Miksang and the art of perception

As a newcomer to blogging, my recent explorations have been through the immense jungle of blogs on the internet. Chandrasutra’s blog* is one of the interesting finds in this online journey. Particularly fascinating is an item about Miksang photography in the art category, Jan. 13th entry. This is a partial quote:

The inspiration for Miksang images is very different than traditional approaches to photography. You do not, for example, spend time ‘thinking’ about what you will photograph or go off into your day with a ‘plan’ about what you will photograph. You don’t “compose” the photo in anyway. It’s about looking but not looking ‘for’ but looking in. Experiencing, rather than thinking, about the world around you and being alive to all the textures, surfaces, colours. There is an avoidance of that which is narrative or relates to a generated thought. It is actually not simply a form of photography but part of a practice of contemporary Buddhist meditation. Miksang translates as “Good Eye” in Tibetan.

According to Toronto’s Society for Contemplative Photography, Miksang involves “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 […]. These moments of pure perception and appreciation happen all the time but we often ignore and devalue them. However, it is worthwhile to recognize and cultivate these moments because they recollect the inherent openness and goodness of our being.

What a lovely name for this vivid experience that all visual artists at some points have felt, not just in photography. Thanks, Chandrasutra!

*Update Dec.14, 2013: Sadly, this blog is no longer in existence.

February 16, 2004 in Being an Artist, Concepts, Photography by Marja-Leena