Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Miksang


My boss gave me an article from Natural Solutions magazine about a Buddhist practice called miksang, which is Tibetan for “good eye.” It’s contemplative photography -- seeing everyday objects in a new way, without extensive preplanning or image manipulation.

Basically, it’s what I and many of my blogging and picture-taking friends have been doing for years -- I just never knew it had a name!

According to the article, miksang “focuses on what our conscious mind tends to glaze over.” You set out with a camera and allow your eye to wander and notice, without the intention of taking a good photo. One instructor calls it the merging of steady mind, soft heart and clear vision.

“When you’re out shooting miksang, you’re on a mini meditation retreat,” another said. “Something catches your eye, and in that moment, the mind stops thinking. Every second your mind isn’t chattering away, it gets a little bit of rest.”

I identified right away with this article. Bravo to author Anne Ford and Natural Solutions! Read more about miksang here.

(Photo: East Village, April 2008)

6 comments:

Reya Mellicker said...

One instructor calls it the merging of steady mind, soft heart and clear vision.

Wow. You think? I always thought of my pics as happy accidents, accidents made possible because I live in such a beautiful city.

But I don't think of yours that way, and your pics aren't that different from mine in mood and approach.

Very cool! Thank you.

Great miksang pic today, too!

dennis said...

dennis likes the idea of miksang.

Steve said...

Reya: I don't think they're accidents. Your mind is seeing something - otherwise you wouldn't be taking the photo! And conversely, if you just hold up a camera in a random direction and shoot, you wouldn't get photos as brilliant and well-composed as yours.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

thanks. I relate!!

have I ever asked you if you are familiar with jan phillips book 'god is at eye level: photography as a healing art' - you might enjoy this too.

Barbara said...

I think many of you have perfected MIKSANG better than I have. I still miss many of the photo ops that others capitalize on.

Especially when I travel I feel really torn between looking for good photos and just mentally taking in wherever I might be.

lettuce said...

so many of your photos are miksang steve (like reya's) - great post.

and i remember you taking this one!