There is a strong tradition of embracing the arts in Zen: archery, flower arranging, haiku poetry, sumi-e brushwork, pottery. Photography can be embraced as a new part of this tradition.

– Mindfulness in every moment and action

– Paying close attention, especially to the ordinary and mundane

– Refraining from judgment about worthiness of subject

– Tuning in visually

– Seeing deeply, penetrating below the surface

– Self-awareness through self-consciousness

– Bringing awareness of the present moment to our photography

– Using the camera to continue and deepen that experience of awareness

– Photographing to experience and express the connectedness to our subject

– Not being attached to results, yet aware of how our actions and choices affect outcomes

– Awareness of Samsara: The cycle of life and death, then rebirth

Dharma: The Wheel of Cause and Effect

– Acknowledgement and connection to materials: camera, film, computer, paper, etc.

– Being prepared to embrace what is given rather than what we wanted or expected

– Accepting and embracing serendipity

– Abandoning the notion that anything can be captured, especially ‘the essence’

– Staying connected to that spark that gave the impulse to make a photo in the first place

– Remembering your breath through your photo process

– Maintaining a direct real connection to your subject, not just intellectual

– Tuning into and strengthening the power of intuition

– Using intuition to lead us to make strong insightful compositions

– Taking responsibility for whole frame and everything in it, including background, edges, corners

– Not having too much or too little in the frame

– Not being too close or too far away from our subject

– Distilling our composition to its simplest form, yet without oversimplification


©Douglas Beasley 2014