ACI LA
   
NOVEMBER 2007


ACI LA Newsletter

   

n last month’s newsletter, Venerable Marut asked us why we aren’t doing what we know to be the most essential things with our lives. He reminded us of the rarity of our precious life and asked us to identify what is blocking us from doing what we know are the most important things in this life.

This month, Venerable Marut draws from the ancient Indian religious classic called the Bhagavad Gita   Venerable Marut uses this text to encourage us to must learn how to act in the world without being imprisoned by it; to be “in the world but not of it.”

We hope this month’s newsletter supports your spiritual practice and provides you resources to make the most of your precious human life.

 



   
  This Month
  A Message from Brian (Venerable Marut)
  Announcing 2nd Annual South Lake Tahoe Thanksgiving Retreat with Lama Marut
  Student Contributions
  Dharma Flicks
  Dharma Website of the Month
  Dharma Book of the Month
  Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads
  Current ACI-LA Classes
  Thank You
  ACI LA Home
 

 

ACI LA Newsletter

   
 

A Message From Brian (Venerable Marut)

   
 

Many people -- deeply entwined in the web of family and social interrelations and consumed with economic, professional, and recreational activities – seem to believe that at present they are unable to work for (let alone reach) the ultimate goals of a spiritual life.  They postpone getting serious about their spiritual practice because they feel overwhelmed by worldly activities.

While a certain degree of renunciation from secular life is absolutely necessary for the significant pursuit of one’s spiritual welfare, this is mostly a matter of changing one’s mental attitude.  One does not need to drop-out of society in order to pursue one’s religious goals.  Rather, one must learn how to act in the world without being imprisoned by it; one must be “in the world but not of it.”

In the ancient Indian religious classic called the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna instructs Arjuna (and indeed all of us) on how to do this through disciplining our action – through what is called “karma yoga.”  “A person does not escape karma by just not doing anything,” Lord Krishna states.  Simply running away from the world, quitting one’s job, or leaving one’s family, won’t work:  “It is not through mere renunciation that one achieves perfection.” (BhG 3.4)  Real renunciation, as we shall see, means something quite different than just turning one’s back on one’s responsibilities. 

But the first level of karma yoga is identifying and generating a strong belief in the two fundamental principles of karma:  “No action in this world goes for naught or brings about a contrary result.” (2.40)  The first tenet of karma is that everything we do, say, or even think matters and will definitely have a consequence.  The second is that no good result can ever come from a bad cause, and vice versa.  These two principles underlie all moral systems, and without both of them in place there is no grounding for an ethical life.

A practitioner of karma yoga first understands how karma works, and then acts accordingly.  He or she learns what to “give up and what to take up” (pravirtti ca nivirtti) (16.7) in order to live a happier life.  In order not to suffer ourselves, we must give up selfish and mean-spirited activities that cause others to suffer and take up kind, compassionate, and altruistic actions that will come back to us as pleasant experiences in our own lives.

But a karma yogi should also go beyond this and learn to “see inaction in action and action in inaction” (karmanyakarma yah pashyedakarmani ca karma yah) (4.18).  We must realize that there is no way to stop karma by just “not acting” (we see that there is “action in inaction”) and find instead a way to act without being bound to the karma of actions that keep us in the world of suffering (“inaction in action”).

Ultimately, it is not enough to just avoid creating bad karma and maximize good karmic causes.  We must learn to transcend karma altogether if we are ever to achieve the highest goals of a spiritual life, for it is karma (both good and bad) that keeps us suffering and cycling through samsara.  So the question becomes this:  How can we act in the world without being trapped by karma?

The Gita’s more advanced teachings on karma yoga disclose the secret of “karmaless action.”  If one acts selflessly – with renunciation, compassion, and wisdom, the three “principal paths” in the Buddhist texts – one is no longer at the mercy of the usual operations of karma. 

In Buddhism, the first of the three paths or levels of one’s practice is renunciation.  We must learn to detach from suffering and its causes in order to progress further spiritually.  In the Gita, this is one of the ways to learn how to act selflessly.  We stop always wanting more and more worldly things and experiences and learn to be content with our life:  “Each man obtains perfection through remaining content with his own actions.  Listen how one finds success through being satisfied with one’s own actions.” (18.45)

“Contentment with one’s own actions” does not mean, of course, being complacent about one’s spiritual progress.  But it does mean giving up or renouncing the dissatisfaction that drives the relentless pursuit of our worldly, short-term, and selfish goals.  Lord Krishna advises us to “always carry out any action you must perform without attachment.  Performing action without attachment, a person obtains the highest goal.” (3.19) 

“Detached action” is action done without undue attention to what the actor is going to get out of the deal in the short run.  “One is said to have fully mastered yoga when one has renounced all expectation of selfish advantage in one’s actions and is unattached to the objects of the senses.” (6.4)  It is action done with the recognition that no action in the present affects things in the present.  The results of one’s present actions will come – “nothing goes for naught” – but they do not come immediately. 

