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Retreat Life In A Temple

posted Jul 29, 2012, 7:54 PM by lyvuong@icsphoto.us
by Thanh Tri Cao ESUSPA HonFICS HonFPSBP HonFARGUS HonFSPH 
HonMARGUS HonMPSP HonPESGSPC HonSPH HonFICS FARGUS FPI ASPH 
To be in perfect balance, human beings should live in accordance with the universe. But with the development of materialistic societies, we are more and more separated from the nature. The earth is exploited and depleted of its nurturing natural resources. This has been affecting our body and mind, causing illness and distress. In such a situation, art can play a role for comfort and inspiration. With their creative talent, the artists have been contributing beautiful works to the world, enhancing the quality of life and giving a sense of joy. 

We are born with a light within ourselves, but it is covered and darkened with greed, anger/hatred and delusion. Differences between people in many aspects and suspicion may create anxiety and fear. The spiritual practitioner is the one who heals the affliction for himself and other beings. There is an intimate connection between body and mind. The spiritual practitioners and the artists are alike in the moment they live with the whole body and mind. With the emptiness in mind and body, the spiritual practitioners have compassion for all beings. The artists, including photographers, forget themselves in the moment of creativity. The mind, with its senses and emotions, is immeasurable.

In the summer retreat at our temple this year, I have watched the scene carefully to be able to catch a spiritual energy in the daily activities. Not only that I found an extraordinary spirituality in each person in some aspects, but also learned from their endeavor to transform themselves.

Indeed, enlightenment can only be attained through a diligent practice over a long time. To transform oneself for the better is the best example for the younger generation to learn. In this photographic collection, the pure innocence in the face of a boy monk brings joy, and with that feeling, I envisaged an infinite past from endless lives which made a person to be what he is today. From discoveries to discoveries, I used my camera to catch the glimpses of these special days of practice and offer them to the viewers.

Although being a Buddhist monk, I am also inspired in composing songs and photography. To make a collection of photography, one needs to spend time and effort to create a valuable piece of art. An impressive picture caught on the right time is either easy or difficult, depending on the layout of the scene and the light at the time. It is not easy to have a picture which is enjoyable to both the photographer and the viewer.

In whatever path of life, we need a teaching philosophy to take refuge in and enhance our spirit. An artistic soul can listen to the silent words of pebbles and stones, the prayer words at night can reach someone’ s consciousness on the verge of a big dream.

O river! You are romantic as ever!
O love! You are beautiful as ever!


On the paths of the temple were traces of the blissful steps. Silhouettes of people coming and leaving flickered in the background of the lotus season. Fragments of thoughts came together to reinforce and keeping the wavering minds from going astray. Beautiful poems shared, reunited conversation under the roof of the temple, all of these were caught in the lenses of my camera.

Whoever collected clouds
Please leave me some, when the afternoon light fades
How adorable, those words of sincerity
Deep in the eyes is the expression of love.


Dear knowledgeable artist friends!

Art has its own borderless language, it is a skillful mean to reach out to everybody. We all know that a skillful mean is necessary to attain a goal. Without words, these photographs of retreat activities in a Zen temple may give you some understanding and enjoyment.

The awakened life in a temple is a manifestation of harmony and truthfulness. The sunlight shone on the shimmering yellow robes, reflecting some contemplative faces. From the very first steps leading to a path of transmission tradition, there should be a powerful motive. This tradition has helped to bring out dedication, compassion and courage in the length of our culture. I hope that these beautiful pictures will give you some insight and get some benefits from it.

Photography is a subject which attracts our sight and thoughts. I learned a lot from these communicative lenses. I believe that photography as an art can impress and bringing understanding into the viewers. This signature of art is contributed to share with you a glimpse on different aspects of life. It is hard for a photographer to catch the right picture at the right time. But it is also hard to find a viewer who can appreciate and enjoy the picture.

Photography is a mean to have good communication with people from all over the world. It is my pride and joy to have my photographs looked at and enjoyed by all respectable viewers.

 

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