The gift of Dharma surpasses all gifts.
The taste of Dharma surpasses all tastes.
The delight in Dharma surpasses all delights.
The destruction of craving conquers all suffering.
Dhammapada, v. 354, translated by Gil Fronsdal
The word Dharma, with a capital D, has several layers of meaning. Depending on context, it can mean the path to liberation from suffering or simply the truth of how things are. There is something foundational about the word Dharma; it contains the principle that causes bring results, that every experience we can have is the result of prior and present causes and conditions. It’s opposite is also true: nothing can happen without causes and conditions for its occurrence being in place.
So the gift of Dharma is teaching others, directly or indirectly, to see the way things are. We can each give this gift by embodying the Dharma (as best we can) in our actions and speech.
The taste of Dharma is the understanding that comes when our experience moves from being me-centered to a broader view. Even a glimpse of this understanding lights our way.
Delighting in the Dharma comes naturally when we experience letting go of clinging. It’s a pleasure that cannot adequately be described, but is unmistakeable once it manifests. The natural result of living with this delight in practice is the destruction of craving and therefore the end of dukkha.
Such a simple formula, and so obscure — until it’s not. We are so attached to our complications and “needs” that it can be quite a challenge to find the path, to see that we are the creators of our own suffering. Perhaps it starts with believing that we have a choice about what we cling to.