Miksang Training Course Descriptions

Opening the Good Eye: An Introduction to Miksang

Level One
Three – Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisite: None

In Opening the Good Eye, we are introduced to the experience of seeing in a new way. We begin to develop the ability to synchronize our mind and eye so that our habitual patterns of seeing and labeling dissolve in a moment of stunning, vivid perception. Through visual exercises and assignments we develop confidence in our ability to connect directly with what we see, stay full present with the perception as we fully understand its qualities, and then express our experience precisely with our cameras.

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Making Contact: Discovering THAT

Level 2a
Three – Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisites: Opening the Good Eye

Making Contact is where “the rubber hits the road” in Miksang. From Opening the Good Eye we have learned to prepare ourselves to see, recognize when we have a fresh perception, understand it, and express it with our camera. We have used the elements of form to train ourselves to see without labels of what things are. We have developed a sense of equanimity about what we see. In this second course we bring that approach and open, available state of mind out into the world to see. We work with our resistance to seeing without an agenda, and our struggle to make our world conform to what we want to see. We discover that real seeing takes place on the other side of boredom. As we cross this boundary we discover a world of floating wonder for us to play in.

We are introduced to the practice of Deep Noticing and the Miksang Core Practice.

Mom's Hair


 

Beyond the Elements of Form: The Heart of Perception

Level 2b
Three – Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisites:
Opening the Good Eye
Making Contact: Discovering THAT

In The Heart of Perception we experience new depth of visual experience. As we free ourselves from the limitations of what we want to see, we enter into a more spacious and intimate relationship with our visual world. As our openness and receptivity continue to expand, we can feel the heartbeat and breath of our perceptions. The texture of our experience becomes delicate, transitory, ephemeral. Because we have developed the ability to be still without bias or judgment, we can express the subtlety of this experience with our camera.

NYC Gas Cap Haiku


 

Space: Further Dimensions of Perception

Level 3
Three – Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisites:
Opening the Good Eye
The Heart of Perception
Making Contact: Discovering THAT

In order to further refine our relationship with our visual world, it is very helpful to clarify and deepen our awareness of the aspect of perception which we call space. As part of our conventional way of looking at the world, there is a tendency to look at objects, which we usually fix into place through thinking, labeling and associating. We tend to move from one object to the next as we navigate our experience. Seldom do we notice the visual space in which objects appear—the space around or between things. This workshop introduces methods of relaxing our gaze and our fixation on things so that we can actually experience, notice and express the qualities of space in our world. Through exercises and assignments, our images begin to express our experience of visual dimensionality rather than our customary emphasis on form and its qualities.

Space 2


 

Cutting Loose / Floating Free

Level 4
Four – Five Day Workshop:
Pre-Requisites:
Opening the Good Eye
The Heart of Perception
Making Contact: Discovering THAT
Space: Further Dimensions of Perception

When the form becomes one with the mind and the discipline is transparent we can let the arrow fly. We feel the target instinctively and through a subtle realignment we launch on contact. There is no need to reexamine or contemplate. Our experience of seeing and its expression become a seamless stream, effortless.

To help stabilize our experience of the first instant of  perception, we need to collapse our experience of seeing, understanding and expressing into a single moment, free of hesitation. And that single moment rests on two qualities—confidence and genuineness.

The assignments in this course allow us to further let go of our habits and patterns involved in seeing—even those associated with our previous Miksang training. We can cut loose even from our Miksang database and see without memory.

Loose 1


Master Class: The Five Styles of Creative Expression

Five Day Workshop
Pre-Requisite: All previous Miksang classes

As we become free of concept in our visual experience and we can spontaneously form the equivalent of our perception, the whole world is our playground. The world presents itself to us in its own unique way, and we choose to resonate or not, depending on our unique predilections which are basic to our makeup, our basic style.  This style becomes manifest when our relative filters and cultural bias become transparent.

The five styles of creative expression presents the view of the unconditional energy of reality manifesting as five distinct yet perceivable styles. We explore how these styles express themselves in our being and in our experience of the perceptual world.

In his book, Dharma Art, Chögyam Trungpa, Rinpoche provides this introduction:

We are trying to get at some basic understanding of seeing things in their absolute essence, their own innate nature. We can use this knowledge in regard to painting or poetry or arranging flowers or making films or composing music. It is also connected with the relationships between people. These five Buddha principles seem to cover a whole area of new dimensions of perception. They are very important at all levels and in all creative situations.”

In the past this course has been quite interesting—using photography as our base medium, we will expand our study of the five families into other areas of expression such as music, dress, food, objects, etc.


To find out how to become a Miksang Instructor click here

The Miksang Institute has no relationship to nor any affiliation with any other contemplative photography organizations or teachers, and only workshops taken with Miksang Institute Teachers are counted as pre-requisites for any Institute programs.