I probably talk too much about meditation and photography, or Mind and photography. In a way, of course I would, since the two are hand-and-glove. Still, it’s pretty rare that I come up with, or post or publish, a photo produced during an intensive actual meditation retreat. The mostly steady two hours a day counts as a steady mini-retreat, but it still doesn’t approach the intensity of a real, long, retreat.
This is probably especially true these days, when my meditation technique is more focused on mind than on the space around. My long retreats these days are silent, with long periods with my eyes closed, and no camera with me.
This one though is from one of my old retreats, sitting with open eyes, and walks with a camera during some breaks.
This photo is to me a good representation of some aspect of mind and meditation. Even those super-quiet Zen Enso brush paintings, and other traditional Japanese and Chinese meditation-inspired paintings are also quite full of energy. I’ve said before that I find the kinetic art of Kandinsky, Klee, and many abstract expressionists to be quite representative of states of mind, and the kinds of states of mind that a meditator will spend a lot of time with. While there may be peace to be found in Mind, there is always energy, almost always some movement and dynamic quality. There is movement, and there is stillness. There is something like substance, and there is space around that. There is a figure, and there is the ground. So this seemed to me to be quite in accord with this retreat experience.
Physically this is the kind of thing that shows up after a winter when we’ve had a good snowpack, and it then mostly melts in the late winter. Lately our snowpacks in central Vermont are not reliable they way they used to be. We used to have one brown winter in maybe 10 or more, and now it seems we might get one good snowy one out of 5 mostly brown ones. It’s easier, maybe, but spooky and sad. This year I don’t hope to see very much of this kind of late February/Early March effect, but you never know. Maybe we’ll get some real snow. I’ve got a lot of these images stocked up, and maybe I’ll find more good ones to release.
But first there will be an entirely different project. With luck, the next images will be quite different. Stay tuned!