Mrs. Park worked as an architect closely with C.V. Starr, an international insurance magnate and philanthropist with strong ties to East and South East Asia.
On one of those trips she got terribly ill. While she was in the hospital with malaria she had a clear vision of her choices in life: if she continued with her marriage to Brock Park she would die, or she could end her marriage, move back to New York, and radically change her life. Helen went back to New York and she began studing Eastern Philosophy, yoga and nutrition.
Mrs. Park maintained an avid interest in Tibetan Buddhism and spent a year in India in the 1940’s collaboratively researching Tibetan medical texts with her partner Theos Bernard, an internationally acclaimed scholar of India and Tibet and a pioneer in the study of Hatha yoga.
She left behind an extensive archive of writings and personal papers documenting her exploration of consciousness and healing and exemplifying, through her own life story, the potential for humans to heal themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. These papers articulate a powerful and prescient vision of bringing the modern sciences into meaningful dialogue with the ancient wisdom traditions of the world to help humanity resolve the challenges of this era.
The history of these two pioneers shared a mutual interest on consciousness and healing and left a rich legacy.
The Helen Graham Park Foundation is privileged to have a small but important selection of Tibetan art and artifacts collected by Hellen and Theos in their trip to India in 1946 and 1947. Our collection features seven antique thangkas ornamented with gold leaf paint and set in brocade, and over seventy Tibetan Buddhist texts, text fragments and manuscripts. The textual collection is significant for its antiquity and for the wide array of Tibetan literary genres represented within it including Buddhist logic, grammar and philosophy, spiritual biography, ritual, liturgy, medicine, and history.
Mrs. Park left behind an extensive archive of writings and personal papers which document her exploration of consciousness and healing and exemplify, through her own life-story, the potential for humans to heal themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Her archive includes her translations of Tibetan texts on medicine, metallurgy, logic, philosophy, and biography, and extensive personal diaries and notebooks documenting her research of Tibetan Buddhism, Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, Jungian psychology and other psychotherapeutic traditions, and quantum physics. These writings offer timely and prescient insights illuminating how the physical and human sciences can be bridged with the ancient healing traditions of the world to shed light upon the nature of consciousness and the innate human potential for self-healing.
The Foundation has recently initiated plans to archive the complete Helen Graham Park Collection, a unique collection of Indo-Tibetan materials of great historical, cultural and aesthetic value to scholars and the public alike.