Category Archives: Photography

Dharma Eye: A Unique Buddhist Photographer Collective

A second installment of Dharma Eye, an every-fortnight project from “a collective of Buddhist practitioning photographers putting their art in support of beneficial dharma causes.” Follow the link to see more photographs. – Buddhist Art News

Bodhichitta. By Michael Ash. From Dharma Eye.

Bodhichitta. By Michael Ash. From Dharma Eye.

from Buddhistdoor International

Dharma Eye: Crina Radu

In fall 2007, in the company of Venerable Tsoknyi Rinpoche and a group of his students, photographer Michael Ash made a pilgrimage across Tibet to Mount Kailash, the sacred mountain in Western Tibet revered by Tibetan Buddhists as the most auspicious pilgrimage place one can visit in one’s lifetime. During the course of this three-week journey, again and again he found himself inspired by a vision: to create a collective of Buddhist practitioner-photographers whose artwork could be used for the altruistic purpose of supporting the activities of different Dharma organizations around the world.

The Beginning. By Lera Grant-Evdokimova. From Dharma Eye.

The Beginning. By Lera Grant-Evdokimova. From Dharma Eye.

Over the next few years, the inspiration crystallized; Ash’s intent to build a platform where Buddhist photographers could come together was developed and, step by step, practically realized. In 2012, the Dharma Eye website was launched, with this primary intent integrated into its core: 25 per cent of all proceeds from the sale of images are donated directly to Dharma Eye’s rotating Featured Cause of the Month.

This year, Dharma Eye has grown substantially. Since receiving guidance and blessings from both Tsoknyi Rinpoche and Kyabje Dilgo Khyentse Yangsi Rinpoche in Kathmandu, Nepal, at Losar (Tibetan New Year), Dharma Eye has added many new photographers to the core collective and completely redesigned the web platform that supports its activities. As the momentum behind the vision grew significantly, the dream became real.

Now Dharma Eye has available over 600 stunning images with content that includes Buddhist sacred sites; extensive images of HH the Dalai Lama at teachings and empowerments around the world; glimpses of the daily life and rituals of Tibetan Buddhist nuns; evocative documentary work from travels by the collective’s members; and a new gallery of portraits of some of the most dynamic teachers of today by photographer Olivier Adam, whose gentle and warm eye has attracted much attention from those who have become familiar with Dharma Eye’s work. In July, German photographer Victoria Knobloch joined the collective, complementing its collection with her elegant, soft, evocative black-and-white galleries. Continue reading

Photography and Practice

"Drak Yerpa II." From Michael Ash, Dharma Eye.

“Drak Yerpa II.” From Michael Ash, Dharma Eye.

Buddhistdoor International Dharma Eye: Michael Ash

In photography, we are working with light. Simple light. That is if we are simple in our perception. But how does that come to be?

This is where Buddhist practice shines some light on the art of photography, and likewise the practice of photography on the art of Buddhist practice. There is a dialogue that takes place here, a reflection, where each starts to inform the other.

When one first comes to sit in the practice of meditation, one discovers—like a rushing river, as the classic texts express it—how much motion is simply going on in the mind all the time. Thought after thought. How often in this great torrent of the energy of the mind and habitual thoughts is perception ever offered the chance to be simple? In the act of meditation, we discover how elusive actual simplicity can be.

What is more, as one continues in any sitting practice, the layers and layers of interweaving conditoning factors that come together—from coarse levels of personal experience to cultural and social influences—become apparent. A myriad web of conditions are discovered—are witnessed—generating these innumerable thoughts, the content and emotional attitudes of which are the lenses through which any perception of self, other, phenomena, the world, unfolds.

In some senses, the effect of fine photography, the quality with which it affects our being, is in that it offers a window onto that which meditation practice, in part, serves to provide—simplicity. Stillness. In a way, the limitations of the photographic frame, that ubiquitous rectangle on a very unrectangular world, are the very thing that gives it its magic, and its power. What is not included allows the singular focus, strength, and presence of what is. For that moment at least. This is analagous to moments in meditation when some stability in calm abiding is sustained. When what is there is just there. There is great joy in this. And we feel how rare and precious it is. Continue reading

Dharma Eye

DHARMA EYE is a collective of Buddhist practitioning photographers putting their art in support of beneficial dharma causes.

25% of all proceeds from fine art print sales and image licensing through
Dharma Eye, from our site, publications, and exhibits are donated to our featured cause of a given month or event.