There is a time gap between cause and effect.  The practitioner of karma yoga is detached from the immediate and only apparent “results” of his or her actions.  He or she knows that the short-term outcome of an action is actually only the result of a cause put into play a long time ago . . . and is actually not the result of the action done immediately just before at all.  He or she gardens for the future and is not overly concerned about what cannot now be changed (i.e., the present, which is the unalterable fruition of past causes). 

The present cannot be changed in the present, but the future is always (in the present) in our control.  Karma yoga at this level involves acting selflessly in the sense of deferring one’s sense of short-term advantage for the bigger prizes that lie ahead.  “Your prerogative is over your actions, not over any of the immediate results.  Do not let the immediate results be the motivation of action, but do not be attached to inaction either.” (2.47)

The second level of “karma-less action” is development of compassion, selfless action in another sense.  At this stage we learn to “equalize and exchange self for other” (as it’s said in the Buddhist texts); we give up our small and artificially constrained sense of self and re-identify ourselves with all living beings.  “One who is diciplined in yoga, with a pure heart, who has mastered himself and conquered his senses, whose sense of self is identified with all beings, acts without being stained by action.  (5.7)  Action done with the actor thinking that he or she is “all beings” would be of a very different order than action done with the constricted sense of self we ordinarily have!

Finally, selfless action or “karma-less action” also involves deploying what in the Buddhist practice is identified as the third principal path  – wisdom, or the understanding of how things are empty or devoid of self-existence.  In the Gita, a practitioner of karma yoga or selfless action is also taught to recognize that there is no “doer,” no “actor,” of actions; there is just the unfolding of karma, the “constituents of nature”:   “All actions are done just by the constituents of nature, but one who is deluded by the ego thinks, “I am the doer.” (3.27)  A wise person is “One who sees that all actions are actually done only through the workings of nature and thus that the self is not an actor at all . . .” (13.29)  It is, finally, the ignorant grasping to self that binds us to our actions.  It is only when we let go of the illusion of self that we will be free of the bonds of karma.

So the secret of “karma-less action” is selflessness in all three senses: abandoning the selfishness of perpetual dissatisfaction; cultivating altruism and compassion and identifying with other living beings; and understanding the emptiness of self.  The karma yogi, and the goal he or she reaches through this practice, is described in the following words:

Without wishing for something else, restraining himself and his mind, abandoning all grasping, the one who performs action only with his body incurs no fault.  Content with whatever comes his way, transcending all dualities, free from envy, impartial in success and failure, he is not bound even though he acts.  (4.21-22)

This month we celebrate Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season.  It is a very good time to renew our sense of commitment to living for others and learning to act selflessly. . . which is, by the way, the very best thing we could do for ourselves.

With all good wishes,

Marut

 

Announcing the 2nd Annual South Lake Tahoe Thanksgiving Retreat with Lama Marut

We are happy to announce that ACI-LA will be participating in this retreat - on Cultivating Compassion and Loving-kindness - by providing scholarships to ACI-LA students who need help defraying the cost of retreat food and lodging. It is a very precious opportunity to take extended and intensive teachings from ACI-LA's spiritual director and most amazing Teacher - Lama Sumati Marut - and we'd like to help as many people take advantage as possible.

If you would like to apply for this scholarship, please contact:

info@aci-la.org.

AND if you are unable to attend this retreat but would like to create (or maintain) the good karma to gain such teachings in the future - by helping others get them now - go to the >> How to Help page on the site, you will see that one of the buttons provided is "SCHOLARSHIP FUND." Just follow the links.

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ACI LA Newsletter

   
  tudent Contributions
   
 

The Fight for Life
By Irma Gomés

The 1st of November we celebrate “all saints” in many Latin countries. Truly, we celebrate our departed. When someone dies, we hold onto their memory. They live as our memory. Commonly, we remember the good times we spent with them. We “sanctify” them in order to be happy. In some countries, we go to the cemetery to “visit” them, we offer flowers, clean their tombs; some for pride and some for shame but most townspeople end up at the cemetery.  We honor our dead by serving food and drink offerings they used to like. We go to church. We light candles.

