Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

8 01 2016

Weekly Photo Challenge: Circle

The Moongate is a circular opening in a garden wall and is a significant structure in a Chinese Garden.  This Moongate is part of the Chinese Garden at the Charles Darwin University in Darwin, the Northern Territory of Australia.


It’s great timing to start the New Year with a circle.  Chinese gardens were designed as sacred spaces where people could retreat, block out the daily grind and turn back to nature.  Spending time in nature is always a way I find my way back to me.  By stepping through a circle to enter, it reminds us of the circular nature of the universe, each thing and each one of us starting and ending, entering and leaving, leaving and returning and “coming full circle” through the circle of life.  Blessings to you for the year ahead.


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.

Giving yourself a break today

23 05 2012

This is from Karl Duffy at Mindfulbalance, a blog I visit regularly for some wisdom and balance. This entry really captured me this week as I’m feeling the growing pace at work. Projects are starting to take shape, priorities shift, deadlines close in and I have to juggle too much information in my head. I need to slow down, consciously. I need to remember that I’m more important, my health is more important and my wellbeing is more important than my work. It’s okay to be kind to myself and take some time to stop, breathe and rest my mind. Phew.


If you’re like me, so much of what we twirl around with in the mind is, frankly, a waste of time. It doesn’t solve a problem, prevent a bad thing from happening, or bring us to peace with others. And it’s deeply unnatural. As we evolved, our ancestors probably experienced more physical but less mental fatigue than most people today in the developed nations. Consequently, our bodies are adapted to weariness – but our minds are not. For a brief time – finals week, an intense month at work, a demanding year with a new baby – OK, sometimes we just have to crank the mind up into overdrive and tough it out. But as a way of life, it’s nuts.

We have to take a stand against the crazy mental busyness that has become the new normal. We’re bombarded with things to think about all day long, flooded with…

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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

Contemplative Photography 09

14 05 2012

See more posts in this series on my Contemplative Photography page.

Miksang – The Art of Contemplative Photography
Miksang is an art form centred on Contemplative Photography. Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as “Good Eye” and is based on the Shambala and Dharma art teaching of the late meditation master, artist and scholoar Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche.According to the Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography, miksang “is (at its most basic level) photography concerned with uncovering the truth of pure perception. We see something vivid and penetrating, and in that moment we can express our perception without making anything up – nothing added, nothing missing. Totally honest about what we see – straight shooting.”

My weekly Monday Miksang Offering to you:
How did it happen that their lips came together?  How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of a hill?  A kiss, and all was said.– Victor Hugo 1802-1885

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

The moment that is now

9 05 2012

I follow Karl Duffy’s ‘Mindful Balance’ blog daily, to remind myself to slow down and stay connected. I love today’s post. My dog is also a Zen Master when it comes to enjoying life to the full. I hope you like this post and savour each moment.


Drop into the moment that is now.

No need to judge, no need to have an agenda as to what will be, no need to say, “I am meditating”.

Just be here, drink in all that this moment has to offer as if it is the only one that you have – because it truly is

Jon Kabat Zinn

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Love is all that matters

1 05 2012

French Knot Garden: Melville Rose Farm, Bickley.

Love is all that matters.
Love defies time and space and can’t be confined or contained.
Look around.  Love is everywhere.
It is the power behind life, it is life itself.
It lasts forever.
You cannot begin to fathom how much you are loved by another.
And you will be astounded at how deep your love runs for someone.
Between school and life and work
and bills and debt and success
and illness and achievements:
Love is all that matters.

Perth City Graffiti –
“You’re the greatest thing in town, I wanna give all my loving to you, LOVE IS REAL, I feel it for you”

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