Photography is my second passion. I have been a serious martial artist for 35 years. In my experience, the zen happens only when you don't expect it. You have to work your ass off, spend hours and hours trying and thinking, producing buckets of sweat in real conscious effort until one magical moment of effortlessness happens. You don't control the moment, can't make it happen, and don't even know it is "happening". You can only realize later that it "happened".
I don't know, but suspect that photography is quite the same. Some day everything flows in the viewfinder, the camera becomes a part of your hand, your hand a part of your brain and the shutter trips itself at the perfect moment. But it can be arrived at only after tremendous effort and much, much practice.