Buddhist Monks Say Twitter Can Lead to Happiness

With his account on Twitter, Lama Sumati Marut helps his followers stay mindful of how to be happy with his free daily “Dharma Twitters.” Dharma is a Sanskrit term that refers to the deepest truths of reality. Understanding these truths can help bring about perfect happiness. Lama Marut’s “tweets” (the little messages sent over the Twitter service) are tiny shots of Dharma love and understanding sent direct to thousands of cell phones every day via Twitter’s free service.

At 140 characters maximum, Twitter’s “microblogging” service has rapidly grown within the social networking arena. Roughly tallying Twitter’s total membership at around 6 million and the number of monthly visitors at 55 million, Compete.com has ranked Twitter as the third largest social network in the world (MySpace is second and Facebook is headed up the list in the number one slot). With those kind of numbers, it makes sense for musicians to sign up to keep fans updated, businesses to use the service to reach out to customers, publicists and marketers to mine the statistics and flack their wares…but an ordained Buddhist Monk?

An ex-Venice Beach surfer, professor emeritus of Religious Studies at UC Riverside, and a child of the 1960s, Lama Marut, pulls in American cultural signposts, pop references, and humor, to help remove cross- cultural hurdles and make even the most esoteric elements of eastern philosophy work as tools for immediate transformation. Lama Marut is ordained in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, but his personal understanding of our modern western lifestyle unites with his extensive scriptural knowledge of authentic South Asian traditions to create spiritual teachings uniquely relevant to Americans. With this cross-cultural background, Lama Marut understands just how technology can expand the reach of the Dharma.

“The Kadampas, Buddhist Monks from India who reintroduced Buddha’s pure teachings into 11th century Tibet, used the only technology they knew at the time; their minds, their speech, and most importantly their feet. They traveled thousands of miles over the Himalayas, fighting all sorts of natural and human obstacles, to get the truth of the Buddha to the people of Tibet. Nowadays we have other obstacles-multimedia bombardments and the like. Teachers of Buddhism, to paraphrase Malcolm X, have to use “any means necessary” to get the true source of happiness out to those searching for it. And anyone wanting to get that information should be able to access it wherever and whenever they want.”

A few of Lama Marut’s recent tweets:

Wisdom wouldn’t be necessary if things existed the way they seem to.

The praise we receive from others is the siren song of samsara.

Freedom comes when we give up trying to stop change.

There’s no point in worrying about the future. It never turns out to be the way you imagined it anyway.

To get a little of the Dharma (140 characters maximum) sent straight to your cell phone every day, just create a free profile at www.twitter.com (takes 10 minutes maximum) and then text “follow LamaMarut” to 40404 from your cell phone.

Lama Marut is the founder and Spiritual Director of the Asian Classics Institute of Cape Ann (ACI-Cape Ann Inc), which offers a full schedule of on-going classes in Tibetan Buddhism, guided meditation and yoga at its home, the Vajramudra Center. In addition to teaching all over the world, Venerable Marut also serves as a founding Board member of the Yoga Studies Institute and as the Spiritual Director of the Asian Classics Institutes of Los Angeles.

Lama Marut will be in Essex, MA on Cape Ann during the month of April to give a series of special inter-faith teachings on the Buddha & Jesus. For more information on dates and times, please check out the ACI-Cape Ann website. www.aci-capeann.org or download the April Flyer at www.aci-capeann.org/MarutApril09.pdf

For more information about Lama Marut, visit his website at: www.lamamarut.org.