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Mar 17
Arts and Poetry
A Good Eye

photo by Charles Blackhall

Celebrating Shambhala and the Arts

by Charles Blackhall

Aimless wandering is a favorite past-time for me, often with my camera slung over my shoulder. Suddenly my attention is caught by color, texture, form, light, or another striking flash. In the moment, this stops the mind and yet it’s very ordinary. If I have a camera, I will snap an image – a moment in time. This can be a direct – mind-the-gap – experience, rather than one overlaid with the ideas, stories and concepts that usually cloud our perception. My work-in-progress website: www.contemplativeimages.com, is divided into the five elements with images relating to each. It can be interesting to the viewer to notice how these images are perceived. Does the mind rush to labeling? Opinions – do you like it? Do you not like it? What does it remind me of, and more…

I was given my mother’s brownie box camera at age 15 and have never looked back. In my early 20’s I hand built a large cabin on a lake in the wilds of Quadra Island, BC in the Salish Sea. Living as a forest hermit for the winter in the rain forest proved too spacious for this young and restless lad who quickly made his way to Victoria. Creating a downtown photography studio/darkroom, I was mingling with the artists, and so began a richly creative period of photographic education, including co-founding the Secession Gallery in 1974, Victoria’s first gallery dedicated to photography. In the many exhibitions and projects, for me there was always this sense of joy in the camera work. Circumstances changed and yet I never lost the love, or that playful quality, of creating images and seeing deeper with the camera.

When I met and married Kerry Crofton, a long-time Shambhala practitioner, I was introduced to Shambhala meditation and many people on the path, and to the process of waking up. Over the years, my camera work has evolved as my practice has developed. This is a very creative community; there are many in the Shambhala community who have inspired and taught me in different ways. Training in Shambhala Art and Miksang have deepened my appreciation of the creative process and the sensibility we all share as humans. This year I was artist in residence at our Center where I teach Shambhala Art programs. I continue to practice with my camera and the joy of expressing this very moment.

Photos from Charles Blackhall have been and will continued to be featured on the Shambhala Times in the coming months. If you have photos to share too, let us know! Send them to: [email protected].

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2 responses to “ A Good Eye ”
  1. Elaine Bachelder
    Jul 13, 2012

    Great to read this and see more of your images. Sharing the workshop with you was an added joy.

  2. Anne Saitzyk
    Mar 28, 2012

    Wonderful!! Thank you, Charles for sharing your images and experience.

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