The Magic Frame: On Walking

 

What you see in the photograph on the right, is my shadow. It is one of my list of classic selfies.

I was on the way to shoot at the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, and it was a warm day. Therefore, the hat. What looks like a pistol on my hip, is actually my 14-24 mm lens. I was not carrying a tripod, because we are not allowed to carry a tripod into most sites in India.

We are allowed to deface tombs, and throw garbage around them, but not carry tripods. However, that is not the subject of this post.

While I was walking in the park, I noticed several people driving in on their bikes, or in their cars. No objection from my side.

However, what they did on arriving at a site, was to either loll around on the grass, or hang around and gossip. Loud voices, louder cackles.

Boys, girls and their Big Toys!

What did they miss? They missed the dance of light on the leaves, the sounds of the birds twittering, the smells of the woods. They missed the feel of the humid air, as the monsoon now starts to tail off.

When doing photography, while you can’t walk everywhere, walking in peace allows you to be in the moment, and see things more clearly. Thich Nhat Hanh, the Vietnamese Buddhist monk, calls this ‘Walking Meditation’.

I am going to paste in a few quotes:

Walking in mindfulness brings us peace and joy, and makes our life real. Why rush? Our final destination will only be the graveyard. Why not walk in the direction of life, enjoying peace in each moment with every step? There is no need to struggle. Enjoy each step. We have already arrived.

When you begin to practice walking meditation, you might feel unbalanced, like a baby learning to walk. Follow your breathing, dwell on your steps, and soon you will find your balance. Visualise a tiger walking slowly, and you will find that your steps become as majestic as his.

And finally:

People say that walking on water is a miracle, but to me, walking peacefully on the Earth is the real miracle. The Earth is a miracle. Each step is a miracle. Taking steps on our beautiful planet can bring real happiness.

If you think about this, when you walk with mindfulness, you start to become more one with the environment you are in.

You can drown out the outer and inner noise.

You see clearly. You photograph better.

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