Mindfulness and playfulness, with a camera.
“ And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. ”
- Roald Dahl
Walking With a Camera
Simply walking around with a camera in hand, can be a phenomenal experiment. If you’ve tried it before you may have noticed how time slows down, the senses sharpen, and the mind quietens. There may be a feeling of curiosity, or wonder, as we notice the subtle beauty all around us. Sometimes even in the most ordinary and unlikely places.
Whether it’s the fallen leaves that catches our eye, or the sleeping cat, looking closely has the potential to instantly remove the dullness overlaying our visual world. This is a dullness that tends to gets stronger as we get older. The act of looking brings us back into the present moment, and has us appreciating it.
It can be a similar experience to being in a treasure hunt. We already know there is something special around here, we just have to look for it.
Just Looking is a community project to inspire more connection with the world and ourselves, through photography. Through sharing ideas, experiments, photos, and group experiences we can remind each other to slow down, and notice more of everyday life.
This is about nourishing our collective capacity to be present, and to perceive the world in ways that have a positive impact on our wellbeing.
Using Technology Mindfully
Everyday technology, especially the smartphone, is carefully designed to encourage a busy and distracted mind. But we also have some choice in how we use technology. Let’s explore how we can use our camera to slow down, expand awareness, and distract us back into the present moment.
Experiments in Looking
Drawing from the fields of philosophy, spirituality, meditation, psychology, poetry, creativity and innovation, there are so many experiments we can try on ourselves. Short research assignments into different ways of looking. The results are variable because we ourselves are variable. The experiments can be categorised in three types:
(1) Attention experiments
This is also known as mindfulness, or present-moment awareness. We notice what is happening in our experience, as it is happening. Without any real agenda. We feel more alert, and alive.
(2) Perception experiments
Each of us finds beauty in different things. This is because it all depends on our perspective, which is made of the stories we believe in. Good news is we can always tell ourselves new stories.
(3) Identity experiments
Whenever we look there is an object (what I look at) and the subject (me). The act of looking, refines our awareness of both. What is this knowing quality that lies deep within? Who am I?