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DHARMA JOURNAL - JANUARY 9TH, 2008

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    Dharma Journal Authentic Dharma for Today s World _____________________________________________ January 9, 2008 - Founded in 1998 Dr. Frank Morales represents
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 11, 2008
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      Dharma Journal
      Authentic Dharma for Today's World
      _____________________________________________
      January 9, 2008 - Founded in 1998



      "Dr. Frank Morales represents the Sankalpa [the will] of the Hindu
      people and the cause of Sanatana Dharma. I urge all Hindus
      everywhere to give him your full support, assistance, and
      encouragement in his crucial work. He needs and deserves our help."

      - Dr. David Frawley (Oct. 14, 2007)




      The Teachings of the Bhagavad Gita

      The one who controls the senses by the trained and purified mind and
      intellect, and engages the organs of action to selfless service is
      considered superior. (3.07)

      Perform your obligatory duty, because working is indeed better than
      sitting idle. Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible
      without work. (3.08)

      Work other than those done as a selfless service (Seva) binds human
      beings. Therefore, becoming free from selfish attachment to the fruits
      of work, do your duty efficiently as a service to Me. (3.09)

      ________________________________________________________




      Question from one of Dr. Morales' students:


      Namaste,

      As so many of us these days seem to be doing much of this work
      all at once, how do we structure our spiritual practices to better
      fit in to this traditional model? Especially in the West, we tend to
      get a little overzealous about everything, almost looking at the
      System of Yoga as something to push through or conquer. I think it
      is wonderful that we get so excited about our spirituality, but do we
      need to slow down, back-up a little, and be on a more natural
      "schedule"? Or can we just be fully aware of the Four Ashramas and All
      the Eight Limbs of Yoga and continue to pursue each one sincerely and
      with devotion recognizing this shift?

      Many thanks to Acharyaji Dr. Frank Morales.

      Om Shanti,

      Sita




      Dr. Morales' Answer:


      Dear Sita,

      Namaste. It does seem that there are an infinite number of demands
      on our schedules today compared to the past! People today are
      riddled with jobs, classes, active Internet lives, family, a barrage
      of information coming at us, etc., etc. To add Yoga, meditation and
      a satisfying spiritual life on top of all this often seems pretty
      daunting.

      The idea of spiritual life is ultimately one of balance. The path of
      Yoga teaches us that balance in all things is necessary to make
      spiritual progress. In the Bhagavad Gita, for example, Sri Krishna
      says:

      "One can have no success in Yoga if one eats too much or eats too
      little. Nor can one be successful if one sleeps too much or does not
      sleep enough." (B.G. 6:16)

      We are meant to practice Yoga in a way that is healthy, realistic,
      and conducive to advancement. Thus, we have to avoid extremes in our
      life, and live our life in such a way that we can come to a happy
      compromise with A) our sadhana (practice) and B) our duties in life.

      As far as knowing where the line lies between balance and obsession,
      that will vary in accordance with the individual. A good indicator
      that you may be over-extending yourself in sadhana at the expense of
      the other important aspects of your life is precisely when sadhana
      begins to be seen as a burden rather than a joy, and to produce
      anxiety rather than peace.

      When we are performing asanas, for example, we know that we have
      pushed our bodies too far when an asana has gone from being merely
      challenging to being painful. At that point, we are being given a
      hint by our body that it is time to pull back a little, and if we go
      further, we may end up injuring ourselves.

      In the same way that we need to hear and respect what our body is
      communicating to us in asana, we also need to hear what our inner
      self is telling us with our sadhana practice. It is important always
      to challenge ourselves in a healthy and progressive manner. But if
      we go beyond that fine line from challenge to unhealthy extremes,
      then we need to adjust ourselves accordingly and reassess how much we
      can do in accordance with our capabilities, the time we have, our
      other demands in life, and our goal in spiritual practice.

      If, on the other hand, our problem is not just that we feel that
      we're pushing ourselves too much spiritually, but that we actually
      want to perform more sadhana but simply do not have the time, then
      this is a different concern. This is still a matter of balance, but it
      is now one of a balance of priorities. In this case, there are several
      options that one can follow. These include: A) reassessing just how
      important other specific, non-spiritual activities are to one's
      life. Are there some activities – even just one or two – that can be
      put on hold or scaled down to give you more time? Can you take one
      less class, work a few less hours a week, or make some other minor
      adjustments? B) Another course of action is maximizing the time you
      do have, doing things more efficiently as much as is feasible.

