Save the Date — Late Fall Residential Retreat Led by Lisa Ernst

We’ll be back at Bethany Hills Retreat Center in Kingston Springs, December 6 – 9 for a residential meditation retreat. This retreat is open to anyone who would like to experience an extended period of deep dharma practice. More details coming soon.

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Mindful Meditation and Photography Workshop

Contemplative Photography and Meditation Workshop

Cultivating Clarity, Receptivity and Joy With a Camera

Saturday, September 22, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Led by Lisa Ernst

Led by meditation teacher and artist Lisa Ernst, the workshop is suitable to new and experienced meditators. We will awaken contemplative awareness in our photography, supported by periods of meditation and walking practice.  The wooded, private grounds at Mercy Retreat Center, in Northeast Nashville, include open fields, wooded hills and some interesting architectural elements.

Please join us for a day of mindfulness as we combine meditation and the practice of contemplative photography. There’s no need for expensive equipment or technical knowledge, just a willingness to meet the moment in an open and receptive state.  A simple, yet profound joy often arises in this alliance of mind and heart, camera and surroundings.

Led by meditation teacher and artist Lisa Ernst, the workshop is suitable to new and experienced meditators. We will awaken contemplative awareness in our photography, supported by periods of meditation and walking practice.  The wooded, private grounds at Mercy Retreat Center, in Northeast Nashville, include open fields, wooded hills and some interesting architectural elements.

The retreat cost is $75. Two sliding scale slots are available for those who need financial assistance. You have the option of bringing a sack lunch or purchasing an onsite buffet lunch for $8. The buffet is not vegetarian, but there are plenty of options if you prefer a meatless meal.

The workshop deposit without a buffet lunch is $35; with lunch its $43 (advance planning is required for the buffet meal). Deposits are due by Friday, September 14. To pay online through Paypal, go here and scroll to the bottom of the page. If paying by check, please make it out to One Dharma Nashville and send to One Dharma Nashville, c/o 12 South Dharma Center, 2301 12th Avenue South, Suite 202, Nashville, TN 37204. Be sure to include your email address. Additional details and directions will be provided in advance of the retreat. For more information or to reserve your spot, email onedharmaretreat@gmail.com

A Buddhist Monk’s Camera

Nicholas Vreeland explains to how making pictures is something he does as he proceeds through life’s pathways.

"I am a monk who makes photographs."—Nicholas Freeland

“I am a monk who makes photographs.”—Nicholas Vreeland

All of Nicholas Vreeland’s cameras were stolen in 1980. “I was sad that the person who stole the equipment would probably not know what it was. Discovering that everything was lost was like a painful sting, but not one that hurt for long. I was nearly relieved that I was free of a lot of things.” The equipment was insured, so Nicholas was able to manage things for a while with the insurance money. A few years later, his stint as a commercial photographer ended, and when he went off to become a monk, he found himself unfettered and free.

Boarding School Studios and Monasteries
Nicholas started shooting when he was 13. He studied in a boarding school in America, and says that it kept him happy there. At first, he would shoot what was around him and eventually, he created a little studio in his room to make portraits of students. He even made portraits of the Headmaster on the behest of the Headmaster’s wife. This interest spun into an occupation, and photography is what Nicholas did for a living until he became a monk in 1985. Then, he stopped shooting. In fact, it was about after ten years in Rato Dratsang, Karnataka that he revisited photography. Only recently, he displayed his work in an exhibition titled Photos for Rato, which was taken to major cities all over India by Tasveer Arts with the generous support of Zuari Cements.

A Brother’s Gift
When Nicholas moved to the monastery, his brother gifted him a camera. But Nicholas kept it locked in a trunk and rarely took it out. “I did not want it to become a part of my life.” However, after a few years, he began making pictures frequently. “I would keep the camera in my desk and photograph everyone who came into my room.”

To read the full post, go to the Better Photographer blog, here.