June 11

Within every flower the world by Ivette Ebaen

A Nalanda Miksang Testimonial

" I want to share an excerpt from an essay I wrote for my book entitled:
Nalanda Miksang, Using Photography to Contemplate Life, A
Practitioner’s Point of View. As a practitioner and instructor, I am grateful
for this teaching, the sangha, and the abundance of dharma revealed in
every flash that comes my way.
within every flower the world – © I. Ebaen, monoku

Conventional picture taking is one way to document life. Yet the difference
between a conventional selfie and a Nalanda Miksang portrait is discovered in the
process of doing so and not in what results. The visual image that flashes before my
eyes is the result of being open and present to experience.

Miksang Contemplative Photography - Ordinary Personal World - Bookcase - copyright - Ivette Ebaen

What happens to my conceptual mind and the rest of my senses before the decision
is made to release the shutter and snap the picture is what makes the process
different. In reality you and I have nothing to do with the resulting image. The flash of
perception sees to that. The flash that shimmers at me and catches me unaware,
frames the image I’m after.
If left to be what it is, that initial moment of disruption known as the flash of
perception stops the eye from searching and silences the mind from constant
chatter. And what is witnessed is stunning and unexpected with every possibility for
change to take place.

With clarity of mind comes clarity of vision. The eyes see afresh. The mind and body
relax. In this state of awareness I feel at one with what I perceive. I identify with basic
goodness – that state of heartfelt relaxation that brings with it a sense of
unconditional satisfaction.
When I look through my camera’s viewfinder, all forethought and afterthoughts yield
to the empty gap of mind, as Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche explains in his book True
Perception, The Path of Dharma Art; “When you first perceive something, there is a
shock of no conceptual mind operating at all. Then something begins to occur. You
begin to perceive: whether you like it or not, you begin to see colours and
perceptions, to open your eyes. So that non-reference-point of mind can become
highly powerful and extraordinarily sensitive.”
This empty gap of mind awakens in me that primordial sense, of how I once
perceived the phenomenal world - before I acquired a language, a culture, a history
of ideas; before I learned to imagine and create a separate sense of self.
The sensation of no-mind reminds me of a time when my response to life was
innocence and curiosity. This intuitive response to life relied on my ability to perceive
and receive, originating from a state of relaxation fostered by an open-hearted trust
in existence.

Contemplative Photography – Hands At Work – © Ivette Ebaen
From a Miksang practitioner’s perspective, using photography to see what presents
itself doesn’t aim to document life per se. The practice is about perception. I
experience awareness in relationship to the phenomenal world. Being receptive to
experience reality as it is - unadulterated and pure - is the focus of practice. The
Miksang point of view is always clear, fresh, and simple. Its foundation is based on
how the world of things and sentient beings, the nature of Nature responds without

prejudice yet with discernment. The adventure always humbles my heart from the joy
of what is revealed and realized.
In such a state of conscious seeing and being, I feel the vitality of a crack running up
a wall. I identify with a raindrop as it splatters in a bucket full of rain. I taste the sun
behind leaves dangling from the oak branches. I smell the freshness within the folds
of my lover’s shirt, and capture the essence of that experience in a photograph.


Texture Plus – Cotton Shirt – © Ivette Ebaen
I practice to see the beauty within the ordinary world. I go on Miksang walks to
familiarize myself with what being present to sight, sound and all sensations, feels
and looks like. I take the stance of the observer and witness what arises and
survives without interfering. And if necessary, I have an equivalent image to confirm
the depths of my understanding.
Whether or not a practitioner captures an equivalent image remains irrelevant. What
is relevant is to realize what is communicated in the moment. What is relevant is
what it is, which allows me to perceive then accept the state of things as they are; as
they present themselves in the moment they change and perish. Miksang and this
way of seeing then becomes a teaching, a meditation on letting go and letting be.

In truth Nalanda Miksang is an intimate practice. It is an individual’s practice in
preparation for sitting meditation. The practice reflects the changing states of mind
and all the senses as seen through the images that flash before us.
Ultimately, Miksang and this way of seeing is about surrender with a glimpse of what
that egoless state of mind looks like. It is an intimate observation of getting to
perceive and understand our genuineness. It is about appreciating life as such, in its
state of suchness, is-ness, and wonderment . . .
Miksang contemplative photography - book cover - copyright - Ivette Ebaen
Excerpt from Nalanda Miksang, Using Photography to
Contemplate Life, A Practitioner’s Point of View, 

by Ivette Ebaen, M.A. Transpersonal
Psychology, Professional Diploma Person-Centered Expressive Arts Therapy; SoulCollage
Practitioner/Facilitator; Nalanda Miksang Practitioner/Educator; Artist/Photographer based in
Ireland. Miksang photographs, text and monoku, by Ivette Ebaen. © Copyright 2023. All
rights reserved.

To purchase a hardbound copy of Nalanda Miksang, Using Photography to Contemplate
Life, A Practitioner’s Point of View, containing essays and a gallery of student/practitioners
work; attend a Haiku or Nalanda Miksang Workshop email ivette@6moons.com or visit


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