Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Hindsight, Foresight...What about Nowsight?

   Visual listening is all about cultivating our "nowsight".   Before you say it, yes, I know nowsight isn't even a word.  That, I think, is the whole problem.  We spend so much of our time looking back or looking forward that the now escapes us.  With visual listening, we calm the wandering mind and focus our attention on the right here, right now, right before our eyes.  Of all contemplative photography concepts, this is the one most people have the hardest time with.

Yellow Flower, Yellow Flower, Yellow Flower....

   Becoming nowsightful (another "non-word", I do love making up words!) is learning to see in the present moment only what is in front of you. It would seem so easy to do but, in fact, our monkey minds are rarely stilled to this degree. Meditation certainly helps but when you are walking around in a landscape this can be difficult to pull off.

    One way I try to stay in the nowsightful mind is through mind journaling, saying out loud what I would write down if I wasn't in motion. I will say a word or phrase that describes something right in front of me like "tall grass".  As I proceed through the tall grass I repeat it until I come to another area, then I'll change my mantra..."rocky road, rocky road, rocky road".   Of course, you don't have to say it out loud, just chant it in your mind.  Probably a better idea if you aren't totally alone; you don't want people to think you've taken complete leave of your senses!  If you are describing, verbalizing, something right in front of you and repeating it over and over, your mind will focus on that one idea alone. It will be less prone to wander away to what you might have for dinner tonight.  Mind journaling keeps me nowsightful.

   Christine Valters Painter wrote a lovely post for this blog about quieting the mind...read or re-read it here.  I also wrote a post, Cultivating the Quiet Mind with ideas you might find useful.  You can refer to that post here.  Finally, below you will find an interesting article and short video about the benefits of stilling the monkey mind...

No comments: