The reflection of light emanating from the bowl that graces this young boy I find captivatingly sweet. Joy is so easily recognized on his face, despite his lowered chin that means he doesn’t directly gaze into my camera’s lens. I recall wanting to remain in that moment forever, or at least long enough that I might absorb its essence, carry it with me eternally, and share it universally.
The elephant companion behind him carries spiritual significance stemming from the Buddhist belief that Queen Maya, the mother of the Buddha, conceived her child after having dreamed of a white elephant entering her womb. For Buddhists, elephants symbolize strength and the luminosity of an enlightened mind, achieved through meditation.
Meditation is not unlike being on a journey. It is a submission to growth, to unknown experiences and destinations. This young monk has embarked on the path; his bowl for receiving alms cradled tenderly in his arms. Will he stay in the monastery for a year, or for the rest of his life? It’s a mystery, this life. Allowing it to unfold is breathtaking, frightening, empowering, and deeply human. From this image I take courage and choose living in the moment as my self-challenge. I tell myself the universe will unfurl and do its magic in ways more powerful than I can imagine. And then I lower my face to receive the glow of illumination’s warm light and begin to smile.
18 x 24 inches (45.72 x 60.96 cm)
24 x 32 inches (60.96 x 81.28 cm)
30 x 40 inches (76.2 x 101.6 cm)