13th century German mystic Meister Eckhart once observed, "The eye with which I see God is the same eye with which God sees me." At first, the point of his comment seems obvious. But if you stay with it for a moment, then the mystery it reveals is overwhelming. And highly personalized. What's obvious to you might very well be oblivious to me. Sometimes we get so overwhelmed by daily demands and decisions that we have no time to see clearly or even look to see where we are going.
The Chinese principles of yin and yang show us that there are two extremes to everything - dark and light, cold and hot, sorrow and joy. One is practical - the other passionate. One aspect is used for navigation, the other for connection. One eye makes an instant judgment, the other eye contemplates.
The gift of vision is so important that when the world was created, Love's first command was for there to be Light in order for us to see. In his gently thought provoking art primer, The Zen of Seeing: Seeing/Drawing as Meditation, the artist Frederick Franck invites us to experience each ordinary moment as if we were seeing something for the first time. "Everyone thinks he knows what a lettuce looks like. But start to draw one and you realize the anomaly of having lived with lettuce all your life but never having seen one, never having seen the semi-translucent leaves curling in their own lettuce way, never having noticed what makes a lettuce a lettuce rather than a curly kale."
Franck does it with a pencil, You can do it with a pause. The next time you're making a salad, take another look at a head of lettuce. What do you see? Look closely, look with reverence, look with gratitude, and what you'll see will be more than meets your eye.
It's time for a Photo Safari! All you need is the phone on your camera and a willingness to approach your day-to-day life with wonder and seeing things with beginner eyes. Take a photo of your toothbrush. Snap a shot of the dazzling raspberry. Zoom in. Zoom out. Explore how photography allows you to see things in ways you may have otherwise missed.
See things with beginner’s eyes - a contemplative/meditation experience that slows things down and enhances the way we see our world in novel and original ways. Uncover the color, texture and beauty that is always there, but normally hidden from view.
Beginner’s Eye is based on the Zen notion of “beginner’s mind; " that open and spacious place when we are completely receptive, fearless, totally present and connected to the wonder of each moment. A pure clear contemplative seeing awareness where everything is fresh and new.
Let the photographs find you!
It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see.
- Henry David Thoreau
Blessings on your path,