.  It makes me feel so free, and yet so confused.  How can people really be so nice, and not judge you?  Judging is America’s favorite pastime, it seems, and yet there are people who are truly compassionate in the world.

So what do we do to the compassionate people?  Judge them more.  Make their religion the subject of many jokes, jokes that are somehow still deemed “okay for TV,” despite their racial and religious connotations.

This world is filled with so much hate.  It’s up to us to spread love, and try to put out the fires.


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Day Four – Musings While Awaiting Sunrise

Well, my fiance had to go into work at 5am today.  I woke up at 4:30, took him to work a bit later, and now I’m home alone.  My parents are out of town.  There’s baseball on the television, but I have it muted.  Honestly, if you’re not into baseball, you wouldn’t understand why I left the tv on during my meditation.  If you are, then you know:

Baseball is meditation, in its own special way.  There is  nothing like the feeling of settling down to watch the game with my dad and fiance.  It’s like the rest of the world is put on hold.  So, the tv stayed on.

I’ve meditated for a few minutes while listening to a mantra on YouTube that I discovered thanks to Andrew Bowen of Project Conversion (more on him later), about Shiva as Nataraja, the Lord of the Dance.  This is what really attracted me to Shiva in the first place.  I can close my eyes and see him dancing, creating and destroying simultaneously through something as beautiful as dance.  It’s alluring, mysterious…I can’t explain the feeling I get when I think about it.

At this point, I’ve spoken (aka butchered, I have to find a pronunciation guide) the Gayatri Mantra, and I’m waiting for the sun to rise a bit more before I begin the sun salutation yoga.  This all feels strange to me, and yet welcome and familiar.  It’s as if I’ve always been meant to do this, and simply never tried before.

Later, I will attempt to find decent pictures of Shiva and Durga to print out and use during my prayers and meditation.  I might add more as I learn about the many gods and goddesses, but I also know that focusing my energy on those two will be the most productive for me.

Oh, and I’ll write the other half of my In the Beginning… post, describing how I came to the decision to practice Hinduism without telling many people.  Yay.

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