Monk in Forest
High near the top of Mount Koya in Japan, there is a beautiful monastery tucked away in a serene forest. This monk was quietly going about his morning duties in this contemplative area among the ancient cedars. I took this photograph when I was fortunate enough to take a workshop in Japan taught by my favorite photographer, Ernst Haas. Ernst took us on this long journey to a monastery on the top of Mt. Koyasan. We stayed in the Monastery that night. The grounds were as serene and peaceful as one could imagine. You could feel the spirituality, dedication and honor surrounding you. The monks were quietly going about their day-to-day activities. We were so fortunate to have Ernst expose us to these types of intimate experiences. Every day, he took us to a special place. We visited many Shinto shrines and Buddist temples. Ernst felt if he could immerse us into the culture of Japan, and expose us to their traditions, our photographs would reflect a deeper vision. Mt. Koya, Koyasan, Japan. June 1984.