An evolution in photography – Chapter Three – The unconditional perception

By no means is every image I take truly Miksang, but the majority of images are influenced to some degree by it and my strongest images have Miksang at the core. Thus, I would like to expand more on the technique. Perhaps the most important aspect of Miksang is the first step: the unconditional perception.

Paying attention to and trusting our minds can be difficult since the mind tends to be somewhat erratic with a lot of background noise. Trusting our minds eye is key to seeing.

When we walk along a street to work or to the shops, we quickly find ourselves listening to the business of the mind. When we do, all of the beauty that surrounds us is invisible. We simply don’t see. If you walk slowly along that same street but this time make an effort to pay attention to the surroundings, to look, then the beauty begins to appear. We begin to see.

At some point, something on the street will cause us to stop and engage with it. It could be a brilliant colour, a strong contrast or a warm light. It will jump out at you and strike you. When this occurs our minds immediately lock gears and begin to evaluate what we see: there are judgements (do I like it?), memories (where have I seen this before?), and labels (what is it?). If we allow our minds to engage in this way, what we see in front of us immediately changes; a flag becomes a flag, a horse becomes a horse. These labels, and the memories and judgements change the original perception and what initially caused us to stop becomes fractured.

Through the practice of Miksang, one learns how to stop the mind from evaluating everything we see. We can stand on the spot and fall in to the image, the perception, and enjoy the raw qualities without feeling the need to judge or label it. It is a moment of standing motionless, in the moment and simply looking. What we see is the unconditional perception.

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Lidgard Photography