blog post: why zen photography?
Zen is not a philosophy, it is poetry. It does not propose, it simply persuades. It does not argue, it simply sings its own song. — Osho —
I imagine that those visiting our website might wonder why we have chosen to call ourselves “Zen Photography.” I can hear the pondering…”Is it a religious thing?” “Do I have to be a Buddhist to participate?” The answer to both questions is ‘no,’ but it’s OK if you are!
Zen is considered a form of Buddhism that focuses on meditation and enlightenment through direct experience. Primarily dependent on awareness and concentration, the premise of practicing Zen is to bring your focus to the present moment. As humans, our tendency is to dwell on the past or focus on the future, and when we do that we typically miss the rich experiences that happen in the “now.” Zen is an awareness. If we shift our focus to the present moment we are not burdened by the woes of the past or the anxieties of the future.
So, that brings us to the question…”Why the title ‘Zen Photography’ then?” Our Zen Photography philosophy is to provide lectures and hands-on practicum that bring your attention to the things you are most in need of learning. Through these practical learning experiences we focus on skills and knowledge that will bring you immediate progress and success. Our goal is that after you’ve attended one of our Zen Photography Workshops you will leave with the knowledge you came to obtain from us and a deeper understanding of that knowledge which will bring you more success in your photography, no matter what your level of experience. We like to think if it as Photo Satori, or Photo Enlightenment! So, our goal is to enlighten you photographically, and if some of that enlightenment rubs off of you in a spiritual way, we’re OK with that too.
For the record, we leave the religious practices of Zen up to the Zen Masters who teach Zen well. And, it’s my understanding that the Zen Masters are leaving the photographic instruction up to us, since we happen to provide photography instruction well!
Namaste, Joanne Bartone Photographer / Zen Photography