Welcome...

Come meander with me on the pathless path of the Heart
in these anecdotal,
sometimes inspiring, sometimes personal meanderings of the Heart's opening in the every-day-ness of Life...

Monday, August 13, 2012

Dancing With Shadow and Light...

I’ve been reading The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes.  It has inspired me to be more aware of the world around me, to pay attention to what I am actually seeing, whether through the lens of my own eyes, or through the lens of the camera.  According to the authors, Andy Karr and Michael Wood, contemplative photography is about the immediate direct experience of pure seeing without the overlay of conceptual thinking – without labeling what we are seeing.  They say that “labeling things as beautiful or ugly masks what they really look like.”  According to them, “artistic living” – or living artistically - has more to do with HOW we see than trying to be creative.   It has to do with “resting in an innate intelligence, that some call Awareness, and allowing the basic qualities of form to be recognized by this innate, nonconceptual intelligence…..allowing things to emerge, rather than trying to interpret the nature of the perception…”    Seems this applies to our spiritual practice, and life, as well!  Are we seeing with the HEART of Awareness, or with the conceptual mind that wants to figure things out, to analyze and interpret…  So I am experimenting with “seeing” and how I see what I see – and from where am I really seeing - WHO/WHAT is really seeing…  In most non-dual spiritual practices, this is really what it all comes down to – seeing WHO is really seeing…  Abstract, I know :)

One morning I became aware of the dance of shadow and light that was going on in the den, as the morning sun managed to find its way through the slits in the closed blinds that let the light in anyway.  I snapped the photos below that show this interplay of light and dark – the interplay of life really.  The shadow does not obscure what is really there.  It’s all a matter of how we see it.

I also included some meditative writings under the photos that I wrote several years ago (2004) while meditating that have to do with the dance of shadow and light that we participate in every day in our minds – some know it as the shadow self.

 

It’s all just a dance,
a playful dance of light and dark.
Allow the dance of shadow to play itself out in your life,
and be grateful for the dance.


  
The shadow self is just a consciousness.
It is the consciousness spawned by the *belief* in separation from Infinite Consciousness…
A *belief* in separateness creates a consciousness of darkness and fear…
For the most part humanity functions from this consciousness.
A consciousness of separation dominates the mind – creating suffering.
The fear feeds on fear, creating more darkness.
It manifests a consciousness of darkness
that you *believe* to be real.



But the shadow self is just a mist, an illusion…
It is not “darkness” in the negative sense…
The consciousness of darkness is only a thin layer, a thin veil.
It creates much dysfunction, but really has no power to sustain.
It gives the illusion of power to seemingly rob you of your
True Consciousness…



You have become caught in the net of fear,
*thinking* it is real.
You can emerge through this layer of darkness by becoming aware of the
Consciousness of Infinite Beingness/Awareness.
This creates a new reality,
a new consciousness.
Whatever your consciousness is,
that is your reality.
Shift the *identity* with the consciousness of shadow self
and you create a whole new reality…



The gift of the shadow is the Light of Awareness,
the call to awareness of the Light
that we are...



18 comments:

  1. lovely photos. I think this is such a perfect book for you with your eye for photos and your contemplative nature!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Carole! Yes, it is quite an interesting book... An "eye opener" :)

      Delete
  2. Wonderful photos and I love that last line, "The gift of the shadow is the Light of Awareness,
    the call to awareness of the Light
    that we are..." it has a very soothing cadence to it, like a mantra.

    ReplyDelete
  3. truly stunning photos. and your thoughts go so well with them. so interesting you perhaps stumbled upon this book? i think it suits you and brings out your imagination via the camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Suki :) Actually I heard of this book through a couple of different bloggers who have or are reading it. Am glad I got it. Giving me a new view :)

      Delete
  4. What a great post...thank you Dear Christine!! ♥ "...allowing things to emerge, rather than trying to interpret the nature of the perception…" -- That is truly Art...like Love, recognized in the cavity of the Heart. xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Leslie ♥:) As I was reading in the book I was thinking how this applies to our "artwork" as well - allowing it to emerge... We shall "see" :)

      Delete
  5. yay! you got the book! I LOVE LOVE these pictures. They are so calming, and truly bring me to the present moment! Thanks:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Aarathi. Yes I did :) and am loving it. Although will have to say that it's a little challenging to just *see* things perceptually *without* the mind coming in conceptually - and to "reflect" that seeing in the photo... But I also got lost in the moment :)

      Delete
  6. Your photos (and subject matter) took me back to a book I read as an ENGLISH MAJOR (all caps, with Garrison Keillor saying that, facetiously)---JEALOUSY, by Alain Robbe-Grillet, a French novelist. I don't remember specifics of the novel (read in the early 70s), only the play on the word "jealousy," which is similar to the word in French for Venetian blinds, and how that image pervaded the book. Actually, your post evoked so much more in me. . . and I am grateful. BEAUTIFUL.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Chris :) Yes, there is a theme here isn't there :) And I do remember the word "Venetian blinds"! Wow - that's going way back :) lol... There is something about blinds and the shadows they create that evoke something in me too... For some reason I found the images soothing as it cast the shadows of light and dark on everything... Interesting...

      Delete
  7. Those photos are really beautiful - I hope you will post more! Hmm - they were always venetian blinds to me - I never noticed people stopped calling them that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you David :) Yes, there will be more :) In our neck of the woods "venetian" has been dropped and they are just called "blinds" - interesting word and metaphor :) In some instances they are called "Levalor" blinds as a general term, as we call all tissue "Kleenex" - Thanks for coming by and leaving your comment! :)

      Delete
  8. Hi Christine '-)
    This is a grand collection of photos that make me consider how we can each 'dance with the shadow' as you are so naturally showing us here.

    What a beautiful exploration...I sense that you'll wander with me all day long as you show me how to look with fresh eyes at the shadows dancing around me.

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Donna! Thanks! It certainly is giving me a new view :) dancing with the shadow self :) We've done this before I think. I seem to remember the tune. "Me and my shadow - walking down the avenue." LOL Always a new way of seeing... Have fun with your shadow! :)

      Delete
  9. GORGEOUS moments with light here, Christine! And your words pair just as beautifully with your serene images. Looking forward to more of your observations with light and shadow. Funnily enough, I just ordered The Practice of Contemplative Photography via Amazon, and can't wait for it too arrive! I like the authors' take on creativity...where artistic living – or living artistically - has more to do with how we see than trying to be clever about being creative. Very interesting! :o) Just love these images, my friend... Happy Days ((HUGS))

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tracy :) Oh boy! You got the book too! It's wonderful! Much more than "how" to do photography. It really is about a fresh way of seeing - and thinking.
      Have fun with it!

      Delete