Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Lama Yesha Palmo


When my plane landed in Nantucket, Glen Weimer, my host was still with a client doing body work, so I couldn't go straight to his home. Instead, I caught a taxi to the Family Resource Center, (20 Vesper Lane, L-1 Gouin, Nantucket MA). Here a Mindful Meditation Group was going to meet and I thought it would be a good way to unwind and relax after a day of flying. The room we met in was set up for an Alcoholics Anonymous 12 step program. the 12th step was "Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our traditions." In some ways Buddhist teachings are similar to the 12 steps. Buddhist thought holds that craving leads to suffering (the second noble truth). Twenty-five hundred years ago the Buddha taught that snippets of addiction, constantly wanting, ever craving this or that,  are the source of all human suffering. This craving can be reduced and eventually eliminated.

There were just two of us sitting in. The woman across from me had her fists clenched the whole time as Lama Yesha Palmo explained the meditation process. This was the first time I had practiced with someone in full robes. A candle was lit and we sat quietly. I sketched before and after the meditation. I consider sketching my form of meditation. Birds chirped outside and a dog barked a few blocks away. For once my body didn't ache and as I finished the sketch I felt a bit of peace. The session ended with the sound of a meditation bowl humming from the wooden mallet circling it's rim.

I would have left feeling satisfied, but afterwards the Yesha asked questions about our experience. The woman across from me also felt some contentment but she was told that she wasn't meditating properly. Apparently inner sensations must all be let go. I kept my mouth closed, I didn't need my experience to be criticized. I was far to new to meditation to have my experience picked apart and dissected. When I was finally let back out into the world with my suitcase in tow, the sun  felt good on my face and the breeze kept me cool. I didn't need so much structure to appreciate it.

I hadn't seen Glen since the early 90s. He pulled up in his car and we hugged warmly. It was amazing to see the life he had built for himself on this tiny New England island.


Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at analogartistdigitalworld@gmail.com

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