ACI LA Newsletter

t seems as though summer just arrived, and yet here we are, welcoming you to the October ACI-LA newsletter. We're excited to remind you that we're bringing Fall in with two amazing events, the first of which starts October 2nd!

October 2nd & 3rd - Lama Christie McNally teaches The Tibetan Book of Meditation and signs her new book.

We are delighted to welcome Lama Christie to the Mahasukha Center for this teaching and book signing. While it's too late to 'reserve' a copy of the book for her to sign, it's not too late to join us, and there should still be copies available that you can purchase on-site ($14.00).

Go to for more information, including how to participate and purchase a signed book through live video webcast.

November 3rd through 5th - Lama Marut Hosts the 2 nd Annual Great Bliss Festival and Benefit

On November 3 rd & 4 th Lama Marut teaches Living the Perfect Life, Here and Now.

On November 5 th he hosts the Benefit of Bliss, where he'll give a welcoming address and then open the Silent Auction, the Co-op Auction, the music and refreshments. Go to /bliss_fest09.html to register and for more information, including how to participate in the auctions by live video webcast.

Preparations for The Bliss Festival and Benefit are well underway, but there are several ways you can join in:

•  Volunteer your time for set-up, break-down and during the events. Contact Claire.

•  Make an entry onto your Facebook page advertising the event, and link to /bliss_fest09.html

•  Do you have some kind of amazingly cool item or service that would be a hit at the Silent Auction? Contact Sarah

•  Do you love to cook or bake and would be willing to work with us to help create the refreshments? Contact Lotte

Other Classes

Rick Blue's Sunday evening Guided Meditation will go live by video webcast this month. Please feel free to drop in in-person, or if you'd like to view remotely, contact Rick. There are yoga classes almost every day this month, and Lauren and Rick continue to teach Bok Jinpa III and Vows of the Bodhisattva. This month's schedule is available at the end of this newsletter, or by going to .

We continue to support efforts for the 3-year Great Retreat, scheduled to begin late in 2010. To find out more about it, go to .

These teachings as well as all the offerings at the Mahasukha Center are listed at the end of this newsletter, with details available on the ACI-LA website. Click here to see the events:

The Mahasukha Center has grown into a sanctuary of authentic dharma and yoga traditions for application in today's modern world. As a community we work together to be happy and to serve others, and gain the tools and resources to practice wisdom and compassion.  

We continue our efforts to support the 3-year Great Retreat, scheduled to begin in October of 2010. (To see the full description, go to


This Month
A Message from Brian (Venerable Marut)
Darin's Digital Funhouse
Dharma Website of the Month
Dharma Flicks
Dharma Podcasts: Recent Audio Uploads
Upcoming ACI-LA Classes
How You Can Help
Thank You

ACI LA Newsletter


Medicine Buddha, Healer of Outer and Inner Sickness

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama came to Long Beach, CA for teachings on the 25 th and 26 th of September. Friday was a teaching on The Four Noble Truths and an Amitabha Buddha initiation. On Saturday, His Holiness answered questions from the audience, gave vows and a Medicine Buddha initiation. It is always extraordinary to be blessed by His presence and precious teachings and many of us at ACI-LA attended this beautiful event. And through the blessings of ACI teachings, those who attended found His teachings to be very comprehensible.

Here is one of the many explanations found through web searching of what the Medicine Buddha represents.

"If one meditates on the Medicine Buddha, one will eventually attain enlightenment, but in the meantime one will experience an increase in healing powers both for oneself and others and a decrease in physical and mental illness and suffering."

--Lama Tashi Namgyal

The practice of the enlightened being, Medicine Buddha is a very powerful method for healing ourselves and others. By relying upon this Buddha with pure faith, or just hearing his name or seeing an image of the Medicine Buddha, living beings could be cured of heavy mental and physical sickness. This practice helps us overcome the inner sickness and delusion of attachment, hatred, and ignorance which are the source of sickness and obstacles.

The Medicine Buddha is surrounded by six other Medicine Buddhas in the images (tangkas) that represent this Deity. They are also referred to as The Seven Compassionate protectors.

The main Medicine Buddha's body is a radiant azure or lapis blue. His left hand, palm up, rests in his lap in the mudra of meditation and represents the eradication of sickness and suffering, the roots of samsara. These are eliminated through the realization of absolute truth. He holds a begging bowl full of long life nectar in His left hand. This symbolizes the need for contentment which cannot be found in samsara, a realm that only leads to suffering of body and mind.

In His right hand He holds a fruit called the myrobalan or arura symbolizing the most superior medicines. His arm extends over his knee with his palm outward, indicating supreme generosity, the giving of the methods to alleviate the causes and conditions that create suffering. This hand positioning and the fruit represent the eradication of illness and suffering through the means of relative truth such as medical treatment etc.  

The only herb in the Tibetan pharmacopoeia that is said to help heal diseases of passion, aggression and ignorance is the myrobalan fruit. The main types of illness in Tibetan medicine and their root causes is conflicting emotions. The Medicine Buddha, has the power to see the true cause of any affliction whether it be spiritual, physical or psychological, and by any means necessary, alleviate it. It is beneficial to say the below mantra twenty-one times.

Mantra of the Medicine Buddha

Sanskrit Pronunciation

Tad-ya-ta: Om Bhai-sha-jye Bhai-sha-jye Maha Bhai-sha-jye Ra-ja Sa-mud-ga-te Sva-ha

Tibetan Pronunciation

Tad-ya-ta: Om Be-kan-dze Be-kan-dze Ma-ha Be-kan-dze
Ra-dza Sa-mung-ga-te So-ha!