In Mexico,  a very peculiar cult has emerged in the past 20 years or so: a cult to the “our Death Lady”; a skeleton in a dress holding some flowers. Death has been sanctified by the common person, regardless of all of the church’s efforts to explain that Death is no saint. This figure is commonly seen in statues and paintings surrounded by flowers, food and money offerings. “I’ll keep you happy Saint Death, please don’t take me just yet”. This cult is a multi-million dollar business that has arisen from our innermost fear of dying. If only a votive would keep us from dying today. If only there was a protection from dying! And where, one must ask, would this Saint Death take us if we ever forget to make offerings?

In Buddhism we also make offerings and light candles; we repeat prayers and instead of having a Saint Death statue, we have a Buddha. So, if we make the same offerings, because ultimately we don’t want to die, how are these different and how come one can work and the other can’t? First, we must consider the power and the meaning of the object. If we understand what an enlightened being is, and consider all its qualities, it has power. We know a statue in our altar cannot stop us from dying. Only the teachings of a Buddha can stop us from dying. And their teachings have been passed on very sweetly and unchanged by generations of Lamas. We take refuge not in Death, but in stopping death by studying and practicing. We work to understand how things work around us. We learn about emptiness and karma, and we use them as tools. We need to be proactive if we are to stop death.

Lama Marut repeatedly has said death is also a projection: we are forced to see ourselves die. One of the main reasons we die is grasping. We grasp at life, and that’s why some make offerings to a Lady of Death. Don’t take “me!”  “I am special”, “I don’t deserve to die” not just yet anyway… “I’ll tell you when it’s a good time to die”. I feel really blessed to understand Death, and it should be our duty to spread these holy teachings. Life is at stake.  Most people would offer a candle to some ideal saint “just in case it works” but it doesn’t. On the day of all saints, I want to compel all readers to become “saints”, to be the ones who are going to save all around them. Please, teach in any way you can, please make those around you understand there is a rational and proven path to happiness. We must stop death, and we know how. It takes more than a candle. Join Dharma in the fight for life!

 

   
 

 

Retreat Reflections
By Lori Ruzzamenti

I would like to thank Stephane Dreyfus and Jessica Kung for the wonderful weekend retreat in Riverside on September 28-30th. With the meditation guidance we got from Stephane, I have added many new tools to my meditation toolbox. I greatly appreciate the time Stephane took to answer questions throughout the weekend. It really helped me to work through my problematic areas and grasp a better understanding of how to meditate and get results from my practice. I would also like to thank Jessica for the daily asana practice. With her help and guidance, I was able to fly...  (We did some partners yoga ). The Tibetan Heart Yoga series one and two were great. I especially enjoyed all of the hands on assistance Jessica provided. It was lots of fun and really helpful to me. Also, I would like to thank everyone who participated in the retreat. You all made this a very special weekend. I look forward to having everyone back in the near future for another retreat.

 

   
 

 

Lama Marut

Lama Marut's Bhagavad Gita class grew steadily each week.

Student Reflections
Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Action
By Kimberly Namgyal

It seems simple enough to sit down and write a few comments about Lama Marut’s Bhagavad-Gita class that he taught in Tucson fall term 2007. 

I was only planning to attend the very first class just to meet Morgan’s teacher.  I had no intention of attending the course.  But there is something about Lama Marut that draws you in.   He has an amazing way of making this ancient text relevant to our world today.  He is a very intense yet witty teacher (with an accent I can’t quite label).  Needless to say I registered the next day to take the class as credit. 

Joyously I watched this class grow even up till the last day with new students.  It’s very clear to me that we all enjoyed the last five weeks, learning about Karma Yoga.  That you can’t change your present in the present but you can change your future in the present.  We all now know that we have to use our buddhi to know where it is all coming from, especially the cinnamon bun Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. After getting to know some of the students in the class, I know we’ll all be working on the many paradoxes of our world by not worrying about ourselves and taking proper care of others.

We are so lucky to have such wonderful and qualified teachers in our world.  I haven’t forgotten where that projection is coming from! 

I’m looking very forward to the next term and plan to bring everyone I know, just as we have all done this term. 

Thank you, Cindy for taking care of our Lama.  Thank you, David for getting our classes ready every week.  Thank you, Morgan for getting me there!

Thank you, Lama Marut for teaching us.  Please stay and teach.  Please stay and teach.  Please stay and teach.

See you in January.

