November 27, 2009

New Semester New Book

Well, the last week has been pretty busy. I tested and interviewed about 70 new students for our classes to begin next week. Still had too many for the openings we had and that is the most difficult part, telling someone they didn't make the cut. My other big problem is class time - so many students just can't make it to the 4:30 classes because of work or traffic or school. I have a Saturday class for the first time and there is already a huge waiting list. Maybe next semester, I'll have to have more weekend classes.

The other surprise wonderful news is I have a new book credit out. It's called "Preliminary Practices of Tsa-Tsas" and has just been published by FPMT. In 2007, when I was doing volunteer work at Nalanda Monastery outside of Toulouse France, I spent a lot of time in the tsa-tsa studio as part of my work on the shrine in the new gompa. The tsa-tsa studio is responsible for making the rubber molds used all over the world to make tsa-tsas. One day, Director Tendar was asked if we could provide cover pictures for a new edition of the Preliminary Practices and he asked me to do it. I must have taken a couple dozen pictures of various molds, tsa-tsas, arrangements and backgrounds. Much harder than you think. But now, over two years later, it's finally on the shelves and here is the cover:

So, go the Foundation Store and order a copy today
(sorry but I don't make any royalties).

Well, classes start on Monday and again I'll have 100 students in 4 different levels, plus teaching at the community center, teaching the sangha on Sundays, and continuing to tutor the staff. Now if only I could work more on my Mongolian.

For those living in Kansas City, I am flying in for a visit on February 6th to the 27th. Then it's back to Mongolia for our Spring semester in March. Hope to see you all.