Bodhinatha's Classes in California, Day 1

Bodhinatha, Yoginathaswami and Sadhaka Satyanatha are in California, where Bodhinatha is leading a retreat for church members and students. We are nestled among giant redwood trees, in a Buddhist monastery which rents its facilities for events. A few Buddhist monks and nuns walk around quietly, greeting the Hindu monks and celebrating our common heritage with kind words. Daily, without fail, they perform an hour-long puja in Tibetan, a relative of Sanskrit. Read more about the Land of Medicine Buddha here.

Being with the guru is always a moment when we, in devotion, meet our own divine potential.

Blessings come first, classes later. Bhakti, or devotion, mellows the sharp edges of the intellect and allows us to reach for superconsciousness.

The day is flowing smoothly with blessings we invoked with a strong Siva puja this morning. Yoginathaswami performed a full abhishekam to a sphatika Sivalingam and included special mudras and mantras specific to Saivite worship.

All is going wonderfully well. A remarkably intelligent and devoted group of students are delighted with Bodhinatha's brilliant analogies, which allow them to easily grasp lofty spiritual concepts; his well-honed teaching skills keep them engaged for the long classes suffused with profound topics and intriguing mysticism.

Great questions!

The manager of the retreat center said a few interesting words to us this morning. She expressed, "I came earlier to talk to you, but there was so much laughter and joy coming from the room that I did not want to come and interrupt. And now that I am finally here to tell you the guidelines of this place, I feel that I don't even need to say them. Your group will honor this place as much as we do. Thank you for coming and bringing blessings."

Students and monks alike are happy to be here at Bodhinatha's feet, listening to his wisdom and Gurudeva's insights. The challenge, of course, is to put them into practice. As Bodhinatha said today, "Understanding someone else's wisdom does not make one wise." Stay tuned for more reports in the next few days. Aum Namah Sivaya.

I Love the Monks

A wonderful email today for the monastery. It is from a good soul who reflects on the challenges of working with people: "Sometimes I think almost all adults are crazy. We make things so complicated and make more and more rules to force people to do the right thing, which can never work. Then you find a few people who WANT to do the right thing and working with them is so easy and fun, they don't get caught on the unimportant stuff. The monks have so many things to do, spiritual practices, making your own food, caring for the grounds and still you "have time" to outreach and inspire the world with Hinduism. I believe you are experts in not getting caught in the unimportant stuff."

Digital Font Work

This phase our book team is making some improvements to the font being used for The Guru Chronicles. The font, called Relato, was crafted by Spanish type designer Eduardo Manso. Back in 2008 we went searching for a special font in which to typeset this special book. We found Relato on a type foundry’s website and obtained permission from Eduardo to add diacritical marks for the transliteration of Sanskrit words. The Hinduism Today team decided to use the font for the magazine starting in 2009, well before the book was to be printed, and it has been a great success. Today we are making some improvements to the kerning table in the font. Kerning is the relative space between specific pairs of letters, and it is a crucial aspect of refined typography. For example, the pair Yo, if not kerned properly, will have the o starting at the right-most point of the Y, leaving an ugly, disproportionate space to the left of the o. When properly kerned, a negative value is given between the two glyphs so that the o will tuck nicely underneath the right branch of the Y. Other pairs that we are examining today include ie and Tw, as well as the ellipsis and period. All you type nerds out there, rejoice!

Archives are now available through 2001. Light colored days have no posts. 1998-2001 coming later.

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