My Dear Teachers,
I am back home and try to practice and integrate fresh perception in my daily life. I feel so thankful about the experiences both of you have given all of us during the summer institute.
The first day after the course, while I was still in Boulder, I woke up and the first thing that seem to come through my mind is a better understanding of all of your teachings, especially the heart of perception which is the one I struggled with most (and still do). I now understand better what you said about the moment that it is not a journalistic moment, it’s not the capture of movement or activities or maybe even feelings. It has to be a heartfelt moment, a full body experience, something that we really resonate with. It is still very hard in practice, especially because of the desire to “get it”. It is not easy to be really open and still, letting go of all the expectations and thoughts.
You talked about the process that we had to go through, boredom, restlessness, and surrender. I did not experience it much (or maybe just not recognizing it) during the first and second weeks, much more so in the third week and repeatedly now. I also had gone to the same process with my relationship with you. Starting with appreciation but not total trust, I feel that now I surrender. I trust you completely as teacher of true perception. It has become clear why you do what you do. Why you can’t let other people teach more than level one, yet. I feel that you can’t do that because this is not about just photography, but something much deeper. I can also feel the passion and devotion you put into this, and feel deeply grateful. This is such a wonderful and joyful journey.
I hope to continue this journey and go deeper in the inner path. I plan to write regularly, and will participate in the group. Please let me know if there is anything you would like to know or would like me to do.
With deep appreciation,
Level one has “opened my eyes” to the fact that it is possible to be aware of everyday objects around you and that taking pictures doesn’t have to be a struggle. MIchael teaches you that your first thought is your best thought, and that your first shot is your best shot. After that, you just walk away. This is a very freeing experience. This has become a habit that I plan to incorporate into my photography experience for the rest of my life.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this wonderful week. This experience has given me such grounding for my future photography work. The first night when you talked about how it doesn’t have to be a struggle, I knew intellectually what you meant, but puttiing this into practice was a whole other thing. I still have to practice just like a student, but that’s oK because it is not a struggle!!!! I sincerely hope to see either you two or another Miksang instructor for more sessions. I am now on your newsletter mailing list. I look forward to news of your future plans.
My cup runneth over, thank you again.
Julie’s teaching has been such a gift to me. It has been fun and gratifying to develop my photography skills with their guidance. And the even larger, unexpected blessing has been that the practice of Miksang has extended far beyond my time with my camera, affecting how I see. The practice of Miksang in my daily life has transformed my world.
I thoroughly loved spending time studying and playing with Michael and Julie-and with the great group of people that came to the program .
One of the results of the Miksang time is that, returning home, everything feels a little different: from first opening my eyes – waking up each morning- to brushing my teeth, from walking out the door each day to hitting the streets, the subway, the coffee shop, the casual encounters…from the sidewalks to the sky– all the familiar things- all of it- feels different – more vivid, more beautiful, more inviting, more restful- and then if I am moved, and it seems like I am moved a lot more now- I take a photograph – and when something is revealed- there is the great pleasure of sharing it.
The resulting photograph, though a complete joy, is simply the fruition of a new way of being in this body in the big wide world. And I have the sense that this, being a human camera- is just the beginning…..
Two years into my photographing life, I recently experienced a lack of connection and joy in my process. Thanks to Julie and Michael’s beautiful course, with its elegantly simple and profound techniques and their buddhist style of directness and clarity of teaching, I have reconnected to my inner good eye. I know the techniques and practices learned in this course will continue to serve and guide me.
A heartfelt Thank You to Julie and Michael, and all my classmates.
The Miksang journey has been an amazing experience for me. My perception of the world is so different now; fully rounded, more acute and so intimate! It’s as if the filter coating my eyes and mind has disappeared to reveal the absolute richness and simple beauty of the world. And such joy in expressing these perceptions with the camera! I am infinitely grateful for having taken these courses.
My way of photographing it is transformed since I attended the class Opening The Good Eye. I see what surrounds me in a different way. This course allowed me to see the beauty of what surrounds me, in every element with their various aspects. And also, to be in connection with what resounds in me when I photograph.
On the heels of deciding in retirement to take up a camera before fortuitously discovering Miksang and receiving guidance. It is your extemporaneousness and freshness that strike me through grasping something in reading again or hearing another way.
It may be that my biggest obstacle is being so happy I become lazy or complacent, given where I was before. It is far beyond photography.
Miksang Contemplative Photography, presented with care and humor by Julie, is a genuine and natural way to truly see the phenomenal world, especially when coupled with one’s meditation practice. I am grateful for being their student and learning how to stop missing out.
The experiences of the Core Practice and One-On-One exercise expand the depth of seeing and dismantle the disorientation of filters. A comfortable intention and motivation to continuously explore curiously and joyfully without struggle are achieved. I will never see the same again.
First of all a big thanks to you and Julie for the course. It opened my eyes a lot in spite of my unsophisticated equipment, which as it turns out worked just fine. It was a great course, I now understand that it’s all about seeing not the camera. It continues to make me more aware of the colour, texture and patterns around me and has been a big influence on both my photography and painting. I think it helps to create a valuable insight for painters and other artists and I think most would benefit from it.
I’m looking forward to the next course.
Thank you for sharing the wisdom messages and thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge and experience of Miksang with the world. I tell anybody that listens that attending your Miksang workshop was one of the more profound experiences of my lifetime. I would also like to share something that happened as I was driving home on Monday morning:
Outside of Cheyenne, I was passed by a pickup pulling a horse trailer – going 80 miles an hour. I followed behind because I liked his speed. After awhile I began noticing the weathered blue color of the trailer again the moving yellow stripe in the highway, against the changing greys and pinks of the highway, against the panorama of the changing winter landscape and colorful passing vehicles, and against the sky at the crest of a hill. The blue trailer pulled off the Interstate at Douglas and I continued on to Casper. Through visual perception, an ordinary occurrence became extraordinary for me as I connected with things as they are for the little more than an hour that passed. This visual experience was a “first” for me and it still lingers in my mind.
I am hopeful for more discoveries of “connecting with things as they are and receiving them with a mind of stillness and openness.” And, in the meantime, I am working on becoming better acquainted with my camera.