I have studied all of the major world religions and quite a few of the minor ones as well. My study of Buddhism gave me an understanding of how to harness my mind, to quiet it, to order it, to control it for the thoughts and actions that I deem best. The first time that I went into my mind I was shocked at the disorder of my cascading thoughts. I immediately took all of the training in Tibetan Buddhist meditation techniques that I could find. I augmented that training with many meditation lessons from some top-notch Chinese martial artists at Ohio State University. (Yes, they also teach meditation.) Along the path of my life-long study of comparative religion many other religions contributed to my understanding of meditation. My knowledge of Christian prayer was foundational in my study of meditation. After half a century of study, I am finally pleased with my mental depth, balance, and skills. I am sad to feel those hard-earned mental skills softly sliding into the lesser mental state of old age. But I must accept the decline, as everyone eventually must.
This is a poorly rendered but heart-felt portrait I painted of the Indian Buddhist teacher who taught me meditation and who supervised others, both Tibetan and American, who also taught me. I drove from Columbus, Ohio to the Buddhist Monastery* in the mountains north of Woodstock, New York to give it to him. My dedication of this portrait to him is written on the back of it but I did not think to keep a record for myself, other than this quick photograph.
I do not say that I am Buddhist, because of the unacceptable dogma and superstitions of that ancient religion, but I am grateful to it and to all the others for teaching how to still my mind.
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* "Karma Triyana Dharmachakra (KTD) is the North American seat of His Holiness the 17th Gyalwang Karmapa, Ogyen Trinley Dorje, head of the 900-year-old Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism and guide to millions of Buddhists around the world." Source: https://kagyu.org/
Caption: Portrait Of The Buddhist Monk Who Taught Me To Meditate
photograph of watercolor by Annmarie Throckmorton
The Tibetan mountains in the background are true in their color and shape.