This is not your usual “how to be a better photographer” book. It takes you into deeper water. It requires investigation and commitment to areas new to you. Among other things, you will think about perception in new ways. If you read this book with care, and without skepticism, it will radically expand your thinking, seeing, and photography.
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Monday, May 26, 2008
A lot has happened to me in this life. I have had a lot of challenges. In dealing with challenges, we must not let practical difficulties destroy our state of mind. For example, if you put a heavy object, weighing perhaps one or two hundred pounds, in front of a mirror, the heavy thing will be clearly reflected, but without the heaviness. In the same way, we can’t prevent ourselves from experiencing life’s difficulties, but we can experience them as if they are reflections in a mirror—clearly reflected without weighing us down.*
The next afternoon, he used another image to explain that the weight we usually experience comes from the way our fixations distort our interactions with the world.
Much of what we experience is not just mere appearance, but our fixation, what we overlay onto the appearances. For example, there is the way we divide things into “I” and “mine”. We don’t directly look at appearances, but see them through a frame, or window, which divides the world into I/mine, self/other. Something odd happens when we look out through the window of I/mine. When we try to reach out to others through this window, the window colors our interactions. The basic problem with that window is that we can’t really see through it.
We can imagine whatever we like. We want to look at something nice out the window, but if there isn’t anything nice there, we create a delusion instead. The window becomes a solid wall that blocks genuine reality. Genuine spiritual experience cannot be seen through the window of “I” and “mine”.*
There is a nice blog following the Karmapa’s visit called, His Holiness The 17th Karmapa’s 2008 U.S. Visit.
* These are not the Karmapa’s exact words, but a reconstruction from several people’s notes.
Friday, May 16, 2008
After the chants and the offerings of the tea and rice, the Karmapa spoke briefly. His words were tinged with humor and he was clearly delighted to be in America. He said something like, “Last night I had the thought that I was in India. This morning I think I am in New York. Looking at you, I believe it! I am in shock!”
Later in the day, my good luck held, and I was able to attend a meeting and a reception with the Karmapa. It was lovely to have time to observe him up-close. He is twenty-two years old, but honestly, they don’t make twenty-two-year-olds like that. It is his gaze that distinguishes him, and gives him away. It is so steady. It is not the gaze of an ordinary person, certainly not someone in their early twenties. This is someone to watch. Karmapa Khyenno!
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
When we don’t recognize the nature of these phenomena, we are bound by them. We are taken in by the illusion or mirage, like thirsty people lost in a desert. When we recognize them, we are free from their compulsion. This is self-liberation: this freedom is not brought about by an outside agent, but by our own insight.
Monday, May 5, 2008
Mind has even more projections than there are dust motes in the sun;
Is there an accomplished yogi here or a yogini
Who sees the appearance of things laid bare in the very bed where it lies?
Sunday, May 4, 2008
How are these concepts different from the objects seen in dreams?