      What spiritual practitioners often find is that, interestingly, when
      we take somewhat of a leap of faith and put our spiritual life first,
      what then happens is that the rest of our life quite naturally
      becomes more balanced and efficient. When we make room in our lives
      for meditation, Yoga, and spirituality in general, we consequently
      find the energy, inspiration, focus, and determination to maximize
      what we're doing in the rest of our lives.

      While the four ashramas (the four successive stages of life in
      Hinduism: a) student life, b) married life, c) retired life, d) a life
      of complete dedication to spirituality) are certainly excellent guides
      as to how we should structure our lives in accordance with where we
      find ourselves in the ashrama time-frame, as people living in the
      modern world, we also have to make whatever adjustments are necessary
      giving thought to our present demands and lifestyles.

      For many of us, for example, we might be in the grihastha (married)
      stage, but also find ourselves as students (brahmacharya). Or some
      might be in the student stage, but also be married and having to work
      at least part time. So, ideally we are meant to follow one ashrama at
      a time, but if we need to make some adjustments for our own situation,
      that's fine.

      The best way to see stages and categories in Vedic culture (whether
      ashramas, varnas, yugas, etc.) is to see the boundaries between each
      to be somewhat fluid. Rather than seeing such stages as strict,
      compartmental categories where one ends and the other abruptly
      begins, the following might be a good analogy to understand these
      stages better:

      Such stages are similar to the area between the land and the sea on a
      beach. While one can clearly distinguish land from water, at the
      same time it is difficult to say exactly where one begins and the
      other ends. In the same way, if we find ourselves clearly in one
      ashrama, while still performing some duties of another ashrama out of
      necessity, that's fine. Guidelines like ashrama are meant to enhance
      our spiritual life, and not hamper it.

      For the eight limbs of Yoga, in the beginning stages we often have no
      choice but to incrementally add one limb after another over a period
      of time…again, mostly do to a lack of time in our lives. However, it
      is not the case that we need to perfect our practice of one limb
      before proceeding to another. Rather, we're meant ultimately to be
      following all eight limbs simultaneously – from Yama/Niyama to
      Samadhi.

      I hope this was helpful. Take care.

      Om Shanti,

      Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya



      ______________________________________________


      Announcements:


      1. Radical Universalism Book Published by Voice of India.

      "Radical Universalism: Does Hinduism Teach that All Religions are the
      Same?"

      In 2005, Dr. Frank Morales wrote a long philosophical essay that was
      destined to become one of the most widely read, groundbreaking, and
      influential works ever written in the history of Hinduism. In the
      last two years since its initial publication, Dr. Morales' work
      on "Radical Universalism" has been read by over one-million readers,
      translated into a half dozen languages, published in over a dozen
      periodicals, appeared on hundreds of websites, and changed the way
      the world views Sanatana Dharma forever!

      Now a new, expanded edition of this work is being published in India
      by the Voice of India publishing company. With a forward by Dr.
      David Frawley, and endorsements by dozens of the world's most
      important Hindu leaders, this new book edition of Dr. Morales' work
      is destined to reach an even broader audience.



      2. "Dr. Morales List" reaches 2080 members on Yahoo Groups!:

      We have reached the 2080 member mark on the "Dr. Frank Morales List"
      Yahoo group. The "Dr. Morales List" has been the fastest growing
      Hindu forum - by far! - on all of Yahoo Groups for the last twelve
      months in a row! We are now #6 in the rank of size of over 4700
      Hindu groups! Yahoo officials have estimated that if the rate of
      growth continues at this pace, the "Dr. Morales List" could be the #1
      Hindu list forum on Yahoo in less than a year. Thank you all for
      your dedicated help in making this group an overwhelming success!



