The idea of “Zen” seems to be everywhere I look these days. I have to admit that I googled the definition just to be sure I understood its components.
Zen: a state of calm attentiveness in which one’s actions are guided by intuition rather than by conscious effort.https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Zen
The essence of Zen is attempting to understand the meaning of life directly, without being misled by logical thought or language.
What is the joke about the pizza vendor, as the Dalai Lama walks in and asks, “Make me one with everything?”
All kidding aside, I have high respect for those who practice Zen Buddhism, as well as all world religions, and would not make light of this spiritual practice.
I, for one, could adopt a more Zen-like attitude in my life. My mind, because of my temperament, constantly goes to the details, logic and mostly un-Zenlike ideas which keeps my poor brain in constant agitation. But, I experience Zen in moments of reflection when I am out in nature, in a forest or near the water.
The image above was taken last year by my husband from his vantage point on the bike trail bridge looking down on Lake Natoma, about 15 minutes east of Sacramento. I chose this Painnt filter to give it a more ethereal “Zen” feeling to it.
Last weekend I finally got to play in the water at the Sacramento River Delta.
Instead of trying to stand-up paddle, I purposely brought my kayak paddle and simply sat down on my SUP board and, yes, experiences a little Zen (as well as a sunburn!). Thanks to husband’s photography skills (using my camera) in capturing the moment. I further edited the image with the Painnt filter. Because I am a huge fan of any water sports, I am also linking this to Jez Braithwaite’s “Fan Of…” challenge.
Lately, my own backyard has yielded Zen moments that captured by my lens, like this sweet hummingbird perched right above my head.
My hummer is partly inspired by Granny Shot It’s Bird of the Day.
My pink plumeria is still blooming. I could stare at these all day, photograph them, and blow up Instagram with their images.
Perhaps that is the zen of gardening—you become one with the plants, lost in the rhythm of the tasks at hand.Irene Virag
I’ve mentioned before that I like to inspire myself with my own Sunday Stills photo challenges! This challenge is open for any interpretation or perspective and I hope you are challenged to better understand your place in the world.
I am looking forward to seeing your Zen moments captured in photos, music, lyrics, poetry or short stories.
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