Dharma is the universal truth at all times.
It’s the cosmic law and order.
It’s the rituals and rites of passages to truth.
It’s made up of virtues and duties and learnings.
It’s your life’s path-the path to the transformation to the ‘you’ you know you are.
It’s you and higher self/ future self meeting on the crossroads and hanging out and them downloading all the knowledge and wisdom of the ages.
It's riding the wave.
There’s no one word to give it meaning in English. It just is. We have to experience it and when we experience it there are no words other than perhaps to tell a story through the use of metaphors to describe the experience. The thing about metaphors is that it bypasses the conscious and goes straight to the subconscious. The super-conscious meets the subconscious. Future self/higher self meet inner self.
“Nothing is higher than Dharma. The weak overcomes the stronger by Dharma, as over a king. Truly that Dharma is the Truth (Satya); Therefore, when a man speaks the Truth, they say, "He speaks the Dharma"; and if he speaks Dharma, they say, "He speaks the Truth!" For both are one.” (The Upanishads 1.4.xiv)
In explaining the basis for the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MSBR) program Kabat-Zinn describes dharma. He says “…how the Bufddha was not a Buddhist, how the word ‘Buddha’ means one who has awakened, and how mindfulness, often spoken as ‘the heart of Buddhist meditation’ has little or nothing to do with Buddhism per se, and everything to do with wakefulness, compassion, and wisdom. These are the universal qualities of being human, precisely what the word dharma is pointing to. The word has many meanings, but can be understood primarily as signifying both the teachings of the Buddha and the lawfulness of things in relationship to suffering and the nature of the mind.” (Pg. 283, Some Reflections On the Origins of MBSR, Jon Kabat-Zinn)
To me dharma is the intersection of the universal laws and our lives, of future self/higher self and inner self, of super-conscious and subconscious, of action and reaction. And at that intersection, or as I like to call it the crossroads, is where the magic happens. Life begins to flow. I offered my life up to the universal flow. I stopped struggling and swimming against the current and I jumped into the riptide of life and swam with the current and ride the wave.