rock garden study

Zen Garden Study

Zen Garden Study, Drake’s Beach, Point Reyes,  2014 (images from 2012)

A Zen Gardener, through his use of rocks and sand, seeks to establish an environment in which he and others can obtain a meditative mindfulness, such gardens symbolically and minimally reflecting the essence of the presence of nature’s elements. For example, a vertical rock reflects the sky, a horizonal one the earth, others emulating the mountains. The raked gravel or sand that lies underneath the rocks symbolizes the water– its ripples, its flow and its ever rushing presence in nature’s landscapes. In this series of images, I wished to reflect how the Zen Garden emulates these elements by photographing the very nature that the Zen Garden is symbolically expressing. The rocks, the water, the sand– all of these are present in each image. To all of this, I added the mystery of the long exposure– and its odd recording of periods of time passed– and, hopefully, like the Zen garden, these images express some of the mindful experience of contemplating the presence of these elements.

The center images reflect the enso, which, in Zen calligraphy, is a circle that is typically brushed in one uninhibited stroke, reflecting moments when the mind is left to freely create.

While this piece is meant to be experienced as a single image, you can view the individual images of the study here.