 

 

Lama Marut

Lama Marut decides whether Ben 'n' Jerry's comes from the store...
or from giving something nice to someone else!

Student Reflections
Karma Yoga: The Yoga of Action from the Bhagavad Gita.

What a wonderful opportunity to be able to approach our Buddhist study with such a precious gem as Venerable Marut’s Bhagavad Gita class.  It is testament to His perfect skilful means that a class on this classic Hindu text can enliven our study of the Dharma in so many ways, and it is a chance to remind ourselves that there is no ultimate separation between the teachings of all authentic spiritual traditions.

Personally it was the freshness of exploring the principal paths of Buddhism, the foundations of our practice, from a different angle. Approaching these paths of renunciation, bodhichitta and worldview through a narrative-based structure was an engaging way to connect to the teachings. It reminded me of the way we learn the Lam Rim, visually constructing a narrative of the path and journeying through that mandala in meditation. Similarly, examining these ideas through a conversation between Arjuna and Krishna, allowed us to visualize the teachings in a more visceral form.

Tensions we experience in our practice were illustrated constantly by Guru-ji as He reminded us of Arjuna’s dilemma on the battleground. As a warrior he is expected to do his duty in battle against his enemy – yet the ‘enemy’ in this case is his own family. This dilemma can resonate with us in terms of the tensions we can feel between our spiritual commitments (as bodhisattvas), and our ‘worldly’ commitments to family, work and so forth.  Arjuna’s ‘enemies’ on the battlefield also represents the closeness we feel to our mental afflictions and the ways in which we sometimes consider them as ‘part of us’.

Krishna therefore counsels Arjuna that he MUST fight his ‘relatives’. He must do battle with his afflictions over what the priorities in this precious life are, and destroy the “three poisons” (ignorant liking, ignorant disliking and ignorance itself) that ultimately affect our actions and taint our karma.  Further, Krishna counsels Arjuna that, as a warrior, he must do what he was ‘born to do’ :

Do what is necessary to do, for action is superior to inaction.
Inaction would not even keep your own body sustained!
(3.8)

Even a wise person acts in accordance with their own nature.
Every living being follows their own nature.
What is the use of trying to repress it?
(3.33)

These verses are interesting for us to consider in reference to the idea of someone having their “own nature”, when we also regard the emphasis on the emptiness of the self in the Bhagavad Gita.  Lama Marut explained this, though, as the idea that it is “better to do what has been given for us to do rather than do another’s job well”. Following our own nature means to be present in our present and embrace what has been given to us to do (by our past karmic actions), and simultaneously be gardening for our future. Rather than trying to get things ‘out of the way’ so that we can ‘practice’, we must see that all that is in front of us is the practice.

This is also a wonderful reminder for our practice of Guru Yoga; that we must just do what is put in front of us to do. The selflessness that Lama Marut speaks about in His newsletter is key to having a deep, joyful and super-charged practice of Karma yoga, which informs, of course, our Guru Yoga. Selfless action in this sense suggests we should just do what is presented to us (with wisdom), rather than, as Guru-ji has spoken about many times, picking and choosing what we think we need. We should especially embrace the ‘difficulties’ presented to us, seeing that, if they are difficult, they are precisely what we need to do battle with, as Arjuna is counselled to do by his teacher.

Lastly the selflessness we must cultivate in relation to the emptiness of the self was one of the most poignant teachings from this course. If we can truly realize this, can we then truly realize the promises these extraordinary texts make to us? It is a rare and exceptional Jewel to be taught that there is a way to escape karma. If you think about it, it is something worth cultivating through selfless action, and is certainly something worth doing battle for.

It was clear how grateful the class was to have such precious teachings from a Lama so well versed in this text, language, culture and philosophy. We look forward to next term’s Jnyana Yoga, and, of course, the all-encompassing Bhakti Yoga in the Spring.

Please stay, Lama Marut, please keep teaching us.

