Letter from the Editor

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

by Ivy Dally

Grand plans, high hopes, and resolutions for a brighter, better life abound this time of year.  January is named for the Roman deity Janus, a two-faced fellow associated with doorways and the possibility of new beginnings.  Like Janus, I’ve turned one face to the past, and one face to the future.  As I continue to focus on 2011, there is hope and beauty and the bright light of pure karmic seeds blossoming.  The year, the month, the day, each second, brings change.   I’m ready to step through Janus’s door and experience them with open arms.

The first big change for me is taking on the role of editor for the Mahasukha quarterly newsletter.  For many of you reading this, you’re probably surprised, or simply wondering, who is this person anyhow?  That’s a valid question.  If you don’t know who I am yet, it’s because I’ve only stepped foot in the Mahasukha Center once in my life, last April, after attending the retreat with Lama Marut at the Yokiji Zen Mountain Center in Southern California.  I have lived in a college town/farming community in Northern Illinois for the past ten years.   As I write this, it is currently 26 degrees and a blanket of snow is covering the corn fields.  Yet as cold as it is, I have no plans of moving.   I’m about as far away from LA as one can get.

Let me qualify that.  Physically I am far away.  The Mississippi and the Rockies separate my tiny town from the sprawling neighborhoods and mass of traffic that is LA.  But my heart is out there all of the time.  My thoughts dwell on the wonderful lamas of ACI-LA that give up the precious moments of their lives to teach.  I can be a part of the Mahasukha community and live in Illinois because of the amazing technologies that are available today.  My husband and I have been very blessed with the opportunity to have Dharma teachings and Mahasukha events broadcast straight into our home.  Via the UStream channel, we can watch and interact with the students and teachers in real time.  Through the many podcasts that are available, we can take teachings with us in the car, or to the office, or for an overnight at the in-laws.  The wisdom of ages easily fits in the palm of my hand.

That is why, here at the beginning of a new year, I can look ahead with a positive attitude.  I can embrace the change and see it as an opportunity to learn.  While for many the idea of a resolution is more akin to a crapshoot, and high hopes are built on shaky foundations, I can take refuge in the knowledge imparted by the teachers at ACI-LA.  This doesn’t, however, mean that this is EASY.  Indeed, in many ways it’s quite the opposite.  My lamas are three valleys, two time zones, and six states away.  2000 miles is a long distance between you and the rest of the Sangha, and it can be a bit lonely.  And when you fall off the Dharma bandwagon, it can take a while to realize you need to hoist yourself back up.

In an effort to bridge the distance, to strengthen my practice, and to create enduring ties to the ideas and principles of the Mahasukha Center, I’ve decided to edit the newsletter.  I hope the newsletter becomes a platform where all of the Sangha, from LA and beyond, can come together to share ideas, hopes, inspiration, victories, and even failures.  The Middle Path is winding, and it’s full of bumps of seemingly unexpected twists and turns.  But, with my Janus like powers, I can see where I’ve been and where I’m going, and I project a clear mind and a happy outlook for 2011.  Happy New Year!

1 comment on “Letter from the Editor”

  1. Thank you for taking this on, Ivy! We are so fortunate to have you in the ACI-LA community. Big ups to Darin and Ryan for making the Ustream program happen so we can befriend stellar people like Ivy.

 

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