Yesterday evening, after I put Alex to bed, I grabbed my camera. It was about 7:30 p.m., and the water sprinkler had just been turned off. I just walked around our garden, looking for things to shoot.
As I wandered, I remembered once speaking to this woman who told me that I should do more meditation: "But not necessarily the sitting-in-a-quiet-space-chanting," she said. "It could be journaling. Or running. Something where you can be alone with your thoughts."
She was right of course, and I've done all of these things to some extent. But last night, listening to the crickets begin to chirp, and feeling the heat of the day beginning to break, I realized that just looking for subjects, being mindful of the light, adjusting the settings on my camera, looking through the viewfinder and holding my breath as the breeze moved the flowers or leaves or even the insects in and out of focus before I squeezed the shutter ... this is another form of my meditation, as well.
I think it's good to have a daily meditation practice, but maybe it's not necessary to have just one meditation practice. Maybe it's just important to ensure there's some quiet time every day: a time when we just forget about our to-do lists, our daily routines, our usual obligations and just be really present for 20 minutes, mindful of exactly what we're doing, and what's going on around us. And it occurs to me that photography totally does this for me.
If you have a time when you really love being alone with your thoughts, I'd love to hear about it. After all, we can all use some meditation inspiration.
And on that note, have a great weekend everyone.
Images: Photographed with Nikon D300, 60mm micro lens, in and around our garden.