Making these photographs is part of my ongoing interest in understanding and expressing how meeting takes place between our self, one another, each thing. Through my 40+ year engagement with Zen practice, I have found that it is essential, as my first teacher Shunryu Suzuki Roshi said, to “believe in nothing.” Out of the utter clarity of this dynamic, ever changing nothing, each arising may appear as it is, each meeting may take place not limited to our views and preferences.

This nothing is born of a not knowing; not knowing does not mean that we do not know anything, but rather that we are not limited by what we know. The contents of each moment as well as the moment itself may have a wild, mysterious, yet to be explored quality, fresh and pure. It is a purity that is not about being free from defilements. Prior to preconceptions, purity is about neither being this way or that. It manifests as a deep intimacy where we are able to see ourselves in each thing, and may allow our meeting others /each thing to be expressed uniquely as us.

The world that we meet and join with is not found apart from our perceiving and knowing it. When we allow things to come forward and authenticate and cultivate themselves, we may not only see the garden outside our window and see it settling in us, but also we may see the mind seeing the garden. We may come to recognize seeing as the process of seeing, and, further, as the process of seeing the mind seeing. This is the gesture of mind settling on itself. This is to know mind in each situation, to settle in closeness. Each arising, whether new to our experience or not, is intimate, a piece of our mind. Everything is close…

- Ryuten Paul Rosenblum

Ryuten Paul Rosenblum Roshi is a lineage holder in the tradition of Dongshan and Dogen. The significance of the visual arts in his life has been developed and refined by decades of Zen practice and temple life. This practice life is rooted in and expressed through qualities such as spaciousness, impermanence, stillness, clarity, intimacy, incompleteness, simplicity and the absence of pretension … a grounding in the mysterious uniqueness of each arising in the present moment. With this series he won a Portfolio Selections Award in the 2014 San Francisco International Photography Competition.

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