22 Jan 2012

Miksang - Contemplative Photography

Blog dilemma over.  As I sit by my lovely new stove with a kettle bubbling on top, I finally have time to reflect on the crazy state of mind my even crazier schedule helped produce this week. Of course if I were a realised yogi my mind would have been calm, like the eye of a storm, but obviously I still have a long way to go.

Seems that this whirlwind busy week of mine, work, making travels plans, decisions, PMT and a more than healthy dose of catching up with old friends, got my mind spinning so fast it just whirled past it's use-by-date and started creating spurious problems which were both unnecessary and detracted from the real work at hand.

Why did I develop a blog dilemma all of a sudden?  After a lovely yoga practice, which slowed the spinning down I realised that my blogs are fine. It's all OK. But I do need to stop making rules and barriers for myself. I like to post photos with few words on black, and post words with few photos on white, and would like to invite anyone curious about daily life in Northern Japan to take a look at the photos.  This was my original blog, made for the purpose of showing far-away friends and family where I live and what I'm seeing.  I love taking photos and had thousands I never showed anyone, and began wondering what the point in it all was, if not to show someone, anyone.

At the beginning of this year a friend sent me a yoga magazine.  When I finally got a chance to sit down and read it I had a huge 'Aha!' moment.  It was an article on Miksang, or contemplative photography.  'That's it!'  thought I, that is what I'd vaguely had in mind as an ideal for my photos but hadn't known this was actually an art form.  I am nowhere near realising this  yet, but I have found a direction for my photo-blog.  I've fallen into a tedious rut of pretty scenes, clouds, mountains and food. So if you do visit I apologise for lack of inspiration.

The article in Yoga International states that;

Miksang, which means "good eye" in Tibetan, is a process that captures arresting moments of everyday life - and deepens our awareness of them - by using the simplest mechanics of a camera.

It feels like all my interests are slowly coming together, (for years it felt like I had too many and should drop a few) that of Yoga, Tibetan Buddhism, Photography and Art (there are many MORE, but not relevant here..).  Now I need to put in a little more work, or rather need to stop a little more often to smell those roses and practice some Miksang photography.

Thanks to far away friends for inspiration and support in both the digital and paper formats.

20 Jan 2012

To merge or not...

I may be in a blog transition.  I have three blogs, which seems excessive.  It feels like three different faces. I want to merge. I have always held the belief that a realized person would have a personality which is integrated, by which I mean, presents the same face (to a degree) in all situations.  I used to have a friend who when we were alone was thoughtful, philosophical and sensitive and yet when we were out socializing would turn into an absolute lout, sexist, crude, loud and coarse, it was like Jekyll and Hyde. When we talked about it, he knew this was happening and seemed it was stemming from insecurity, a desire to be accepted.  However the Japanese have this worked into their culture the public and private face are two very different ones.  Which is right I don't know.   I have a photo blog, an English yoga blog and a Japanese one for posting my class schedule.  I may combine the photo and English one, especially since I do feel the act of seeing and creating has been a part of my practice, and discovered there is actually a school of photography called Miksang, or contemplative photography. But I need to chew this over a while.  I also find I like to write on paper, privately, and am feeling a kind of pressure to write posts this year. Which is wrong.  Maybe I just don't have anything useful to say right now.

I am a home Ashtangi and I love that there is a cybershala and want to be part of it, and am now in the processing of integrating my cyber self. Are there any blog land rules....unspoken etiquette? Why do you blog?    To merge or not....  any ideas welcome x

4 Jan 2012

Year of the Dragon 2012

The Year of the Dragon will, apparently, be marked by excitement, unpredictability, exhilaration and intensity.  Sounds pretty good to me.  Last year was tough.  It felt up-hill all the way.  Emotionally straining and painful.  I learnt a lot and feel stronger for it.  But enough.  Am ready to work, get my energy and spirit back.  

Last year my mantra was light and simple.  I have lightened up considerably both emotionally and materially, and this shall remain a work in progress.  

This year I'm going for intensity (tapas) some energy and focus.