Recognizing the sacred within the ordinary is an essential skill for anyone who desires contentment and a vibrant life flowing with gratitude. One way to strengthen this ability is through the practice of “mindful photography”. Through the lens of a camera, we can observe and take informal snapshots of ordinary objects at home, at work, in nature, around the neighborhood, in fact, anywhere we go. Reflecting on the sense of presence, wonder, or connection that arises while taking and reviewing the photos can open us to a more mindful way of experiencing the world around us, whether or not we have a camera in hand.
Here’s a practice you can try with your camera or smartphone:
- Pick up your camera or smartphone and wander around your neighborhood without any agenda other than to notice what draws your attention. It might be the contrast of one color next to another, the appealing lines of a building, or the reflection of a tree in a puddle of water. Whatever you notice, stop for a moment to see and appreciate it without internal commentary, labeling or comparison.
- With your camera or smartphone take a photo of whatever captured your attention and only of what captured your attention. In other words, make no effort to compose a perfect shot, rather make one or two attempts to capture in a photo the essence of what first appealed to you.
- Move on and see what else you notice. The goal of the practice is to appreciate the endless variety of subjects that can nourish, bring happiness and hone your sense of wonder for the world around you.
Please explore the photos on my website. I also invite you to view and share photos and comments on the Mindful Photography Forum I created on Flickr:http://www.flickr.com/groups/1732735@N21/