      3. New Article by Dr. Morales in Hinduism Today Magazine

      Dr. Morales' powerful and inspiring article, "Sanatana Dharma:
      Embracing an Infinity of Possibilities", is currently published
      in the Jan/Feb/Mar, 2008 issue of Hinduism Today, the foremost
      periodical on Hinduism in the world. Please subscribe to Hinduism
      Today. http://www.hinduismtoday.com/



      4. Do You Live in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, or Kansas?
      Join Midwest Dharma!

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midwest_dharma/

      The purpose of Midwest Dharma is to provide announcements about the
      classes, seminars, pravachanas (spiritual talks), and satsang
      schedules of Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr. Frank Morales, Ph.D.)
      in the states of Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas.

      Dr. Morales serves as the Resident Acharya (Spiritual Preceptor) of
      the Hindu Temple of Nebraska, and as the Founder-President of the
      International Sanatana Dharma Society.

      Currently, Sri Acharya Ji conducts two weekly Satsangs in Omaha,
      Nebraska (Every Wednesday, 7:30 - 8:30 PM at the Omaha Healing Arts
      Center; and every Sunday at noon at the Hindu Temple of Omaha). In
      addition, Sri Acharya Ji conducts a full schedule of classes at the
      Hindu Temple in Omaha.

      Do not miss this rare opportunity to learn from an authentic and
      highly recognized Dharma Teacher.

      Please Join Now: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midwest_dharma/



      5. Multi-Media / IT Volunteer Help Needed

      "Dharma Outreach through Cutting Edge Media Technology"

      Our goal is to create our own alternative global Dharma media
      infrastructure, completely independent from mainstream media outlets.

      We will produce the highest quality media presentations on Sanatana
      Dharma in the world. This media includes the production of DVDs,
      books, magazines, websites, Internet forums, CDs, and other forms of
      media. We will also be producing Hindu television and radio shows. To
      accomplish this, we need your volunteer help.

      If you have:

      Video/audio editing/production skills

      Web design experience

      Graphic design experience

      Digital video/audio equipment, computers, monitors, or other IT
      hardware equipment you would like to donate

      Or any other related media/communications production skills

      Please contact Dharma Sun Media at: heather108@.... We
      appreciate your help in our mission to teach Dharma to a suffering world.


      ____________________________________________________________


      The Spiritual and Empirical Realities

      "Our perceptions of the empirical reality that we experience around us
      each day are real only in a secondary, derivative sense. While it
      would be foolish to deny the actual existence of empirical reality, it
      is even more foolish to claim that empirical reality is the foremost
      or only reality. Rather, what we experience through our senses –
      while real on the material level – is only a pale shadow of the
      spiritual Reality that is our home and that is the basis of our true
      being. While the objects, situations, and causality of this sensory
      realm are all temporary, the nature of the highest, spiritual Reality
      is eternal – being a Reality that transcends the element of time, and
      that finds its center in the Absolute. Know and experience that
      foundational spiritual Reality first, and everything about this
      secondary material reality will consequently be revealed to you."

      - Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya



      ____________________________________________________________

      "Dr. Frank Morales represents the Sankalpa [the will] of the Hindu
      people and the cause of Sanatana Dharma. I urge all Hindus
      everywhere to give him your full support, assistance, and
      encouragement in his crucial work. He needs and deserves our help."

      - Dr. David Frawley (Oct. 14, 2007)


      ___________________________________________________________


      For further information on the philosophy and path of Dharma, please
      visit us on the web:


      http://www.dharmacentral.com

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/drmoraleslist/

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/yoga-spirituality/

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/midwest_dharma/

      http://www.cafepress.com/supportstore

      http://www.drfrankmorales.sulekha.com

      http://www.dharmacentral.com/Store/Shakti_Principle.htm

      http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=DharmaNation

      http://www.myspace.com/dharmapravartaka

      http://dharmanation.blogspot.com/



      Thank you to all our many members and readers for your enthusiastic
      support and encouragement of Dharma Journal and the teaching efforts
      of Dr. Frank Morales. We couldn't be able to accomplish anything
      without your well-wishes.

      Please forward this Dharma Journal newsletter to all your friends,
      family, and discussion lists interested in Sanatana Dharma,
      meditation, and Yoga spirituality.



      (c) 2008, Dharma Journal. Volume 10, issue 1



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