Study, contemplation and meditation on the steps of any spiritual path or dharma is designed specifically to transport us to the highest state of bliss and happiness possible and enable us to take others there as well. Dharma means "that which is steadfast or firm." It implies something that we can hold on to - something that provides an anchor, a refuge for us as we navigate our way through the turbulence of life. Ultimately, the highest dharma is the deep conviction of inner truth that we eventually experience through dedication to a specific spiritual path and teacher.
Nourishes the body through teaching that proper rest balanced with appropriate activity, nutritious sustenance, hope and mental concentration are all required for survival. (Abidharma Kosha, circa 250 BC Buddhist scripture)
Keeps the mind contented and happy through inspiring us to reach for higher goals on behalf of others as well as ourselves.
Subtle Body Benefits
Leads the practitioner eventually to the inner channels and winds which are the key to achieving highest and most divine states of consciousness.
Creates the highly auspicious result of experiencing everything in our world as a high teaching and avoids the insidious mind states of 1) thinking we already know and therefore don’t need to learn (“lid on the pot”); 2) going to teachings and not paying attention because we think we already know (“leaky pot”) or 3) having improper motivation for attending teachings – like thinking that we will then be able to teach the material better than another teacher we may be jealous of (“dirty pot”).
Teaching others anything we may have learned which has been helpful for us is the natural progression of studying any dharma.
Guard against allowing the study and contemplation of dharma to become just one more arid intellectual accomplishment – feather in your cap - devoid of any spiritual essence.