Brought to You By Senior Students of Lama Marut

To honor their Teacher’s commitment to help us all become better for others, The Classical Texts and Authentic Practices curriculum will now be taught by senior students of Lama Marut.

What You Can Expect

The Problem, Cause, Goal, and Solution: Four Worthy Steps towards Acceptance and Peace with David Simmons

Five Sessions: 20 September, 27 September, 4 October, 11 October and 18 October

At a time when so much seems to be in disarray, there is possibly no better time to explore this foundational wisdom. It's certainly not that we have more problems now than any other time.  But since we are living NOW, now is in fact the PERFECT time to learn or be reminded of one of the most elegant and functional ways of dealing with our current circumstances. I hope you will join us for the adventure.

The “Four Noble Truths,” outline fundamental truths about reality.  They encapsulate the Buddha’s teaching, and offer a universally applicable structure for a profoundly practical way of living. 

1) Recognize the GROUND TRUTH of change.

2) Analyze the cause of our problems with change.

3) Recognize an alternative to how we experience suffering as a result of change.

4) Provide a method for navigating change with acceptance and peace.


Topics include: “What is Meant by ‘Life is Suffering,’” “Discontentment, Craving, and Attachment,” “The Goal of Contentment and Peace,” and “Methods for Attaining the Goal.”

Benefits of the Course:

• Establish a firm foundation for a spiritual practice that leads to freedom from suffering

• Identify areas of unhappiness and discontent in your life and learn how to transform them

• Uncover the real cause of all forms of suffering

• Recognize that there is an alternative to perpetual dissatisfaction

• Learn practical methods for defeating the “mental afflictions” and obtaining true peace and happiness


Based on selections from the Buddha’s Turning of the Wheel of Dharma Sutra (Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta), Shantideva’s Guide to the Bodhisattva’s Way of Life, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ashtavakra Gita, and the Bible, and many other sources.

  • 20 September - 18 October 2020

    6:30pm CT (two hours), Sundays

Senior Teacher

David G. Simmons

Born in New Orleans, David Simmons grew up in a generally Christian household with an inspiring and eloquent local minister. But as many people with curious natures will recognize, more questions were arising in his youth, than answers appearing. An early run in with the mysteries of quantum theory led him to Taoism, which led to Zen Buddhism, which led to the western mystery schools, and started a lifelong spiritual and intellectual quest. David currently runs I.T. and operations for a 40 year old sales and marketing company. Before that he pursued a number of professional interests. Including investment management at Merrill Lynch, brand consulting with a firm from England, and hopping around the world running his own international sales and marketing company. Until a bout with cancer realigned his priorities. After about a year of recovering from his illness, a brief foray into filmmaking, though intriguing, did not satisfy that deep longing he had been nurturing since his youth. And so he returned in earnest to his early fascination with the spiritual life. David studied a wide array of philosophical and spiritual traditions both traditional and esoteric, in which he completed both retreats and initiations. In 2008 he found his heart teacher in Lama Sumati Marut and studied closely with him for many years, in both open and esoteric material. Under Lama Marut’s guidance and at his request, David taught Buddhism publicly for several years in Nashville, TN, where he lives with his lovely wife and two children. He now engages with a small group of students and personally focuses less on the acquisition of knowledge, and more on the application of wisdom, with a particular focus on how it may apply to and be preserved by people living the life of householders in the modern world.

About the Series

It's not too late to join the whole two-year study.  All sessions are recorded for you to visit again and again.  Register Here.

Taught by senior students of Lama Marut, the CLASSICAL TEXTS AND AUTHENTIC PRACTICES curriculum offers a progressively unfolding, comprehensive course of study in the wisdom and practical application of Eastern spirituality as it pertains to modern life.  Based on Lama Marut’s original translations and relevant, applicable interpretations of the Sanskrit classics of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Yogic traditions, these courses cover a wide range of teachings and practices from an inclusive, comparative, and non-sectarian point of view.  They are designed to provide an in-depth, systematic, and coherent foundation and overall framework for any serious spiritual practitioner --  from beginners to experienced teachers, regardless of one’s religious affiliation or the lack thereof.

Each course consists of six weekly interactive online classes, including lecture and discussion as well as guided meditations led by the course facilitator.  Each class also includes an easily applicable and effective practice designed to integrate the teachings into daily life.  You'll have an opportunity to discuss, interact, and share your thoughts, reactions, and experiences of the material covered.

The curriculum as a whole is comprised of twelve courses to be taught over two years.  When taken together, these stand-alone courses constitute an extensive course of study in the classical scriptures and principal practices of Eastern spirituality.  Participants are, however, welcome to register for any one, several, or all of these interrelated yet self-contained course offerings. Recorded content is available for each module upon completion -- it's never too late to sign up!

Lama Marut (a.k.a. Dr. Brian K. Smith) had been immersed in the Sanskrit classics of Eastern spirituality for over forty-five years until his recent passing in October 2019.  He held a Ph.D. in Comparative Religion and taught for twenty-five years in the academic world before retiring in 2004.  For the past twenty years he offered classes, mentored students, and led spiritual retreats for practitioners around the world.  In addition to his academic books, he was the author of the popular and award-winning book, A Spiritual Renegade’s Guide to the Good Life and of Be Nobody (both published by Beyond Words).  The CLASSICAL TEXTS AND AUTHENTIC PRACTICES represents the culmination of a lifetime’s study and spiritual practice.