Tuesday, September 20, 2016

An Exercise

This is just an idea I had, so I tried it out. The results were interesting. It takes five minutes.

Get a subject, something small, convenient, and easy to love. A flower. This is a little broccoli flower in a tiny glass. We have a lot of these, our garden is going to seed now. Start by taking a picture of it:

Now breathe, 10 times, slowly. Be aware of your breath. Be aware of the flower. Turn it slowly, examine it as you breathe. Be present, here and now. Let other thoughts go. What do you see? At the end of 10 breaths, take another picture:

The unopened buds at the tip of the stem form a starburst, almost like a little face, peering back at me. This might do better in black and white, to separate the starburst better from the background.

Do it again. What else do you notice? Breathe, be present here and now let the past and future be. It's here, it's now, you and your flower. Take another picture:

The droop of these stems feels a little dolorous to me, a little sad.

And again. This is my last picture, but you could go on forever, I dare say:

My gaze drops and I see the glass, the water. The flower sips the water. Also, I am reminded of Fox Talbot, for some reason, because of a photograph he did not take. The picture I am actually thinking of is Baron Adolf de Meyer's "Still Life" from 1907, which appeared in Camera Work #24.

Sorting that memory mess was a hassle, not very Buddhist, but worth it.


  1. Check this out, it is related to your exploration and to photography http://www.buddhistdoor.com/OldWeb/bdoor/archive/nutshell/teach11.htm