Introduction to Contemplative Photography / Level One


A formal introduction to the teachings

This course introduces the teachings and practice of Nalanda Miksang contemplative photography.  Through visual training, photographic assignments, and image reviews, you enter the way of seeing.

This is a more formal introduction to contemplative photography. It is based on the first level of Chögyam Trungpa’s three levels of perception teaching.  We explore the visual world through some of its elements, such as color, light, surface, space and dot in space.  

In musical terms, we learn the chords and scales of basic visual perception.  This builds a foundation from which we can engage the visual world in a direct and clear way.  Images in Level One are simple, pure, and spacious.

“We have to claim our birthright, use our capacity to really See.  

Practicing contemplative photography is a kind of sail, steering us back to the magic of Clear Seeing.  Making an image is using that sail to catch the joy of the world.”

From Looking and Seeing by John McQuade and Miriam Hall

When eye and mind are synchronized, in the same place at the same time, we see clearly and our images are strong and vivid. In this training, we explore aspects of the visual world with a contemplative eye and sensibility.

This is a complete introduction, including key elements from the Level One and Level Two teachings. With this course one explores what it means to be a contemplative photographer.

The Moment of Contact

Looking is the moment of contact with what you perceive. In this case, the contact is with color as color. Looking is connection. You only see what you look at, and this looking identifies the perception. It is contact with just that: just that perception, just that color. 

In this contact there is a moment of being there with that.  That color there. The emphasis is not on this (oneself), but rather, this is fully present to that perception: that color. For an immeasurable moment there is a full experience of synchronization. Experience becomes relatively non-dualistic: being fully present. This indicates a contemplative experience.

Entering the Miksang way of seeing

The first assignment is to see Color as Color. The assignment is to perceive color as a pure element of the visual world and deliver this through images. The world is full of colorful things, but the assignment is not directed toward colorful things. We notice color that is free from its reference to things, color free of any context or constraint. Also, free of preferences and associations. Color free of outer contexts and inner interpretations. Non-dualistic color.

Connect with the magic of your perceptions

Sign up to receive the chapter "Color as Color" from Looking and Seeing book.  

And start your Miksang  journey HERE !