That’s how I take pictures too!

Is what I hear regularly when I show my pictures.

Not just my Miksang pictures, but all Miksang pictures of Miksang practitioners show what is seen fresh and uniquely.

And how what is seen in this way, and what is understood of our experience of seeing fresh, is formed into the equivalent of our embodied sensory experience.

Miksang pictures breathe a natural and recognizable beauty
We ALL experience being touched by the beauty and simplicity of our everyday world. In our own unique way. Many times a day, mostly unconscious.

That’s why the pictures feel natural.
That’s why the pictures are recognizable.

This is the kind of beauty, simplicity and being touched is what Miksang pictures reflect, what you experience upon seeing Miksang pictures you like. As if you have seen it yourself.

Everyday we experience awareness in  the now
On a daily, or even hourly or minutely base we experience moments of being touched, just like that.

We see something, we hear something, we feel something, we smell something, we taste something, we experience some little spark, a glimmering of beauty, of wonder of deep connectedness.

This is the experience of being awake and bright in the now.

The differences
The experience learns there is a difference when you start taking pictures with the approach of the Miksang method. Here, the pictures are a by-product of the practice. This is the first and major difference.

The biggest difference is that photography and photographing as we know it already stresses and honors the end product, the picture, the most. And although the practice of contemplative photography of course involves taking pictures, emphasizes looking and seeing and your embodied experiences of clear seeing and being touched, feeling and trusting what you see from the heart. And less emphasize is on the end result, the picture.

We adjust to Waking Up
We adjust our interest from end-result-oriented to Waking Up; becoming aware of the beauty of our day-t0-day world and becoming aware of endless possibilities of joy and clarity of being awake in the now. Which we can  experience and embody by expressing ourselves creatively aesthetic through the medium of photography.

So, what is the Miksang method?

The basic ground
We start with being available: no need to want to change what is already there, what we see.
We are open, available, to see something out of nowhere, out of het bleu, unexpected. And it is good as it is.

Visual exercises
Now you have read that we start with being available, it turns out this not easy to just be available. We cannot think ourselves into being available.
That is why in the Miksang workshops we always start with visual exercises to invite our availability, our openness.

The visual exercises help us to relax ‘what I want’.
Our experiences in the exercises help us to to relax the ‘what’, the ‘I’ and the ‘want’.

In this space of openness we can perceive all-that-is without the buffer of our seemingly ongoing stream of thoughts.

If we are able to let go what we want to see and what we want to photograph, the world around us as it is opens up. As it already waiting for us to be seen 🙂

We enter the sacred world of the ordinary, the beauty of all-that-is.

Free from our projections, naming, labelling, resistance.
Free from our push and pull.

The three aspects of the Miksang method (in short)
We experience a flash of perception, we see something unexpected, out of the blue; this is the first aspect of the Miksang method.

  • we come to a stop, we physically stand stil
  • we take some time to let in what we see
  • we stay ahead of our conceptual thinking: we always think something, and our attention is going that random direction, so now we direct our attention to the flash of perception.
  • we let all kinds of random thoughts, which invite us to go somewhere else, pass.
  • we do not let doubt come in
  • we stay with the inexplicable of the first instance of our experience of seeing something fresh, out of the blue
  • we do not know yet what and how

Next we apply the the visual discernment, we direct our thinking specific; this is the second aspect of the Miksang method.

  • where does the visual perception start?
  • where does the visual perception end?
  • what is part of it?
  • what is not part of it?

What follows as last is forming the equivalent; this is the third aspect of the Miksang methode.
Our tool of expression is the camera, with which we express our visual perceptions.

Here we have the last questions for ourselves.

  • Is it horizontal or vertical?
  • How zich depth-in-field do I need? How much ISO and what shutterspeed? (and this ia about all you need to know about photographic knowledge, which is pretty easy to learn)
  • Am I sure that what my flash of perception is is what I see through the lens of on my LCD screen?

Take a deep breath and drop your shoulders.


©Hèlen A Vink, 1 augustus 2015, Zandvoort