Making Love with Light: Contemplating Nature with Words and Photographs

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This book of exquisite photographs arises from the premise that unless we love nature, we will not work to save it from exploitation and eventual destruction. The rich mixture of photographs, Zen poems, and essays presented on these pages is intended to open our hearts to the wild and the wilderness, and to direct us to the ways in which we can heal the earth.

The Zen master John Daido Loori, who is widely known for his efforts to make creative expression an integral part of ...

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Overview

This book of exquisite photographs arises from the premise that unless we love nature, we will not work to save it from exploitation and eventual destruction. The rich mixture of photographs, Zen poems, and essays presented on these pages is intended to open our hearts to the wild and the wilderness, and to direct us to the ways in which we can heal the earth.

The Zen master John Daido Loori, who is widely known for his efforts to make creative expression an integral part of spiritual practice, here inaugurates a new art form: Zen photography. It’s a modern continuation of an ancient tradition that looks to art as an expression of the enlightened mind. The camera thus becomes a contemporary version of the Zen brush, as Loori captures moments of exceptional, unrepeatable beauty. Each image is a seed for contemplation.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As explained in the foreword to this beautiful book, there is an ancient Zen practice of incorporating san, or a short text, within zenga, or Zen paintings traditionally done with ink and brush. The author of the foreword and book is the abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery, a man known in Buddhist circles for adapting modern technologies to ancient purposes. One way Loori does this is through a camera, snapping photos in place of inking zenga. This book presents two introductory essays, "Sacred Space" and "Light," then 77 of Loori's color photographs, grouped into two sections, "River Valley" and "Rock," each of which opens with its own essay. The essays are finely written and acutely observant about nature, humanity, the sacred. The photos--of rocks, water, vegetation, occasionally of animals alive or dead--are more impressive still, each imparting not only a visually striking image but, carried by the image, a sense of stillness or grace. These are masterful photos, worthy of contemplation. The san accompanying the photos (san on one page, photo on opposing page) work less well. Occasionally, they deepen the experience of the photos, but as often they're more literal and less evocative than the images, sometimes merely descriptive and infrequently overwrought. An extraordinary image of two boulders in water, for instance, is joined by the lines, "Light as spring blossoms/boulders float suspended in space." Overall, this is an unusual and spiritually powerful book, handsomely produced, suffused with a genuine and accessible understanding of the miraculous ordinariness of the natural world. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590304860
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/27/2007
  • Series: Dharma Communications Series
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 8.54 (w) x 9.48 (h) x 0.62 (d)

Meet the Author

John Daido Loori (1931–2009) was one of the West's leading Zen masters. He was the founder and spiritual leader of the Mountains and Rivers Order and abbot of Zen Mountain Monastery. His work has been most noted for its unique adaptation of traditional Asian Buddhism into an American context, particularly with regard to the arts, the environment, social action, and the use of modern media as a vehicle of spiritual training and social change. Loori was an award-winning photographer and videographer. His art and wildlife photography formed the core of a unique teaching program that integrated art and wilderness training by cultivating a deep appreciation of the relationship of Zen to our natural environment. He was a dharma heir of the influential Japanese Zen master Taizan Maezumi Roshi and he authored many books.
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