Fall 2017 – Winter 2018
Karme Choling is a Shambhala Buddhist Retreat center in rural Vermont. Its like a dream, there’s hundreds of acres with forest, hill, and river. There’s a gorgeous meditation hall, organic garden, dormitories, and campground, maintained by 15-30 meditation practitioners, staff, and volunteers, who practice meditating together morning and evening.
It’s a place you hear about when you first start meditating in the Shambhala Buddhist community. Its one of the first dharma centers Trunga Rinpoche, a Tibetan monk who helped bring Buddhism to the West, and it’s where he was cremated. It is one of the first places where our community established the Dathun practice, a month long meditation retreat.
I went there for Dathun, fell in love with the land and community, and returned a month later to volunteer with the Facilities team and Tsa-tsa practice. Tsa-tsa practice involved making little figures out of plaster that represent a Stupa, which is an architectural monument to the Buddha. Karma Choling plans to build The Stupa That Conquers All Directions to commemorate Trunga Rinpoche. When you buy a painting of Karme Choling, I’ll donate a portion of the proceeds to the construction fund for the Stupa.
I made a dozen or so painting of Karme Choling grounds, forest, and river in Fall 2017 and Early Winter 2018. My favorite location is the site of the Stupa, which is on the first hill as you cross the river bridge and enter the grounds. There’s a ceremonial foundation within a 33 foot diameter circular walking path marked by prayer flags at each cardinal direction. It overlooks forest, river, farm, hills, and the meditation halls.
The winter was brutal, with persistent sub-zero temperatures. By trial and error, I discovered that oil painting becomes impossible at around 5 degrees, otherwise they become too slow and gummy. Winter changes the color and tone of everything. There are almost more colors in a field of snow on a sunny day than in a spring wildflower field.
These paintings are oil on panel, with sizes ranging from 9×12 to 14×18. Many are for sale on my Esty page.