Program Details

Miksang I


with Ann Hall & Lennie Birkett
November 2 / 9:00 AM - November 3 / 5:00 PM

What is Miksang?


Miksang is a Tibetan word that translates as "Good Eye". The Miksang Society offers a number of programs, courses and events that present a form of contemplative photography. This school of contemplative photography brings together the art of photography, the discipline of meditation and the Dharma Art teachings of the meditation master and scholar Chögyam Trungpa.


In general, meditation refers to the state of being awake: the realization of unselfconscious awareness which allows us to connect with the full reality of our being. Meditation also refers to practices of synchronizing mind and body which enable us to cultivate that state of being.


In contemplative photography we work with 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 openess and goodness of our being.


The Miksang Path of Perception and Photography


Although the experience of clear seeing is available to everyone, people come to contemplative photography with different motivations. Some want to give expression to what they experience through the discipline of meditation. Some have recognized some direct and vivid quality of perception in their own experience and want to explore and express that potential. Others have trained in photography or other arts and are curious about the contemplative approach. The common element is an interest in clear seeing.


The Miksang Society offers a path of perception and photography through a three level course of training. No photographic experience or knowledge is required although you will need a digital point-and-shoot camera. You do not need a background with meditation and we do not teach meditation as part of the training.


The three levels of training, based on Chögyam Trungpa's teaching on the three levels of perception, follow a traditional contemplative path of transforming confusion into wisdom. Often it seems that our inherent capacity for insight is obscured by preconceptions and habitual patterns. Each level and each class presents teachings and exercises which work through the obstacles to clear seeing by cultivating the purifying power our natural sychronization and wisdom.


Level I: Looking: The Phenomenal World


The first level of training purifies our visual perception by working directly with the elements or forms of the visual field: colour, light and form (texture, lines and patterns). In this level we also attend to the "flash of perception" which discloses a direct presentation of the phenomenal world.


 


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Shambhala Generosity Policy: Individuals who are unable to pay either the full, member or student/senior program fee should pre-register for programs online and indicate their need for financial assistance in the "notes" section.   The program coordinator will contact you with work-trade and payment plan options.



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