Each year for the past two years a friend and I have offered experiential workshops around the themes of perception, mindfulness, and photography. We call our workshops: “Accessing Beginner’s Mind.” This was the first year anybody showed up. It was also the first year in which both our lives were so full and so rich, that neither of us had any ego investment in what might or might not transpire. We had a blast just putting this thing together – brainstorming ideas and discussing ways to share some dharma teachings. Go or no Go it was already a win-win. Of course, when it came right down to it the both of us were “winging it.” Sailing with conditions as they arose not trying to make anything different or other than it was. I pretend otherwise but I really am clueless….which is where Katherine comes in. She is just as clueless but wiser than I. We seem to work well together and enjoy a mutual love of play.
At the workshop, Katherine and I both shared what beginner’s mind is to each and ways to access it (and if you are curious what I might have said I invite you to explore other posts in this blog or if you are near Durango, come listen to Katherine when she gives a dharma talk) and then it was time to play! We pretended to be camera’s and photographers! How novel is that? Here a mysterious third person enters the murky mix and while preferring to remain unnamed just as Severus Snape did; is nevertheless the true genius behind our workshop’s success. The idea is simple: Partner up. One person is the camera and one the photographer. The camera shutter (eyes) remain closed until signalled to open by a touch of the photographer who decides when that moment occurs after carefully and mindfully composing the camera so ethat when the shutter opens the camera might see the world through the eye’s of an other – the heart might be exposed to something novel.
The photographer’s had the opportunity to observe their mind’s inclination to move back and forth searching without and resting within – scannning for an image – a window through which another might also see all while making sure they did not accidentally ding, dent, or drop their camera. What fun this dancing back and forth, the mind, like light changing – still – now moving; and now and then the light in the mind and the illuminates glimpses into whole other ways of perceiving, knowing, penetrating, and experiencing joy and play, delight and lightenment of an afternoon – of a way of seeing.