Seeing With The Good Eye …by Steve Monk

Steve Monk, a good friend of 100 Mile Shambhala, recently attended a Miksang Photography workshop in Victoria BC.  I asked him if he could please tell us about it.  He was kind enough to share with us these photos and his story.  Enjoy!   ~Bonnie Winter~  

I recently attended a level 1 Miksang photography workshop, called ‘Seeing with the Good Eye’, where ‘good’ means our mind is relaxed and not preoccupied.   This contemplative exploration is totally perception-based, or what one could call  “experience based seeing”. It allows for direct, in the moment experiences by letting go of thought and allowing one to simply receive the world around us.

As a photographer, my art is predominantly conceptual based, with the intention of making a story-telling image.  Even abstract works most often involve my mind segregating and making judgements, so for this workshop I had to regress and strip away my usual methodologies and formulas.

It was a bit confusing at first, and often challenging, but as I set my intention to see one thing at a time, the simple aspect of form began to come alive.  Vivid colors, strong textures, and unexpected patterns became my experience, rather than the context within the shot.

The clarity of seeing provides an experience of seeing everyday things in a very pure, honest way.  This is  where the real joy lies, although clarity of expression through photography is also deeply satisfying for me.  Since completing the first level of Miksang, mindful awareness through contemplative photography has become a beneficial daily practice.

 All photos by Steve Monk

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