Miksang revisited

12 03 2013

This week I thought I’d revisit the world of Miksang or “contemplative photography“.  Rather than offer a single shot, here is a showcase of my miksang images.  Each presents its own character, but in a block format it’s something quite different again.

For more on my approach to Miksang, check out my other posts here.





Contemplative Photography 16

17 02 2013

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.  I’ve had a break recently and it is interesting to observe the process of “getting my eye back”, as I call it.  It really is about seeing things in a certain way.

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.

Here is something that caught my eye.  It captured me, evoked a feeling.  That’s when I know I’m onto something.  I connect with it somehow.  Although it might seem mundane, this pic is full of pattern, shape, form, lines, light, shadow, colour and order.

The urge to order

The urge to order

There’s also disorder, and I find that it’s the disorder that evokes something in me – questions and wonder,  annoyance, an urge to order and reshuffle, eventually I’m settled and like it.  At first I love the neat stacking but something about the red crates being placed in arbitrary positions is jarring.  I think they should be neater somehow.  But then again – why?  does it matter? does it change their purpose? make them more useful?  Is it any of my business?  Why am I so judgemental?  Can I just let it go?  They’re just crates.  Interesting isn’t it?  Miksang leads you out of yourself and then back through yourself.  You examine a scene, and it examines you too – if you let it.

In Miksang, 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 – enjoy the journey.

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





Contemplative Photography 15

21 01 2013

Shadow1

“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

shadow2

“For things to reveal themselves to us, we need to be ready to abandon our views about them” – Thich Nhat Hanh.

shadow3





Contemplative Photography 13

7 01 2013

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.  I’ve had a break recently and it is interesting to observe the process of “getting my eye back”, as I call it.  It really is about seeing things in a certain way.

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’m living in a new city now so there is plenty around me that is new, which makes the process of noticing what’s in front of me somewhat easier.  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.

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





Contemplative Photography 12

25 06 2012

This week’s contemplative feature is on the Elements which

have fascinated humans for millenia.

Take a moment to centre yourself and your spirit,

look at and through the images.

How many elements can you see?  Three? Four? Five? Six?

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Earth – Air – Fire – Water – Wood – Metal





The Miracle of Today

4 06 2012

People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.  But I think the real miracle is not to walk on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle – Thich Nhat Hanh

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Did you notice the tree in every picture?   Slow down…

Another post in my Miksang and Contemplative Photography series.





Contemplative Photography 11

28 05 2012

Here is another post in my Miksang and Contemplative Photography series.

This post outlines the process that I follow when approaching Miksang.  I don’t have any official training but I outline here what I’ve learned as I go out and shoot with ‘a good eye, an open heart and an open mind’.

Try it for yourself.  It’s interesting (but not easy) to leave your inner critic behind and photograph whatever captures you, even when you’re not sure why.  That is easier said that done and I spend a lot of time ignoring the nagging, but still aware that it is there.

I carry my camera with me each day and 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. 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, a train trip or a walk to your home office, there are things you pass every day without even noticing them.

The practice of Miksang helps you notice all around you and see things, without judgement.  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”.  It attracts or repels me.  I get the feeling but 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 and connected with me, if not, I move along. Later I try to look deeply to see what it was that caught me.

Was it the shape? colour? texture? shadow? light? contrast? the grouping? the arrangement? the odd number? the symmetry or asymmetry? the negative or empty space? the 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 production. 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 (when it is free from clutter and judgement).  So, that’s where I am on my journey into Miksang. I hope you give it a go as well.

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








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