Photography, meditation & gratitude
Meditation isn't part of my life. Not yet, at least. I bought many books, practiced a few times but meditation is still not part of my routine.
Deep inside, I know that this special time I'll offer to myself will have a positive impact in my life.
As you may know, meditation is about being "here & now", welcoming things the way they are, without judgment. A few days ago, I began to read "Practicing the power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle.
And an idea came to my mind: what if photography was one way of meditating?
At first, these 2 activities couldn't seem to be any further one from another: photography is about the outside world, meditation is about our deep inner self. Photography is creating our own images of the reality, meditation is looking at the reality as it is.
But there are also a lot of commun points. Both require practice, disciple and dedication. Both seem simple but we know for sure it's not that easy.
When I'm out there photographing the city, I'm on a certain state of mind. My brain knows that it's time to see the world in a special way. That's why it's easier for me to photograph alone, so my entire self is into photographing, and at the same time, wide-opened to whatever may come.
I also consider photography as an healing activity: if I feel sad, I know that going out to photograph will help me getting better.
Of course, the contemplation is a major part of photography: it's about looking at the world in a different way. I personally realized I have a thing for details, like a shadow on a petal, a drop on a leaf, a reflection on a puddle.
Photography is about being part of the world, being part of the world which exists only here and now. It's about capturing that moment, gone forever. And it's about not interfering with all this, being here and now and letting things be.
There is also the "no expectation" aspect of photography: to be ready to welcome whatever happens, as any kind of thoughts or ideas during meditation.
I also think that photography brings gratitude to my life. As I am photographing, my brain becomes some kind of a radar to find beauty, and I feel grateful for all the beautiful things (on the most global meaning) I can see and photograph. I'm also grateful to share the result of my work, to offer my view of the world to the world (well, almost ahah!).
And it's like I'm becoming a kid again. Being amazed by the smallest detail, by the cute cat sleeping in a funny position, by the craftsman creating iron tools, by that ray of light which comes out of the clouds. It's about seeing the good & beautiful things, sharing them through my photographs and being thankful of my ability of doing so.
What do you think about this? What about your own experience? I'd love to know, so please feel free to express your view!
PS: The American photographer Bill Brandt wrote: "It is part of the photographer's job to see more intensely than most people do. He must have and keep in him something of the receptiveness of the child who looks at the world for the first time or of the traveler who enters a strange country. Most photographers would feel a certain embarrassment in admitting publicly that they carried within them a sense of wonder, yet without it they would not produce the work they do, whatever their particular field. It is the gift of seeing the life around them clearly and vividly, as something that is exciting in its own right. It is an innate gift, varying in intensity with the individual's temperament and environment."
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