ACI LA
   
JULY 2008


ACI LA Newsletter

   

elcome to ACI-LA's July Newsletter. We hope you are finding some time this summer to have fun, relax and spend some days in restful and restorative activities.
You will notice that there is no contribution from Lama Marut this month as he will be on retreat for much of the summer. In fact, he has called this summer, "the summer of retreat", as so many ACI members are taking these summer days to do retreats of various lengths.

The Mahasukha Center is going strong and will still be offering a copious number of beautiful teachings and we hope you can share in these offerings.
All of these are listed at the end of this newsletter, as well as on the ACI-LA website (www.aci-la.org) with a full calendar of events for the months to come.

For those who may have missed last month's newsletter, we'd like to mention that we are increasing efforts to begin raising money for a three year retreat, scheduled to begin in October of 2010.
We've partnered with an internet service called "Cafe Press" and will be selling distinctive items, imprinted with "Lama Marut-isms" and other quotes. Please check out the Café Press store website, listed at the end of the newsletter to see all the items available if you would like to participate in this endeavor. And keep in mind, a percentage of every sale will go directly into the retreat fund.

The Asian Classics Institute of Los Angeles is dedicated to the serious study and personal practice of the original teachings of the Buddha, and for those wanting to learn more about this tradition. It offers a wide range of courses, guided meditations and other activities, all offered on a donation basis, including Introductory, Dharma Essentials and Formal Study courses focusing on Tibetan Buddhist philosophy and practice.

We hope this month's newsletter supports your spiritual practice and provides you with the resources you need to be truly happy and make the most of your precious human life.


   
  This Month
  Contributions
  Dharma Book of the Month
  Dharma Website of the Month
  Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads
  Upcoming ACI-LA Classes
  How You Can Help
  Thank You
  ACI LA Home
   

 

ACI LA Newsletter

   
  ontributions
   
 

The Eight Limbs of Yoga
This is the second article in an ongoing series by Rene Miranda

The ancient Indian spiritual practice of yoga continues to gain popularity in the United States. 15.8 million U.S. adults practice yoga . An additional 18.3 million Americans say they are very or extremely interested in yoga. Americans spend 5.7 billion dollars a year on yoga classes and products.

Most of these practitioners see the ancient art of yoga as merely a series of physical exercises designed to create a beautiful physique. Yoga, however, is a series of steps or disciplines designed to strengthen and purify the body and mind of the practitioner, ultimately leading the yogi to total enlightenment.

While the physical postures are an important outer method of the practice of yoga, they represent only one of the eight branches of this 5000-year-old practice. All of the limbs are necessary to achieve complete enlightenment: the combination of a body of light and an ultimately compassionate, omniscient mind.

Master Patanjali wrote of the eight limbs in The Yoga Sutra around 200 BC. A sutra is a short book that tells us the very crux of something. Much of what we know of Master Patanjali is drawn from legends. He was born miraculously to a great yogini, Gonika, who longed for a son to whom she could pass on the sacred yoga tradition. She prayed and meditated to the Sun, offering holy water in her open palms when Patanjali appeared there. His name means "one who has fallen into the holy water" (pat =to fall or fly through the air and angala =holy water.) Master Patanjali is traditionally recognized as being the father of yoga and classical dance in India, a great philosopher, a Sanskrit grammarian and an accomplished physician. The Yoga Sutras is his distillation of human knowledge into a string of precious pearls designed to take us to heaven.

The Yoga Sutras is one of two ancient works considered to be the original authoritative guide at the foundation of all yoga traditions practiced today. In this holy text Patanjali describes the eight limbs of yoga, ashtanga in Sanskrit. The eight limbs are disciplines mastered in order to reach the deep meditation required for transformation into a Holy Enlightened Being.

In brief the limbs are:

  • Yama: Restraints or positive ethical guidelines.
    • Ahinsa: non-harming
    • Satya: truthfulness
    • Bramacharya: sexual purity, moderation
    • Asteya: non-stealing
    • Aparigraha: non-possessiveness
  • Niyama: Commitments.
    • Shaucha: purity
    • Santosha: contentment
    • Tapas: austerity, spiritual hard work
    • Svadhyaya: self-study
    • Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender to a Holy Teacher
  • Asana: Postures
  • Pranayama: breath control
  • Pratyahara: withdrawal of the senses
  • Dharana: focus
  • Dhyana: fixation
  • Samadhi: perfect meditation

In the coming months we will cover these limbs in greater detail. Every yogi should know what this beautiful and effective practice entails in order to reach the highest goal, the actual goal of yoga; perfection.

