Julie DuBose has been a teacher of contemplative photography since 2005 and has trained with Michael Wood, the founder of the Miksang Training Course of study and practice since 1998. In 2009, she founded The Miksang Institute for Contemplative Photography in Boulder, Colorado. DuBose teaches workshops throughout North America and Europe and offers an international contemplative photography intensive through the Institute each summer. Her numerous articles about the practice of direct perception that can be found at www.miksang.com/miksanglife.
It is always a pleasure to discover connections between creative people that have proven to be fruitful. Julie DuBose has studied with Michael Wood, who along with Andy Karr was the author of The Practice of Contemplative Photography: Seeing the World with Fresh Eyes. All three are photographers and Buddhist meditators. In addition, DuBose pays tribute to her teacher Chogyam Trungpa "who "life left a wondrous artistic legacy that continues to inspire and delight."
In this well-realized and cogent paperback, the author reveals that the discipline and practice of direct seeing has three ingredients: openness, genuineness, and confidence. When spurred on by intention and awareness of body and mind, we can explore the world around us with vim and vigor.
In order to take photographs that are authentic, it is helpful to cultivate a mind of simplicity, one that is fully present and free from self-absorption and distraction. DuBose is convinced that this development of new sight involves embracing the world without imposing our conditions, habits and preferences on it.
Often we take the best pictures when our mind has been rested and refreshed in stillness. DuBose elaborates: "Making direct contact with our world is where we experience the blood and guts of direct perception." This experience enables us to transcend boredom and reverence each moment, every slight change of light, weather, color, form, and texture.
We were happy to see DuBose refer to the importance of attention, being present, connections, joy, openness, questing, silence, and wonder — all practices in our Alphabet of Spiritual Literacy. We loved the treasure-trove of photographs dealing with everyday objects and things in the home: a fork, a water glass, a lamp, a drain, a single flower. Taking the side of things is more important than ever in our throw-away culture. DuBose ends with: "May this offering bring happiness and the joy of direct perception."