What is Dharma?
In general, the Dharma is to transform our minds, our personalities, and our ways of being. To transform ourselves in a positive way we need instructions. We need deep instructions. We need proper instructions. We need to know how to do it. It is said that we get these instructions from a genuine Lama, but then it is not easy to find a genuine Lama. Sometimes you feel that you found a genuine master, but then later on you find out it is not quite like that.
There are two kinds of masters, teachers who are fully and completely practising the Dharma and who have the experience of the Dharma, these are the ones you can really rely on, the ones that you can go to for Refuge.
Then there are others from whom you can receive teachings, from whom you can understand the Dharma, but you can’t really rely on them to the same extent or take Refuge in them. However, the important thing is that you can still find people with whom you can study the Dharma. These masters are real living beings. But not all masters need to be living beings.
Sometimes it is said that everything that appears can be a Dharma. Everything can be a teacher. Everything can be a Lama. In the teachings on mind training it is said that a negative event can be your teacher also.
If you look at the four seasons, for instance, if you just look in a general way, you feel now it is winter we need more clothes, now it is summer it is hotter.
You know the winter is the disappearance of the warmth and the vegetation loses its leaves, but if you look deeply, you know that everything is continually changing. When you look deeply you understand impermanence taught by the seasons. That itself is an instruction.
If you really look you can see all kinds of vibrant, living teachings in life itself. It is not necessary to hear instructions only in words because instruction can be found in what’s around you, what you see.
There are many different ways to learn about and understand Dharma, it doesn’t happen only through hearing..