I written a lot about my idea of Visual Listening
...a technique I use before I begin making photographs on location. It is a form of meditation. Minor White is known to have encouraged his students to meditate before they began their camera work as well. Some people may find this difficult to imagine because they have a whole lot of misconceptions about what it means to "meditate" and conjure up all sorts of images of red robed monks and incense.
|Reaching - 2011, Scotland|
Meditation can be done by anyone at anytime and in any situation. There is no one way to do it any more than there is one way to make photographs. You have to find a way that works for you. I found the following list of pointers in a recent Huffington Post article and I'm passing them on to you. You can read the full article in the link below. (I don't know how long the link will be active so I've included the summary points in this post.)
Whether you call it meditation or visual listening or anything else, being still and completely present is essential for the contemplative photographer.
- Have no expectations. Sometimes the mind is too
active to settle down. Sometimes it settles down immediately. Sometimes
it goes quiet, but the person doesn't notice. Anything can happen.
- Be easy with yourself. Meditation isn't about getting it right or wrong. It's about letting your mind find its true nature.
- Don't stick with meditation techniques that aren't leading to inner
silence. Find a technique that resonates with you. There are many kinds
of mantra meditation, including the Primordial Sound Meditation practice
taught at the Chopra Center. Or simply follow the in and out of your
breathing, not paying attention to your thoughts at all. The mind wants
to find its source in silence. Give it a chance by letting go.
- Make sure you are alone in a quiet place to meditate. Unplug the phone. Make sure no one is going to disturb you.
- Really be there. If your attention is somewhere else,
thinking about your next appointment, errand or meal, of course you
won't find silence. To meditate, your intention must be clear and free
of other obligations. - taken from an Huffington Post article, March 11, 2013
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