To learn more about the Medicine Buddha, an excellent site is:

Here are some links to news releases / blogs about His Holiness ' recent visit to Long Beach.



Time XXI by Khalil Gibran

And an astronomer said, "Master, what of Time?"

And he answered:

You would measure time the measureless and the immeasurable.

You would adjust your conduct and even direct the course of your spirit according to hours and seasons.

Of time you would make a stream upon whose bank you would sit and watch its flowing.

Yet the timeless in you is aware of life's timelessness,

And knows that yesterday is but today's memory and tomorrow is today's dream.

And that which sings and contemplates in you is still dwelling within the bounds of that first moment which scattered the stars into space.

Who among you does not feel that his power to love is boundless?

And yet who does not feel that very love, though boundless, encompassed within the centre of his being, and moving not form love thought to love thought, nor from love deeds to other love deeds?

And is not time even as love is, undivided and paceless?

But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons,

And let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.


Video Contribution

Joyce Militello sent in this short, sweet video about rebounding from the ups and downs of life and always keeping a positive point of view.


Darrin's Digital Funhouse


Visit the new Live Video page on the ACI-LA site to see all the current and archived broadcasts on Ustream.TV, including Lama Marut's 3 Yogas of the Bhagavad Gita and Geshe Michael and Lama Christie's Spiritual Partner Teachings:


Email Darin if you want in on the Digital Sangha list to get reminders about what's coming up or need help to view the archived teachings.

Twitter into Happiness!

Get little pearls of Lama wisdom sent straight to your cell phone every day via text message!

Lama Marut gives us another way to keep ourselves mindful of how to be happy by sending out "Dharma Twitters" via Just create a profile at (it takes 10 minutes max) and then text " follow Lama Marut" to 40404 from your cell phone.

Get a little Lama love in the middle of your busy day!


ACI LA Newsletter

Dharma Website of the Month

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.


ACI LA Newsletter

Dharma Flicks

Implicit Dharma:
Implicit Dharma: Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts

Academy Award-nominated director Scott Hicks documents an eventful year in the career and personal life of distinguished composer Philip Glass as he interacts with a number of friends and collaborators. As a student of the dharma, Mr. Glass' life and work serve as great examples of living life according to a higher calling and persevering on a path that requires great personal commitment. Glass' music offers a rare transcendence and has been the score of such notable dharma flicks as Baraka and Kundun. In this film, a glimpse into the life and the mind of such a musician is a special experience.  

Explicit Dharma:
Explicit Dharma: Doing Time Doing Vipassana

Doing Time Doing Vipassana documents the story of Kiran Bedi, the former Inspector General of Prisons in New Delhi, who transformed the notorious Tihar Prison by offering inmates the opportunity to practice Vipassana. The film is inspirational in its depiction of prison inmates who were lead to see that life is a precious gift and that the causes for happiness can be cultivated even while in prison. We see too how their success leads to the Indian Government deciding to allow Vipassana into all the country's prisons. Through the moving depiction of the inmates changes we see directly the powerful force of the dharma and that impermanence can be employed to our greatest advantage.

Dharma Flicks submitted by Mike Parry


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

This Month's Dharma Podcasts:

"The Six Perfectionizers" "An Alternative to Unhappiness" and "The Perfection of Giving."  

Weekly videocasts: /mg-video.html

Audio podcasts : /mg-podcsts.html

Audio Downloads: The "Recent Teachings" section on is replete with new public talks on yoga, Guru yoga and meditation at: /teach_marut_recent.html

Be sure to subscribe to keep up to date on the digital downloads! Click on the subscription button at and/or 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


ACI LA Newsletter

Current and Upcoming ACI-LA Classes

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

Many of the classes are given weekly so please check the ACI website calendar for full descriptions and times:


Friday Oct 3 - Saturday Oct 4
The Tibetan Book of Meditation, with Lama Christie McNallly
For details go to:

DHARMA - by donation only

Monday 7:30-9:30pm
ACI VII:  Vows of the Bodhisattva, with Teacher

Thursday 7:30-9:30pm
Bok Jinpa III: Setting Your Meditation On Fire, with Lauren Benjamin


Sunday 6:30-8:30pm
Guided Meditation, with Rick Blue

YOGA - suggested donations are listed.  No one will be turned away for lack of funds
For details go to:
Please contact:

Monday 6-7 pm
Beginners, with Jessica Larsen / Rebecca Stanley
Suggested donation: Free community class

Wednesday 6-7 pm
Beginners, with Sarah Canfield
Suggested donation: $10

Wednesday 7:30 - 9:30 pm
All levels, with Sarah Canfield
Suggested donation: $10

Friday 12 - 1 pm
All levels, with Sarah Canfield
Suggested donation: $10

Saturday 9:15 am - 10:15 am
Beginners. with Sarah Canfield
Suggested donation: $10

Saturday 10:30 am - 12 pm
All levels, with Sarah Canfield
Suggested donation: $10

Sunday 2:00 - 3:30 pm
All Levels, with Rebecca Stanley
Suggested donation: $10

To help Mahasukha Yoga teachers receive special trainings to pass along to all of us, please consider making a donation to the Yoga Scholarship Fund - just click on the lower "Donate" button on the left side of the yoga page:



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 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 and find broken weblinks and audio that doesn't download.
* Have accounting skills and/or are familiar with Quik-Books
* Add a link to ACI-LA website on your blog.


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 and Sal Gallina for their kindness in teaching here in Los Angeles.

Thank you to Stephane Dreyfus for maintaining the ACI-LA website, and to all our marvelous students who help make it possible to spread the Dharma.

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 at by the 20th of the month.