Sunday, April 6, 2014

The Landscape as Silent Witness...

    Today I end a four day retreat on becoming a facilitator for SoulCollage®. It has been a wonderful experience. As I continue my study of SoulCollage®, I am beginning to forge connections in the process of creating the cards to my process of practicing contemplative photography and that is very exiting for me. One of the trans-personal cards you create for your SoulCollage® deck is the Witness card...mine is on the right.
   The Witness is defined as pure consciousness...

...a place to step into and detach.  It has no form, it has no shadow, and it is silent.

SoulCollage® Evolving, page 15

   Witness is also described as a mirror...never judging, merely reflecting back to us.  I realized as I read these words that this is, in many ways, how I view the landscape I photograph.  It is the great and silent witness and anything we might see can only be a reflection of what we bring to the experience.

   When we bring our fixed ideas and prejudices into the landscape, that is what we will see reflected back to us.  If I begin to see the landscape as the silent witness I can open up a channel of deep connection with it for I try to be a silent witness too, especially during my visual listening exercises.  Open, accepting, non-judgmental.  I truly begin to  embrace the idea that what I stare into is, to paraphrase Rumi, also staring into me!

   This is a whole different way to view the landscape.  It is not a passive, dead space but a living reflection of divine manifestation.  It has its own energy and can interact with us on a spiritual level.  I can't "prove" this scientifically.  I can only understand it on a experiential level.  I  know that when I am in the landscape and fully open to this energy I feel it most profoundly.  Then the encounter becomes a kind of co-mingling of energy.  When that happens I sometimes forget to pick up the camera altogether!   It is enough to just be there soaking it all in.


Mystic Meandering said...

Love your Soul Collage card... and the "connection" you make with contemplative photography - connecting with that pure consciousness in the landscape as well, beautiful! - the "living divine manifestation" as you say - and how it reflects back to us what we project onto it... So true of so many things in life!

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Christine! This is really what drew me into contemplative photography in the first place...this sense of the the divine presence manifested in the living landscape.