Photography as Zen Art

I will give two programs at the U.S. National Arboretum in the Spring of 2014, under the umbrella of Photography as Zen Art, also known as Zen Through-the-Lens. The first one, Beauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable, is a show-and-tell embodying basic Zen teachings; the second one is a hands-on workshop, In Search of Artistic Personality, where participants will meet for about three hours over 4-6 Saturdays. Topics of practice will include: mindfulness meditation, Zen of creativity exercises, look-n-learn, etc…  I will share my views on Photography as Zen Art and the participants will incorporate them into their works, to be created on location. The last session will include a creative activity for participants and guests of all ages and a slide presentation of the selected class images for all to enjoy.

The followings are my tentative topics of discussion:

  1. Photography as Zen art seeks to cultivate the mind as well as train the eyes.
  2. Everything has beauty, but not every eye sees it.
  3. Life’s transient states are as beautiful as moments of perfection.
  4. Beauty is found in intuition, not only in logic.
  5. Real seeing is a process and requires team work.
  6. The main instrument of creativity is the artist within.
  7. The real joy of photography is in the process, not product.
  8. A photograph’s value is in its inward significance, not outward appearance.
  9. Negative space is as rich as forms.
  10. The best time and place to photograph is here and now.
  11. The fastest way to learn photography is to slow down.
  12. The photographer is a partner, not a sole-proprietor.

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