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Learn more at their website.

Photo essay: Glimpse of Longmen Grottoes

People’s Daily Online
June 18, 2014

Located in central China’s Henan Province, the Longmen Grottoes is a World Cultural Heritage recognized by UNESCO in 2000. The stone carvings in Longmen Grottoes were started from the reign of Emperor Xiaowen of North Wei Dynasty (471-477) and lasted over 400 years to complete.

Representing the highest stone-carving level of China, the Longmen Grottoes stretches about 1 kilometer from south to north, with over 1,300 grottoes, 2,345 shrines, over 3,600 inscriptions, over 50 pagodas and over 97,000 Buddha statues. It is not only a stone-carving art museum, but also an encyclopedia of history and culture.

For more photos, follow the [link].

Bangkok Photo Exhibit: Reflecting on myths and mortality

Bangkok Post
30 JUne 2014

How do you photograph bodily sensations and our pre-programmed cellular decay? Elizabeth Preger’s sensitive, sombre work instantly reminds us of one of Buddhism’s meditation mantras — “Rising…Falling”, which is also used as a reflection on death.

“Here Are My Teeth: Black With Stars” is a photographic exhibition by the American photographer whose practice focuses on ideas of myth-making, as well as photography’s historical relationship to mortality and place.

Continue reading

Chasing away the evil spirits! Himalayan village’s colourful Buddhist festival

Daily Telegraph
30 June 2014

Caught on film: Dancer twirls around at the little-known Torgya Festival in Tawang

Caught on film: Dancer twirls around at the little-known Torgya Festival in Tawang

A quiet Himalayan mountain village springs to life for a colourful Buddhist festival designed to expel evil spirits and bring happiness.

The annual Torgya Festival in Tawang, in north-eastern India, is full of colourful dancing, music and theatre.

The three day festival is held in the courtyard of the Tawang monastery, which is nestled on top of the hill overlooking the town.

For more photos, follow the [link].

17 of Southeast Asia’s most photogenic temples

Brave New Traveler
25 Jnune 2014

Wat Pho (Bangkok, Thailand) A Buddhist temple in the Phra Nakhon district of Bangkok, Wat Pho is home to the reclining Buddha (49.2 feet in height and 141 feet in length). The temple, additionally known as Thailand’s first public university, is often considered the birthplace of traditional Thai massage. (via)

To view more, follow the [link].

Photo Essay: Exhibition of the Buddha held in Tibet

People’s Daily Online
June 12, 2014

On June 10, with the sound of sutra bugle, lamas and many Buddhists carried on the large-scale Padmasambhava Thangka or Thanka Paintings to the platform for the exhibition of the Buddha. The grand ceremony not only attracted many local Buddhists, but also many pilgrims from China and abroad. Tsurpu Monastery is the ancestral temple of Karma Kagyu sect of Tibetan Buddhism and has nearly one thousand years of history. (CNS Photo)

For more images, follow the [link].

A tale retold: Reinterpreting Pattini-Kannaki cult through photographs

The Hindu
May 22, 2014

Reinterpreting Pattini-Kannaki cult through photographs.

During the brutal civil war in Sri Lanka many found shelter in her spaces and many saw life slipping away in those same spaces as the militant outfit LTTE used some of those sites to inflict more damage. They used them to conscript kids and youngsters into the extremist outfit. These are the shrines of the goddess Pattini-Kannaki revered by Sinhala Buddhists and Tamil Hindus in Sri Lanka. With “Invoking the Goddess” (presented by Ritu Menon’s Women Unlimited), the anthropologist and photographer duo of Malathi de Alwis and Sharni Jayawardena set out to document the Pattini-Kannaki cult and retell it in the context of war. The result is an assortment of 50 photographs on view at the art gallery of India International Centre. The pictures form a compelling narrative of the cult and its relevance in the post-war period. Continue reading

Photo essay: Buddhist towers in Chaoyang city

People’s Daily Online May 12, 2014

Fenghuang Mountain where the first Buddhist temple in northeast China was built.(

Buddhism was introduced to Chaoyang city, northeast China’s Liaoning province in East Jin Dynasty (317-420). In the following 700 years until Liao Dynasty (907-1125), Buddhism enjoyed a great popularity in the area and Chaoyang became the center of Buddhist culture in northeast China. Now, the ancient Buddhist towers and temples in Chaoyang are the best witnesses to history. For more photos, follow the [link].