Miksang Training Course Descriptions


Making Contact: Relaxing This, Discovering THAT

Four or Five Day Workshop
Required Reading Material: Opening the Good Eye

In this workshop we prepare ourselves to see, recognize when we have a direct perception, understand it, and express it with our camera. We learn to develop a sense of equanimity about what we see. In Making Contact, 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 also 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 combine visual exercises and assignments developed exclusively for the Miksang Institute by founders Michael Wood and Julie DuBose to open the doors to new ways of seeing. They train us to see without concept, simplify how we see, and connect with our visual world beyond the obstacles of restlessness, resistance and boredom.

The Principal Practice of Making Contact is:

Settling Into Awareness:

• Gathering Energy into Our Eyes
• Deep Noticing
• Recognizing Direct Perception
• Seeing the One Thing
• Miksang Core Practice

The Assignments of This Course are:

• Synchronizing Eye and Mind Through the Medium of Color
• Texture and the Full-bodied Experience of Seeing
• Seeing with the Mind of Simplicity

Participants will learn and refine their understanding of:

• How to synchronize the eye and mind to see and recognize direct perceptions with clarity and confidence.

• How to develop the necessary qualities of mind to experience fresh perception; stillness, openness, and receptivity, free of speed and distraction.

• How to visually clarify our understanding of the elements of the perception so we can translate and express them precisely with our camera.

• How to form an inner viewfinder visualization that mirrors the specific qualities of these perceptions so we know what editing adjustments need to be made.

• How to maintain the continuity of connection with our perception as we go through the process of seeing, understanding, and expressing our perception.

• The ability to determine with confidence the three basic technical aspects of using the camera, exposure compensation, point of focus, and depth of field.

• The ability to use editing software to make the photographic image an accurate expression of our perception.

More information about the Miksang approach is available in Opening the Good Eye, The Path of True Seeing, by Michael Wood, available in print and pdf versions.


The Heart of Perception: Feeling the Moment

NYC Gas Cap Haiku

Three-Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisites:
Making Contact: Relaxing This, 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.


Form, Space and Moments: Further Dimensions of Perception

Space 2

Three-Four Day Workshop
Pre-Requisites:
Making Contact: Relaxing This, Discovering THAT
The Heart of Perception: Feeling the Moment

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.


Cutting Loose / Floating Free

Loose 1

Four-Five Day Workshop:
Pre-Requisites:
Making Contact: Relaxing This, Discovering THAT
The Heart of Perception: Feeling the Moment
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.


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.