It is challenging to learn to trust our direct experience, free of our pre-established points of reference for everything we have experienced up to the present moment. Fortunately, there is a very clear, practical, and effective way to learn how to see directly and express our experience with our camera just so. We don’t use formulas, and we don’t have templates. Instead we train ourselves to be at home in the open state of mind of not needing to know or even understand conceptually what we see.
As we say in Miksang, “Seeing is a State of Mind”. At the Institute we are always contemplating and developing new ways to help students develop their ability to synchronize their mind and eye so that they can experience their visual world with stillness of mind, openness, and receptivity. Our visual exercises are the way in to direct seeing, and they make seeing in this way possible. We can transform how we see. We can see our world in a new way, free of conceptual overlays and judgment. We can develop equanimity of mind and eye. This is the gift of Miksang.
When we learn to rest our minds in a state of openness and receptivity, the world of direct perception opens up to us.
The Miksang Training Process
Becoming able to express a direct perception with our camera is basically a three-stage process.
- We develop the ability to prepare ourselves to see directly, and then to recognize when we have had a fresh perception.
- We learn to rest our minds in stillness with our perception so that we can take in what we have seen fully and understand exactly what it is. Because we are clear about the visual qualities and aspects of our perception, we will know that what is in our viewfinder is exactly what we have seen, and when we edit, that the final image will be an exact expression of what our perception was.
- We develop and utilize our technical understanding of how to use our camera to precisely express our perception.
Throughout the Miksang Training process we are continually working to refine our understanding of these three stages of discipline. As we incorporate these into our experience of seeing and photographing in this way, they become a natural part of our creative expression.