Most Asked Questions about Contemplative Photography Continued

Submitted by Kim Manley Ort to Julie DuBose:

In one section of the book you speak of resonance – “when we feel our heart touched by something we see.” How is resonance different from filters or judgments – likes, dislikes, interesting, exciting? 

When we think, we objectify our experience, we step outside of it, and so are unable to experience what we are experiencing without the mediation of our conceptual mind.
Resonation can arise within us when we are resting in the space of openness and simple appreciation. This happens when we receive our perceptions and connect with them deeply. Resonance occurs when our being responds to what we have seen in a deep way, so that our body and mind are fully engaged, we have physical sensations, and our hearts open and we feel joy in the act of connecting. Resonation is an expression of our innate wisdom as it connects to our world.

Towards the end of the book, you bring up the current societal problem of continuous distraction. It is a challenge for us in this fast-paced world with all of our gadgets to relax our minds. How has your practice of conscious seeing changed the way you deal with continuous distraction?

There is a tremendous amount of extraneous noise in the environment. That is my experience of it. A lot of how I relate with it is through clarity of intention. I can’t experience anything fully if I am attempting to do something else at the same time. So I am disciplined enough to disregard anything that is not on my frequency. I try to relate fully to what I have engaged with, and when I have finished that completely, then I am open to what arises next. When you have confidence to know what that means to you, what frequency you are on, then this is not difficult. This is the way I am when I am photographing as well. It works for me!

Learning to experience our world with our innate wisdom fully engaged is a great challenge for us. It is the antidote to many spiritual afflictions in our world, alienation, depression, despair. This means not accepting everything we see and hear from others as fact, as how things are. That is like believing that every thought that occurs to us is true. When we can rest our minds in our innate wisdom, we rest in the stillness beyond the turmoil, the suffering. We rest in the possibility beyond the discord. This is how we can keep our hearts and minds open and ready to connect and appreciate our world. In Miksang we talk about this as resting in the mind of stillness.

What are your most important practices for preparing the mind for contemplative photography?

I describe these exercises in depth in Effortless Beauty on pp. 96 and 97.

My thanks to Kim Manley Ort for her questions and her review on her blogsite