Zen of SUP

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.


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.

Modified SUP with Kayak paddle

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.

Perched hummingbird

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.


The plumerias are submitted to Cees Flower of the Day Challenge.

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.

© 2019 Copyright-All rights reserved-secondwindleisure.com

74 thoughts on “Sunday Stills: The Essence of #Zen

  1. As the month comes to an end, I am finishing up my photo challenge post. Just took my Zen photo yesterday. And coincidentally, got an upclose shot of a hummingbird in the morning, too. How did you get the gorgeous bokeh in the background of your stunning photo? I really need to break out my good camera and work on that!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your first photo does have a Zen feeling to it. I have learned something new again from you, Terri with photography. I am curious to see the results I would get from this filter. Your photos are stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love that opening photo! Looks like a watercolor! I personally strive to live connected with Nature the best I can, not always letting the intellect take the drivers seat. Not always easy, but Zen is a practice and a daily journey…. and striking a balance with the nitty gritty things we need to do as part of life. Take out the trash, pay the bills 😉

    Susan Grace

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Terri, I didn’t really fully understand what Zen meant either, but now you’ve explained, yes I have those ‘Zen’ moments. I love what you did with the first paddle boarding photo, fantastic how it’s really come to life. The humming bird is so beautiful and of course your flower photography is always stunning. So glad you’re back on the water Terri 🙂


  5. I had no idea what ‘Zen’ was but, now you’ve explained it to us, I’ve had those ‘zen’ moments, usually when out walking on my own.
    So pleased to hear you’re back on/in the water and able to enjoy it once again, Terri. Love the first image. What you have done with the filter makes it look as if somebody has painted the picture. It captures the essence of zen perfectly.
    Have a great week.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.