Please listen to these precious teachings here at:
>> /teach_marut_gita.html

 

 

In related news, Lama Marut’s was intereviewed in Toronto’s Globe and Mail about the growing popularity of the study of ancient texts and language for yoga students:

>> “Doing the downward dog - in Sanskrit”


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ACI LA Newsletter

   
  Dharma Flicks
   
 

Implicit Dharma - The Game

In The Game, Michael Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orton, a wealthy tycoon who, despite his successes in the world of business, lives a life of lonely solitude estranged from friends and family.  In a surprise visit during Nicholas’ 48th birthday, Nicholas’ brother, Conrad, (Sean Penn) gives Nicholas a gift certificate for a “game” provided by a firm called “Consumer Recreation Services”.  Conrad insists that the “game” will be beyond Nicholas’ imagination and will make for radically positive changes in his life.   Although he is skeptical at first, Nicholas eventually concedes to curiosity and visits the CRS office.  Unsure what to expect, Nicholas returns home and the events of “the game” begin to unfold.  What ensues is truly a tour de force by an excellent filmmaking team.  Directed by David Fincher and photographed by Harris Savides, The Game is satisfying at every turn.  Beyond cinematic thrills and harrowing twists, The Game is a clear look directly at a character that is forced to confront the inertia of his past deeds.  As the events of the game progress and push Nicholas further in confronting himself and his past actions, we see that though the events themselves are empty, Nicholas is driven to near break down in suffering their consequences.  We see quite clearly in The Game that although we cannot control what happens in a particular moment, if we take a step back, and ask our selves where the events of that moment are coming from we may well be able to react in a way that will make for a more positive future.  In fact, we might even find that all the events in our life are part of an elaborate game constructed for our very own benefit, just maybe.

 

 

Explicit Dharma - The Saltmen of Tibet

In Tibet's Changtang region, nomads harvest salt to buy barley. A clan prepares four of its men for an annual trek to Lake Tsento, where they rake salt from shoals into piles, then into bags, and onto their yaks to return, 90-days in all. After picking an auspicious day to depart, they feast, sing, tell stories, and race horses. All is ritualized: Margen cooks, Pargen prepares burnt offerings and distributes meat, Zopon cares for the caravan of 160 yaks, Bopsa bends his strong back to arduous work. To each other they speak the secret language of saltmen; they pray and observe exemplary behavior and hope that the goddess of the lake will smile upon them.  In this true life depiction of the salt trade portrayed in the fictional film, Himalaya, we see the life of rural Tibetans and the ways in which dharma imbues their everyday actions with a sense of purpose and reverence.

 

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ACI LA Newsletter

   
  Dharma Website of the Month
   
 

We thought it might be useful to bring to your attention a valuable dharma-oriented website each month. There are so many great dharma sites on the web… Web Site of the month:

www.tibethouse.org

This is the website of Tibet House in New York. Tibet House is dedicated to the proposition that the wisdom and arts of all human civilizations vitally enrich the emerging global culture. Within this, they focus on a special concern for Tibet, its people, its spectacular highlands, and its civilization of extraordinary wisdom and beauty.


Visit the site to learn about Tibetan art and iconography. You can join as an online member and receive monthly emails.  You can also shop on the online store and support the organization’s powerful mission. Tibet House offers a number of programs, events, retreats, workshops and lectures to support the wisdom and arts of Tibet.

Enjoy!

If you come across a site that you’d like others to know about, please notify Shannon and contribute to this part of the newsletter.

 

 

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  Dharma Book of the Month
   
 

The Essence of the Heart Sutra, The Dalai Lama’s Heart of Wisdom Teachings
Edited and Translated by Geshe Thupten Jinpa

Heart Sutra


The Heart Sutra is part of the Perfection of Wisdom Sutras and along with the Diamond Sutra, it’s considered to be one of the most important texts of the Mahayana Canon. What is interesting about the Heart Sutra is that unlike most Sutras, it is not delivered by the Buddha, but by Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, who in this case is representing the faculty of Wisdom. Here Avalokiteshvara answers the monk Shariputra’s question with how the five aspects of human existence are empty and how to train in the perfection of wisdom by seeing through the illusions of all things.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama elucidates with depth and clarity how this Sutra is the basis for the Middle Way School. He goes through the text passage by passage and gives us a profound, but simple explanation of the Heart Sutra. And as you read this presentation, his voice resounds above the words like a veil of watery mist, his
presence and mind almost palpable. It feels as if he has told this story thousands of times and as a master of his art, it slides off the pages into your mind as knowledge and understanding.

But you don't need to have these sensations to have a understanding of the text. The information imparted is very precious. It is clear, and simple to understand. His Holiness gives us an extensive introduction to the basics of Buddhism and the Mahayana tradition's emphasis on emptiness, along with explanations bet. the Mind-only school and the Middle Way school, the explanations of Three Turning of the Wheel...and more. For a book of a little more then 150 pages, His Holiness gives a very essential overview of the Middle Way and it's core, the Heart Sutra.

