Contemplative Photography 10

21 05 2012

My approach to contemplative photography (or Miksang) has been quite intuitive. I’ve read everything I can find and am developing my ‘eye’ but it’s hard to describe miksang without it sounding like a riddle.

Miksang, or contemplative photography is more of an ‘approach’ or a ‘way’ rather than a set of rules. To me (and remember I’m only learning), it is about going out with an open heart, open eye and open mind. I clear out judgement and expectation and just see freshly and clearly. Think about your trip to work each morning. Whether it is a drive, train trip or walk to your office, there are things you pass every day without even noticing. Miksang helps you notice all around you and see them, without judgement.

I usually take a walk at lunchtime, mostly just to get me out of the office for a while. I don’t go out deciding to do a photo shoot, if it comes, it comes. I just walk, feel centred, wander and look. I enjoy walking meditation rather than being still.

Most times, something will catch my eye, capture me, fascinate, surprise, delight or jar me. It demands a reaction, it stirs an emotion. I stop and often say “Whoa! Look at THAT”. I hold all judgement about whether it is a ‘good’ subject or a ‘bad’ subject, whether the light or angle or distance is ‘right’. For some reason, it has captured me, if not, I move along. I’m look deeply to see what it was that caught me.
Was it the shape? colour? texture? shadow? light? texture? symmetry? asymmetry? space? angle? incongruity? context?

I don’t try to find a ‘better angle, I don’t zoom, I don’t crop, edit, straighten or do any post editing. I shoot what I see. What you see is what I saw and what captured me. Hopefully the shot shows you things that capture my eye, my heart, my mind.
So, that’s where I am on my journey into Miksang. I hope you give it a go as well.

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If you’d like to find out more about Miksang and the art of Contemplative Photography, check out these links:

Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography
Miksang Society for Contemplative Photography




13 responses

21 05 2012

your explanation is so helpful, gives me the courage to keep on looking, being there, seeing, thanks louise 🙂

21 05 2012

I’m glad it made sense! It’s just my take though and it’s all a learning process. Keep looking, keep feeling and connecting and you’ll find your take on miksang too.

22 05 2012

Oh you definitely made sense. But much harder than i thought Louise! Shall keep trying.

22 05 2012

Oh no! Don’t be discouraged – I love your photos and you capture ‘atmosphere’ in a way I never can. They’re vibrant and display the reality of a busy street, market or square, and the tranquility in a panorama, mountainside or tomb. Exquisite pics and something I don’t have a good ‘feel’ for.

22 05 2012

You are kind 🙂

22 05 2012

A friend told me to check out your site and I am enjoying it very much. I have never heard of Miksang, but I think I have been doing it for years anyway!

22 05 2012

Welcome! Yes, your pics are great. It’s good to find a name or genre for this quirky observation isn’t it?

22 05 2012
Gilly Gee

Great Louise, sadly I haven’t been keeping up my Miksang pages 😦

22 05 2012

Never mind Gilly, I’m sure you’ll revisit it again soon. Summer blooms? There’s a good start!

22 05 2012

Fascinating subject… Love the photos. 😉

22 05 2012

Thanks Eliz, glad you like them 🙂

1 03 2013
Charlotte Brookes

Hi. My name is Charlotte Brookes and I am a qualified Miksang teacher in Australia. I’ll be teaching another level 1 in Melbourne in April, 2013. You can contact me at if you would like me to teach in your area or if you would like to attend the level in Melbourne. Kind regards, Charlotte.

3 03 2013

Wow! That’s awesome Charlotte. I won’t make it to Melbourne as I’m in the NT. Hope it goes well – kind regards.

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