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Monk in the World Guest Post: Shelley Ferro

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post from the community. Read on for Shelley Ferro’s reflection on contemplative photography and view the accompanying images.

Art, any art, helps us to stay present.  Each day (weather permitting) I walk along the shore of a nearby lake as part of my intent to live as a monk in the world.  I show up without expectation and ready for unfoldment.  I delight in the creativity and beauty of the nature and of all life.  My camera becomes a portal, and this practice invites me to slowdown enough to notice what is not noticed in the world of business…the tiny ant on the wildflower petal… the unique colors of the shoreline birds and the vast changing colors of each day as well as each season.  I fill my lungs with fresh air and feel the rays of sunshine on my skin. I become absorbed in the oneness of this scene, yet aware of the motions of the fish beneath the water line, the birds resting on the shore and the clouds that slowly drift while changing shape and color. Many times, I utter the words thank you because I am overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude for all that is provided.

While my walks move me in a linear fashion, I embrace that this is an illusion because life moves in a circle.  I am always returning…always returning.


In her spare time, Shelley Ferro is a contemplative photographer, musician, songwriter gardener and licensed interfaith minister. Her ancestors come from ancient soil that is touched by the Mediterranean sun and surrounded by waters that ebb and flow. Her roots are grounded in the sights and sounds of nature.  Now in her 6th decade Shelley has come to understand we never go far because life is a circle and we keep returning…always returning.

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