Click to purchase from Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Essence-Heart-Sutra-Wisdom-Teachings/dp/0861712846

 

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  Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads
   
 

Dharma Poscast

You can watch Dharma flicks, read Dharma books and now you can hear Dharma pod casts. Life in the modern world certainly makes life easy for a practitioner to get wonderful access to teachings! Don’t miss our new weekly podcasts at: /mg-podcasts.html.

This month’s Dharma Podcasts go through the various "flavors" of Emptiness:

>> There Are No Accidents- The Emptiness of Randomness

>> You Can't Change the Present: The Emptiness of a Controlling Self.

>> This Too Shall Pass: The Emptiness of Permanence

If you enjoy having access to these wonderful Dharma podcasts, please make sure to comment in the comments section on iTunes.

Also, make sure to subscribe to keep up to date on the digital downloads! Click on the subscription button at www.aci-la.org and/or www.lamamarut.org and enter your email address to receive podcast updates. You’ll receive an email announcement when new podcasts of teachings are uploaded to either site.

Enjoy!

 

Recent Audio Uploads

Lama Marut's Public talk:
>> Living Your Yoga from Rochester, Michigan

Lama Marut's DMU Fall Term class:
>> Karma Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita

Lama Marut's:
>> ACI Formal Study Review Courses

Please remember that the ACI Review courses cannot be taken by correspondence. To receive ACI course credit, you must take these courses live from an ACI teacher.


Audio from Lama Lauren Benjamin:
>> ACI 12: A Guide to the Bodhisattva's Way of Life, Part 3

Audio from Lama Cliff Spencer:
>> The Four Powers to Remove Negative Karma

 

In other media, Lama Marut’s was intereviewed in Toronto’s Globe and Mail about the growing popularity of the study of ancient texts and language for yoga students:

>> “Doing the downward dog - in Sanskrit”

 

 

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ACI LA Newsletter

   
 

Current ACI-LA Classes

ACI classes are donation-based and open to the public.

   
  Lam Rim Meditation
*** Due to the many local teachings by Venerable Marut there will be no meditation classes from November 27th to December 11th.

Taught by Stéphane Dreyfus
Ongoing Tuesday Evenings
7:30pm
Hill Street Center
237 Hill Street
Santa Monica, CA

>> See the flier for more info!



pcoming Teachings

 

Public Talk with Venerable Marut:

Relax and Work Hard & Other Paradoxes of the Spiritual Life

Date: Monday, November 26th at 7:30pm
Location: Aldersgate Retreat Center, 925 Haverford Ave, Pacific Palisades

Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Taught by:
Venerable Marut

>>> See the flier for more info!

 

Explorations in Emptiness, Part 2

Date: November 28th, December 3rd and 5th, at 7:30pm
Location: Aldersgate Retreat Center, 925 Haverford Ave, Pacific Palisades

Admission: Registration required. To register please contact
info@aci-la.org
Taught by: Venerable Marut

Emptiness is the name for ultimate reality in Mahayana Buddhism. But what does it mean and how can it transform our lives? We'll use perhaps the greatest text on emptiness - Arya Ngarjuna's Verses on the Root of the Middle Way - as a basis for discussing the way things do and don't exist. Each class inclused a guided meditation on emptiness that helps us penetrate the appearances of things and uncover their true nature.

>>> See the flier for more info!

 

Dharma Essentials IX: The Ethical Life

Date: December 10th-13th, at 7:30pm
Location
: Westside Waldorf School, 17310 W. Sunset Blvd, Pacific Palisades
Admission: Registration required. To register please contact
info@aci-la.org
Taught by: Venerable Marut

This 4-class course explains the relationship between an ethical way of life, meditating deeplu, and experiencing ultimate reality. Topics include: the essence and basic nature of vows; reasons to live and ethical lide; why morality is the key to meditation and seeing emptiness directly; the specific karma resulting from each of the ten non-virtues; how to find a teacher; taking refuge; the four forces of karmic purification; and the six perfections.

>>> See the flier for more info!


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ACI LA Newsletter
   
 

Thank You

   
  Thank you to Venerable Marut for his kindness in coming to teach the Dharma here in Los Angeles and around the world. Thank you to Lauren Benjamin, Cliff Spencer, Rick Blue, Lindsay Crouse, Catherine Eaton, Summer Moore, and Stephane Dreyfus for their kindness in continuing to teach here in Los Angeles.

Thank you to Stephane Dreyfus for maintaining the ACI-LA website. All suggestions and updates for the website can be sent to Stephane. 

Shannon Parry will be producing the newsletters and would appreciate submissions. Please email your contributions to
Shannon by the 25th of the month.

 

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