Contemplative Photography and Meditation Retreat Recap

Orange Bugs on Pod  photography by Lisa Ernst

Orange Bugs on Pod
photography by Lisa Ernst

On October 5 I led One Dharma Nashville’s 2013 Contemplative Photography Retreat at Penuel Ridge in Ashland City. It’s a beautiful retreat site and very conducive to meditation and photography. Rather than writing a general recap, I thought I’d share something written by one of the attendees, Tracy Wilson about her experience at the retreat:

Some Things I Learned on My Contemplative Photography Retreat

by Tracy Wilson

1. Birds, butterflies, caterpillars and bees wait for no one! They are as engaged with their busy little comings and goings as I am. All things change and change is constant and uncontrollable.

2. I tend to stop breathing when taking photos. When I don’t breathe, my shoulders tense up and I feel uncomfortable. So…breathe!

3. I tend to want to make adjustments to the subject of my photo…moving a leaf here, adding something there. The best photos are taken when I just let things BE as they are and accept. When I let go of trying to control them, I am more at ease and mindful and get better shots.

4. Light changes with the whim of the clouds and the turning of the earth. Photography depends on the amount of light available. It changes what and how I see things and what the camera picks up. When the light changed from morning to afternoon, the world was “new” and many things were illuminated that I had not seen before. Light changes everything.

5. Moving through my day mindfully is very relaxing and decreases inner conflict. The more I slow down, the more I see and hear.

6. Focusing on a leaf floating in a reflective pond quiets the mind.

7. Walking a Labyrinth is a lesson in patience and a beautiful way to walk mindfully. I’d love to have one!

Leaf and reflection in pond at Penuel Rigdge, photograh by Tracy Wilson

Leaf and reflection in pond at Penuel Rigdge, photograph by Tracy Wilson

To see more of Tracy’s shots from the retreat, go here.