the stories we tell…ourselves

Stay at Home Order … day 6 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

The sound of water

is my companion

in this lonely hut

in lulls between

the storms on the peak

~Saigyō (cited: Trans: B Watson, Poems of a Mountain Home)

Nikon D750… f/1.8 1/4000s 35mm 200 ISO

John F Simon’s Drawing your own Path:

“We all confabulate. When tragedy strikes, we want narratives to explain why it happened. When scientist try to put together conflicting data, they theorize. I attempt to reconcile disparate facts by concocting plausible scenarios–making up stories about drawings for my art collectors because, after all, what art patron doesn’t like to know the real story behind an artwork.

“If my mind seems to always make up stories what do those stories say about who I am and how I see the world? Does consciously shifting my view change how I describe myself? How responsible am I for the content and direction of my story? What if I am not telling a story but a story is telling me? If I am open to listening, are there changes to be learned from the images?”

Nikon D750 f/1.8 1/4000s 35mm 200 ISO

Nourishing Positive States of Mind

Invest some time in recognizing, embracing, and nourishing positive states of mind.

Thus far, my list includes: gratitude, loving-kindness, inclusiveness, compassion, mindfulness, tranquility, equanimity, humility.

Identify, contemplate, and set out an intention to practice 1-3 positive mind states throughout the day.

This morning I silently expressed gratitude for continued safe water, electricity, internet, mail delivery, trash pick up, and traffic lights and experienced an easing of resentment.

I have found that inclusiveness opens doors of supportive unity with others as well as silences isolation.

What are your positive states of mind and how can an intention to practice them help you through this unsettling time?

Please be safe.

2018 photography review, november

November is about Thanksgiving, a celebration within the United States in which people gather around a table of abundance and give thanks (or not) before engaging in one of the seven sins…gluttony.

“The Tibetan Wheel of Suffering illustrates how our psychological patterns — our unconscious drives and needs, impulsive and reactive responses, learned and conditioned habits, and obsessions and compulsions – serve to keep us locked in self-defeating or misguided mental formations.

“Within the lower section of the wheel is the realm of the hungry ghost…beings with long, extremely slender necks, needle mouths, and bloated stomachs.  They are characterized by their infinite emptiness and eternal starvation that drives addictive and compulsive behaviors. When they do obtain what they crave, their achieved desires turn into swords and knives in their bellies. Their unfulfilled longings and cravings torture them through unending grief, rejection, bargaining, and anger. They remain insatiably obsessed with the fantasy of achieving complete release from their past.  Their efforts to undo the past remain unproductive as they layer past memories onto the present and thus respond to present occurrences as if they were suddenly transported into their past.  While they are aware of the suffering within their misery, they are unaware of how their confusion and delusion comes from their transpositions and subsequent mistaken attributions. 

“Introduced in this realm is a bodhisattva holding a bowl filled with spiritual nourishment.  These spiritual morsels: grace, faith, mindfulness, centeredness, compassion, loving-kindness, and equanimity, all contain the nutrients of wisdom to ease their torments.” ~B Koeford

contemplative photography – seeing space


Gratitude is a spiritual morsel that awakens us from being overwhelmed in the darkness of resentment to the spontaneous and wondrous moments gifted us through nature’s grace.