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Beyond the Brain



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Quiet Contemplation
Photograph by Cary Wolinsky

Kazunari Kimura, an apprentice Buddhist monk in Kyoto, Japan, rakes the stones of the Ryoanji Temple garden once a week. The large island stones form the Japanese language's character for the word "mind." Kimura focuses on cleaning leaves and weeds from the garden and rakes the stones into neat rows, excluding other thoughts. "This raking," he says, "concentration to draw straight lines, is like meditation." For others, these gardens are intended to be viewed from the covered area at right and combed mentally for similar, peaceful meditation.

Photo Fast Facts

Camera: Nikon F100
Film Type: Fujichrome Provia 100
Lens: 17-35mm
Speed and F-Stop: 1/125 @ f/5.6
Weather Conditions: Cloudy
Time of Day: Early morning
Lighting Techniques: Ambient light
Special Equipment or Comments: The raking of Ryoanji Temple takes place long before the site opens to the public. The key here is access. Careful planning and requesting permission to photograph well in advance of the visit are essential.


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