This is part of an ongoing series by Rene Miranda

 

 

 
   

 


   
  Dharma Book of the Month
   
 

The Open Road, The Global Journey of the Fourteenth Dalai
by Pico Iyer

This book is not only a unique picture of the Dalai Lama, revealing the all-encompassing life that he leads but a fascinating description of Dharamsala and the Tibetans. The author, a renowned journalist, has had countless conversations with the Dalai Lama over the years and has spent a good deal of time in Dharamsala and Lhasa. The book draws on notes he took during those years.
As a topnotch journalist, Iyer steers clear of slavish devotion but it is obvious that his respect for the Dalai Lama and his awe of all that the Dalai accomplishes is huge.
Iyer is not optimistic about the fate of Tibet. But he is hopeful that the Dalai Lama's example will prevail. Throughout the book he portrays many of the Dalai Lama's qualities, some of which don't seem spiritual: he is a dialectician, a person who believes in questioning one's own beliefs and can say "I don't know"; someone who relishes debate and being challenged. Furthermore, his openness and love of learning has led him to advocate abandoning certain Buddhist beliefs that have been disproved by modern science (see his book: The Universe in a Single Atom).
Underlying these qualities, Iyer points out, is Buddhism, the heart and soul of the Dalai Lama's life. He is first and foremost a Buddhist monk whose practice begins at 3:30 am each day, and is manifest in his unfailing compassion and graciousness, not to mention his subversive giggle.
The many sections in the book on Dharamsala and the Tibetan people are vivid and sometimes cautionary. Iyer does not gloss over the opposition among a growing number of exiled Tibetans to the Dalai Lama's conciliatory approach to China. This impatience with his nonviolent approach, the author points out, is reminiscent of what Ghandi and Martin Luther King experienced.
So it goes. As the author sums it up, "The open road is always leading around the next corner, calling for further investigation, even if no final destination is assured."

Submitted by Suzanne Roodman

 

 

menu

 
   

 

ACI LA Newsletter

   
  Dharma Website of the Month
   
 

The Spiral Foundation

The S.P.I.R.A.L. Foundation's operations in Vietnam and Nepal are inspired by the principle of "Aid from within the Country". Since 1999, The S.P.I.R.A.L. Foundation has financed humanitarian aid projects with the proceeds generated by income producing handicraft workshops. Currently 1000 Vietnamese and Nepalese are employed with fair wages based on an hourly rate and not on piece-work.

All net proceeds from the handicraft sales are returned to Vietnam and Nepal to fund primary health care, medical and educational projects, giving to those involved in the production process a sense of pride that comes by helping and sustaining many others, in even greater need than themselves.

http://www.spiralfoundation.org/

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

 

menu

 
   

 

   
  Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads
   
 

Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads

Dharma podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular and convenient way to get exposure to enlightening Dharma teachings at the touch of a computer key. Don't miss Lama Marut's weekly podcasts at www.aci-la.org .

This Month's Dharma Podcasts:

July's podcasts cover a wide range of subjects including; "Jesus Was A Radical", " Terrorist Activity Against Your Self-Cherishing ", "The Four Great Facts" and "You Shall Reap What You Sow".

Be 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.

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

To subscribe to Lama Marut's video podcasts please go to: /mg-video.html

Click Here for Recent Audio Uploads

   
 

Lama Marut Paraphernalia! (And for such a worthy cause!)

In an effort to begin raising money for a three year retreat scheduled to begin in October of 2010, we've partnered with an internet service called "Cafe Press" and will be selling distinctive items online beginning this month.

T-shirts, stickers, bags and more are currently available, and every month we'll be adding more. They are all designed by my students with quotes on them ranging from definitions of yoga from the Bhagavad Gita to "Lama Marut-isms" taken from my teachings.

Please go online and check out the CafePress store. A percentage of every one of these items will go directly into the retreat fund:

http://www.cafepress.com/lamamarut

menu

 

 
   

 

ACI LA Newsletter

   
 

Current and Upcoming ACI-LA Classes

ACI classes are donation-based and open to the public.
(Please see the calendar for full descriptions.)

