Last night I learned a new word, er, style, uh, process… hell, I don’t know what it is, but I learned about it on Facebook after joining the Austin Street Photography group, posting one image that was a fairly representative example of my idea and style of street photography, then being politely informed by one of the admins that, no, my image did not conform to the group rules.
I posted a link to my Street set on Flickr so he’d understand that my participation in the group would be futile as all of my work has the same outward appearance and definitely wouldn’t be following group rules.
The admin, Patrick, asked if I’d looked up Minimalism or Miksang. Minimalism is kind of how I’d describe my work. Probably not all of it, but there is a hint of minimal in a lot of the images I’ve made. Miksang, on the other hand, seems to sum up my style entirely.
Well, Miksang-like might be a more accurate description of my way of making images. I’m not religious, spiritual, or anywhere near meditative but there is a certain zone or mindset that I get into when I’m waking around with a camera. I intentionally slow down, look around, see, notice. Everything. But from a playful, off-beat, and humorous perspective.
From Wikipedia, Miksang is a “Tibetan word meaning “good eye.” It represents a form of contemplative photography based on the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, in which the eye is in synchronisation with the contemplative mind. The result of this particular perception of the world, combined with photography, produces a peculiar and open way of seeing the world. Miksang pictures tend to bring the observer back into the original contemplation state of the author of the picture. The pictures can bring one back to a purer perception of reality that is often neglected. Miksang involves nothing fancy, no special setup; only a visual capture, in the proper state of mind, of everyday’s reality.”
Describing my work has always seemed difficult. Now, at least, there’s a word I can use when explaining my personal photographic style. Who knew?
There a lot of internet resources available and a few books on the subject have been published, and naturally, with a little bit of searching you can find plenty of videos to watch about Miksang…
Nalanda Miksang International
The Miksang Institute
Miksang | Instagram
Opening the Good Eye
Looking and Seeing: Nalanda Miksang Contemplative Photography