In the history of the collective as in the history of the individual, everything depends on the development of consciousness.
As the morning sun rose over the United Nations building, and cars zoomed by on their morning commute, I felt a calming presence in the cold air. Things were as they should be. Life in New York City was awakening to another beautiful day!
Many faith traditions believe life begins and ends with consciousness. It’s what makes us human and endows us with the capacity of awareness, of ourselves, others, and the All that Is. It’s so easy to ignore the development of consciousness, because to evolve it takes work! We do so to gain clarity about ourselves, life, why we are here, and our true nature.
The psychiatrist and meditation researcher, Roger Walsh, has spent considerable effort studying the major faith traditions and believes there are seven things that can help us evolve our consciousness:
- Ethical lifestyle
- Redirecting motivation
- Transforming emotions
- Training attention
- Refining awareness
- Fostering wisdom
- Practicing service to others
These come from his book, The World of Shamanism: New Views of an Ancient Tradition. Key to many of these is spending time on contemplative practices, like meditation.
On mornings like in the image today, where I am out shooting alone, I consider photography a contemplative practice! Through the lens I become acutely aware of what is in front of me. Outside the frame the rest of world melts away.