We all have in-between-moments with ourselves.
Simply looking out of a window for a moment in the early morning, or while sitting at the table, or surrounded by conversation, walking from our front door to the car, from your parked bike to the front door, on your way to the bus stop, to the trash bin and back, or bulging in the fresh air – and many more of these ‘in-between-moments’.
The everyday is perfect
The everyday is unconditional and always, whole and completely perfect and contains everything we need. The everyday provides unconditionally what we desire; the everyday has all the beauty and all the possibilities in it at any time to be able to truly connect and experience full blown joy. The in-between-moments are also the moments where we can remember to reconnect.
In Miksang Contemplative Photography we specialize in connecting and being very practical while giving creative expression to our vivid moments of connection and pure perception. But of course we do not shoot all the time…
Photography is not very complicated, and in principle, anyone can learn that. All you need is a camera, and it is helpful to know how zooming in and out works and how to adjust the necessary depth-of-field. The process of photographing ends as soon as the button is pressed. It is ready and done, for this particular moment. Photographic technique is not rocket science and fairly easy to master.
The contemplative points to our ability to reflect and contemplate. Here we explore how to reflect and contemplate on the nature of pure perception. What is the difference between pure perception and thinking about a pure perception? Reflecting and contemplating also means we take the time to reflect and contemplate. We allow ourselves some time to pay attention to our experiences of perceptions and we pay attention to how we think and what we think and how to feels. And especially taking the time to discern the difference between the experience of a direct pure perception and thinking about a pure perception.
The word ‘Miksang’ is a Tibetan word that translates as ‘Good Eye’. ‘Good’ here means that everything is inherent and unconditionally good. Here we have the perspective that everything is based in basic goodness. The inherent beauty is also always and already present – primordial goodness, which has no beginning and no end. Goodness is always ‘now’ and points to the sense of timelessness, which take place right now. ‘Eye’ here means ‘clear awake seeing’, as an embodied experience.
When we see fresh and connect to the already present beauty in our direct everyday surroundings, and we can be fully with our connection, in the here and now, and we are able to take in our experience and what we see unprejudiced, we experience a moment of good eye. This is also called nowness .
The experiences of Good Eye are always joyful, fulfilling and buoyant, and have a light quality. This is the experience of eyes, heart and mind on the same axes: aligned.
In Miksang Contemplative Photography we express the experience of a moment of ‘Good Eye’, our alignement, with our camera and the Miksang method. By actually expressing in an artistic and creative way we (re)activate our inherent clear seeing, and we are able to experience with more fullness and more heart connection on a daily base. We express this alignment in a very practical and joyful way with our camera – and the embodiment of experiencing clear seeing and joyful expression also impacts our daily being and doing and adds a buoyant quality, without the camera!
The transmission of nowness happens when we have confidence in our own awakening, our own perfection, our own singularity of doubtlessness. In order to experience our unconditional goodness, we must have total relaxation – a combination of confidence and vulnerability. We do not have to be anything apart from who we are, We can just be. In the Shambhala tradition, this perpetual feeling of innocence is called freshness.“
Sakyong Mipham from ‘The Shambhala Principle’
How? Practicing appreciation
Appreciating where we are, what we are, what is now is something we can practice. Appreciating is what we can do right now and at any given moment.
Look around where you are right now, and let your gaze land on something.
And now, feel appreciation. Simply tune into appreciation.
Notice how you start seeing more, and how you perceive the various qualities of that something.
Appreciation dissolves expectations and can resolve any resistance. The more we appreciate something simply because we can, the easier it becomes to appreciate something just like that, whenever and wherever. Appreciation is a great feeling and brings contentment.
How? A small shift
We shift and adjust our attention and awareness from inside ourselves to the outside, from not paying attention to paying attention, from judging and opinions to appreciation and contentment.
In fact it is this simple: a small shift.
The path of festive lightness
As soon as we open our eyes we can choose to enjoy and explore our surroundings with curiosity. Free from judgement, free from reactive associations and free from wanting to change. This is the path of festive lightness of the everyday: paying more conscious attention to our resonances with something out of the blue, and turning our attentiveness outside. The route is allow ourselves to take in what resonates as it is and appreciate as is it.
Pay attention to how you start up, what you do first as soon as you wake up in the morning.
Do you start thinking right way and make plans for the day? Or do you walk like a zombie to the kitchen for coffee/tea?
Or… do you look around and let yourself be surprised by what you see and what you notice?
Feeling and photographing with a method
Moments of fresh seeing always happens in between our thoughts. We cannot think and see fresh at the same time. Or we think or we are – but we always experience. It’s up to you what feels best.
In the open space between our thoughts we feel a resonance. We feel what we see, we feel an insight, we feel a ‘first thought, we feel an impulse, we feel a flash of perception.
Feeling is way more direct as thinking. We feel what we see fresh: you cannot think your way into seeing fresh.
Feeling is not the same as figuring out your emotions – figuring out is applying active thinking.
Feeling here means: recognizing the sensory sensation of resonance, of an impulse, of a flash of perception. Something resonates, out of the blue. We feel this and we can trust this immediately. Without reasoning the resonance away.
Expressing our resonance is done a very practical way with the Miksang method: we combine our intuitive resonance with discerning, which is a form of applied thinking. Step-by-step we let our resonance unfold with our camera, precisely as we have seen it. Without adding anything extra and without leaving anything out.
I wish you a festive attentiveness!
May you experience many moments and in between moments of vivid and direct seeing – free of opinions and free from the impulse to change as it is.
Unprejudiced and joyful – because it feels good.
©Hèlen A Vink, Zandvoort, December 24 2016