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#2842 - Wednesday, June 13, 2007 - Editor: Gloria Lee
The Miksang introduction is courtesy of our reader, n.m.rai, who sent me the websites. The movie link is very good at explaining the aims of contemplative photography. After viewing nearly every photo on the websites, I must say that our frequent contributors, Alan Larus and Bob O'Hearn, appear to have done similar work, instinctively using their own "good eye" of clear perception. This issue is primarily a visual meditation, you'll get what is meant better by looking than the words. Enjoy!
Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as "good eye." The Miksang Society offers a number of programs, courses and events that present a form of contemplative photography. This school of contemplative photography brings together the art of photography, the discipline of meditation and the Dharma Art teachings of the meditation master and scholar Chögyam Trungpa.
In general, meditation refers to the state of being awake: the realization of unselfconscious awareness which allows us to connect with the full reality of our being. Meditation also refers to practices of synchronizing mind and body which enable us to cultivate that state of being.
In contemplative photography we work with the synchronization of eye and mind. When eye and mind are in the same place the moment by moment vividness of the visual world manifests and is appreciated fully. This manifestation is spontaneous - a flash of perception - the ordinary magic of the phenomenal world. When one connects with pure perception there is no struggle in making a heartfelt and brilliant photographic image that one can share with others.
Read more... [ http://www.miksang.org/m/whatismiksang.html ]
think if you can turn off the mind and look only with the eyes,
ulitmately everything becomes abstract."
- Ellsworth Kelly
"Everything is a symbol of itself"
- Chögyam Trungpa
Day in and day out our birthright capacity for vision, the visual sensibilty, delivers our sense of the visual world: the world we see. Absolute Eye steps back from this visual result and explores the medium of the visual itself: the visual as the visual. Absolute Eye realizes that this medium of the visual is the everyday activity of visualization. Absolute Eye engages this activity of visualization. In this way our images are a vision of a vision. Absolute Eye senses an affinity with the intent and activities of American Modern Art: the various ways American modern art engages the surface, forms and intersections of the pure visual and the cultural visualizations. As with Miksang Contemplative Photography, Absolute Eye works with the "gap of perception": the perceptions and images are both everyday found manifestations and free floating: as free as possible from manipulation and construction and as free as possible to be pure expressivness: a symbol of itself.
"When you begin to abandon all possibilities of any reference point...you are suspended in some kind of space, a big hole of some kind...it is quite titillating...It's as if you are suspended in outer space without a space suit or your rocket ship. You are just floating and circulating around the planets forever and ever, all the time...we do have such a state of mind-such experience occurs all the time throughout life. There is the occassional experience of this black hole, suspended in space, where we have no reference point...such experience takes place with anybody, everybody all the time. But very few people realize that that is their potential artistic talent and the ground for creating their artistic visual appreciation...Out of that black hole of egolessness and nondiscursive thought a color appears, a symbol occurs or a fraction of a symbol." - Chögyam Trungpa
see samples of teacher artist's work:
an excerpt from the
'Quiet Mind' - Miksang Film Episode
or paste link: http://www.miksang.net/Miksang%20Quicktime.mov
n.m. rai has a Miksang gallery online, selected images will be larger viewed online.
Let me add one more link to a slideshow.
Photographs by Chögyam Trungpa
or paste: http://www.shambhalashop.com/archives/eod/
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