Be patient. Slow down. Be still. These might be directives for someone who wants to meditate, taking time out from life’s busyness to focus on the inner life. They are also directives for someone who is looking to make good photographic images.
It’s the difference between receiving an image and going looking for one, between actively seeking out an image and letting the image come to you. It’s a subtle difference, but an important one. It asks us to be aware of everything around us, fully attentive to the space we are occupying, and becoming aware of the image that presents itself to us.
The essence of meditation is quieting oneself and being receptive to the divine presence which is always with me, being open to receiving what I need from the spirit of Christ. It’s a stance of receptivity and abiding in the divine presence. It requires focus, patience, and time.
We can learn techniques of photography, as we can learn techniques of meditation. Techniques are only tools to help us reach our goal. Good technique alone will not produce a good photo. Good mental preparation alone will not produce a divine connection. Presence, attentiveness, an open heart, a readiness to receive what is offered to us moves us from preparation to fulfillment, from the object of desire to the experience of what it is we desire.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Psalm 28:7)