Friday, May 2, 2014

Receptivity - The "hard eye" vs. the "soft eye"...

   I'm reading a wonderful book on labyrinths right now, Walking a Sacred Path by Dr. Lauren Artress.  In it she talks about receptivity that, along with reflection, is part of the walking meditation of the labyrinth.

   Dr. Artress describes the two states of receptivity, the hard eye and the soft eye and this designation most surely applies to the contemplative photographer as well.

   "The hard eyes are for long distance looking, surveying, seeking, looking ahead.  Soft eyes are for up close, intimate contact." - page 98

   I couldn't help but make the connection with those states and the left brain/right brain dichotomy.  Hard eyes are analytical and judgmental while soft eyes are gently intuitive and non-dual.  While I visited the annual Sheepfest I was able to apply this in my camera work.  While I began with a more general overview of the alpaca enclosure I was not content with that.  These gentle creatures drew me in and I was rewarded by this sweet smiling countenance and a soft humming greeting. (Yes, alpacas actually hum!)

   Again, I think what we should strive for is a balance of the two states of receptivity.  Hard eyes are our scouts; they lead us forward.  But is our soft eyes that reveal the mystery, that gives us a glimpse of the divine in all life.  The hard eye sees...the soft eye beholds.  We need both.

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Footnote:

     I've decided to relocate my labyrinth. The space I originally chose is too small. It will become a meditation garden instead. I know that creating a full sized labyrinth means it will not be done this year. It is a lot more work and expense but in the end it will be worth it. I will be publishing progress reports this summer on both the meditation garden and the labyrith...stay tuned!

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4 comments:

Darlene Chadbourne said...

Where are you located Patricia? I also want to install a Labyrinth this year.

Blessings of Love and Light,

Darlene

Darlene Chadbourne said...

I just moved down further on your blog and found that you are in Maine. So am I.

Patricia Turner said...

I am located in Western Maine on the New Hampshire border. Labyrinths are wonderful...good luck with yours. Mine will take at least a year to build.

Patricia Turner said...

Oh where? We should get together this summer! I have another friend who is planning on in my area as well.