Daido’s commitment to environmental protection reflected much more than his own personal pleasure in being out in nature. He knew too well what was at stake. “I have watched the creeping advance of civilization descend on the wild like a great dark cloud blocking out the warmth and light, enshrouding all that is free, untamed, and vibrant. Can I ignore my responsibilities and my passive compliance in the rape, squandering and destruction of our wild heritage? The dawn of each day witnesses the disappearance of countless acres of wilderness, hundreds of species . . . while the jackals of commerce and special interests gorge themselves on what little remains of what this planet needs to support all of its life.” Daido did not belabor the heart-wrenching pain of this senseless loss, but he also did not hide from it. When the wetlands by the Mount Tremper rivers were under threat, he took a strong stand in support of the lives of the many creatures supported by this habitat. He gave full attention to dharma combat with the New York Department of Environmental Conservation to make sure the sangha of the insentient remained as free from harm as possible.
Whenever Daido was traipsing around in the mountains, he always had a camera with him. His scientific background in chemistry gave him a strong technical understanding of photographic processes. But it was his training with Minor White which initiated his lifelong exploration of “making love with light.” Gazing at water, seeing the shape of ice, he was always seeking the fresh view, free of conditioned thinking, inspired by love. He wrote “We are all constantly in the midst of light. We are surrounded, bathed, and nourished by it. This miracle we call light can transform. It can teach, reveal, evoke, and heal. It speaks in many voices. . . . If we are patient, letting go of thoughts and letting the mind settle down, then the hidden faces rise to the surface, and subtlety and richness return. A shift takes place, resonance appears. This allows for real intimacy with the subject.”