   
 

Jul 1st, 2008 (Tue) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Guided Meditation
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: Tuesday nights
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by donation; open to the public
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org or call 310-454-6168

Jul 3rd, 2008 (Thu) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Formal Study Review Course. ACI XVII The Great Ideas of Buddhism
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: June 12 through August 14
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org

Jul 7th, 2008 (Mon) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
ACI 2: Buddhist Refuge
Teacher: Cliff Spencer
Date: Monday nights for 7 weeks, Beginning June 9th
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: cliff.spencer@aci-la.org

Jul 8th, 2008 (Tue) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Guided Meditation
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: Tuesday nights
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by donation; open to the public
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org or call 310-454-6168

Jul 10th, 2008 (Thu) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Formal Study Review Course. ACI XVII The Great Ideas of Buddhism
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: June 12 through August 14
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org

Jul 12th, 2008 (Sat) - Jul 13th, 2008 (Sun)
Spiritual Partners: The Art of Togetherness
Teacher: James Conner and Dr Lisette Garcia
Date: July 12th - 13th
Time: 7pm - 10pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission:Supported by donation. Open to the publicContact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 12th, 2008 (Sat) 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Coffee, Donuts & Buddhist Debate

Teacher: Cliff Spencer
Date: June 14, 28 & July 12, 26
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by Donations. Open to the Public
Contact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 14th, 2008 (Mon) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
ACI 2: Buddhist Refuge
Teacher: Cliff Spencer
Date: Monday nights for 7 weeks, Beginning June 9th
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: cliff.spencer@aci-la.org

Jul 15th, 2008 (Tue) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Guided Meditation
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: Tuesday nights
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by donation; open to the public
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org or call 310-454-6168

Jul 17th, 2008 (Thu) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Formal Study Review Course. ACI XVII The Great Ideas of Buddhism
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: June 12 through August 14
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org

Jul 19th, 2008 (Sat)
A public talk on ending depression by Cliff Spencer
Check website for information

Jul 21st, 2008 (Mon) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Bok Jinpa-Set Your Meditation on Fire 1
Teacher: Lauren Benjamin
Date: Every Monday and Friday for five weeks, beginning July 21st
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 22nd, 2008 (Tue) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Guided Meditation
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: Tuesday nights
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by donation; open to the public
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org or call 310-454-6168

Jul 24th, 2008 (Thu) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Formal Study Review Course. ACI XVII The Great Ideas of Buddhism
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: June 12 through August 14
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org

Jul 25th, 2008 (Fri) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Bok Jinpa-Set Your Meditation on Fire 1
Teacher: Lauren Benjamin
Date: Beginning July 23rd
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 26th, 2008 (Sat) 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Coffee, Donuts & Buddhist Debate
Teacher: Cliff Spencer
Date: June 14, 28 & July 12, 26
Time: 9:00am - 12:00pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by Donations. Open to the Public
Contact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 26th, 2008 (Sat) 8:00 PM
Dharma Flicks with Rick Blue
More information to come.

Jul 28th, 2008 (Mon) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Bok Jinpa-Set Your Meditation on Fire 1
Teacher: Lauren Benjamin
Date: Every Monday and Friday for five weeks, beginning July 21st
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: info@aci-la.org

Jul 29th, 2008 (Tue) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Guided Meditation
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: Tuesday nights
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Supported by donation; open to the public
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org or call 310-454-6168

Jul 31st, 2008 (Thu) 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
Formal Study Review Course. ACI XVII The Great Ideas of Buddhism
Teacher: Rick Blue
Date: June 12 through August 14
Time: 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Mahasukha Center
Admission: Free and open to the public; donation only
Contact: rick.blue@aci-la.org

menu

 
   

 


   
 

ow You Can Help

   
 

Thank you to all of the ACI-LA volunteers who help with our various Dharma projects! We are currently looking for people who have specific skills in certain areas so please email us at lamamarut@aci-la.org if you: 

* Would like to help transcribe full length audio teachings
* Have document formatting / layout skills to help format our Dharma Essentials handouts
* If you have some time to look through aci-la.org and find broken weblinks and audio that doesn't download.

 

menu

 
   

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 Shannon Clements Parry for producing the past issues of the newsletter.

Thank you to Stephane Dreyfus for maintaining the ACI-LA website.

All suggestions and updates for the website can be sent to Stephane. Catherine Eaton produces the newsletters and would joyfully appreciate submissions. Please email your contributions to Catherine by the 20th of the month.

 

menu