Living in Balance
Living in Balance, a groundbreaking collection of more than 200 stunning black-and-white and select color images by award-winning photographer and physician Jon Kolkin, explores how and why Buddhist practices have come to inspire and enlighten people worldwide. Skillfully blending photography with health and spiritual-ity, Kolkin thoughtfully examines core principles central to living a less stressful, more balanced and fulfilling life, regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs, nationality or race. Designed by acclaimed graphic artist Lance Hidy, with poetry and prose by Buddhist scholar, Dr. Paula Arai, forewords were contributed by His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, and Her Majesty, the Queen Mother of Bhutan. 100% of the author’s proceeds from the sale of INNER HARMONY will be donated to compassion- centered non-profits worldwide.
INNER HARMONY is an artistic compilation of Kolkin’s powerful, sensitive images taken while immersed in Bud-dhist communities across Asia working primarily as a medical volunteer in under-resourced communities. For over a decade he photographed everyday life of Buddhist monastics and laypeople in Bhutan, Myanmar, China, Vietnam, India, Cambodia, Japan, Nepal and Taiwan, revealing keen insight into the otherwise hushed world of meditation and mindfulness. With his profound feel-ing for light and composition, Kolkin’s rare and intimate images capture the uniqueness of each contemplative moment, as well as the universal reach and inspiration of Buddhist practices. Offering singular images of Buddhist life from across contemporary Asia, INNER HARMONY documents and celebrates those who are quietly com-mitted to cultivating a nurturing internal environment where well-being can germinate.
In an interview Jon Kolkin can discuss a number of com-pelling topics. Here are just a few examples:Lessons learned about universally relevant practices that can enhance our ability to live a less stressful, more balanced life, regardless of one’s spiritual pathHow his experience as a physician and medical photographer influ-enced his ability to communicate concepts and emotions through photographPersonal stories about his encounters with the Dalai Lama, other inspi-rational leaders and everyday laypeople within Buddhist communities worldwidThe contemplative process he uses when creating images for INNER HARMONYThe unique challenges and constraints of taking photographs in these sensitive environmentsFascinating stories about the life of patients, healthcare workers, and laypeople in under-resourced communities.
Kolkin’s renowned Inner Harmony photographic series has already exhibited in numerous museum and art galleries in the U.S. and abroad, garnering 20 international photography awards and feature coverage (twice) in LensWork magazine. Kolkin will continue to exhibit in solo and group shows through 2026.
Kolkin, who has met with the Dalai Lama on several occasions, shares His Holiness’ commitment to spreading compassion worldwide. Kolkin spearheaded the first-ever summit on Fostering Compassion and Universal Ethics through Museums, which brought museum delegates from North America to India for a conference and intimate gathering with the Dalai Lama.