Joseph Campbell said, "If you really want to help this world, what you will have to teach is how to live in it. And that, no one can do who has not learned how to live in it in the joyful sorrow and the sorrowful joy of life as it is." We are always trying to improve everything about life: ourselves, other people, the world, life as it is... Life as it is is not the way we want it to be. And we have a plan for that. The Bible would have us believe that it all started out with Adam and Eve trying to improve Paradise. And we are still at it. Carl Jung said, "You can't improve something without accepting it first." Letting things be just what they are is the first step in changing our relationship with them, and that is the essential element in the transformation of everything. It all changes once our perspective changes. If you are going to change something, start with your perspective!
You cannot be a photographer and be somewhere else. You cannot be a photographer thinking about something else. To be a photographer, you have to be where you are, when you are, and your mind has to be on what you are doing, what you are seeing, here and now. A camera requires your presence. Your attentive presence. It forces you to be present even against your will. If you are not present, it shows. A camera is sitting zazen. It is better than sitting zazen. Sitting zazen takes you out of the moment. A camera thrusts you into the moment, and requires you to be alive to the time and place of your living. Sitting zazen is just another way of being dead. Between a zazen cushion and a camera, go with the camera.
It comes down to this: Pay attention, be aware. See what you look at, know what you know. Do what needs to be done, what is called for, in ways appropriate to the occasion. In each situation as it arises. It is never more difficult than that. Anybody can do it with a little practice. What's the problem?
We cannot assume anything. We cannot take anything for granted. Everything is for the first time. Nothing has gone before. Nothing will come after. This is all there is or ever will be. This here. This now. Is it. We are the still point of the turning world, right here, right now. What we do here and now is all that matters. Experience makes little difference. Prognostication is a delusion. All we can know is right before us. What is happening? What is being called for? How best to respond? That is all we need to know. That is all there is to know. If the baby's diaper needs changing, change the baby's diaper. If the dog needs to go for a walk, take the dog for a walk. How we feel about it doesn't matter. What we want doesn't come into the picture. What needs to be done? Who needs to do it? When? How? This is the place, now is the time-- for what? That is the only question. Ever. Live to get it right. Every time.