Spiritography Day 5: Imaging the Sacred in Everyday Life
I’ve been spending a lot of time cultivating my capacity for spiritual sight through the medium of photography. While it has been a challenge, it has allowed me to slow down, contemplate, and linger over moments of beauty.
I used to take such an aggressive approach. I used my lens to hunt and capture, rather than open up to the moment and receive the image. Photography was a conquest rather than a contemplative act.
The challenge is to shift my physical eye from seeing the obvious to beholding the sacred within each moment with my heart’s eye. My ability to see the world beneath the surface appearance of things is growing, but it takes time, patience, and practice. I’m learning to see with wonder, respect, and humility.
We don’t realize how blind we have been until we begin a contemplative practice. Technology, speed, and the busyness of everyday life in Western culture fosters this habit of blindness. We forget that there is more beneath the surface of things because we are so used to using our sense of sight to quickly survey our surroundings and to scan over things.
I’d like to offer you the opportunity to cultivate your own spiritual vision.
It will require you to sit in a relaxed and comfortable position.
You may use the photographs I’ve supplied below as your point of focus, or you may choose an object from your everyday life. It could be anything that you use on a daily basis but often falls short of your full attention.
Take a deep breath and allow yourself about 10 or 15 minutes for this exercise. Do some deep breathing before you start. Offer gratitude for the opportunity to draw nearer the sacred. Then, when you are ready, begin with a soft gaze while releasing any inner judgments and projections as much as possible. The less the ego is involved, the more the sacred will reveal itself.
Let go of your expectations of what you think you will see and instead just be with it. Become intimate with it. Allow yourself to “receive” from it. Take notice of what this stirs within you. Let go of the need to analyze the experience. Enjoy the process, and give gratitude when you are finished.
I would love to hear how the process goes for you…feel free to share your insights below.