Photography as meditation: The art of making oneself invisible


Muni’s photographs taken at Osho Sun River Festivals in Italy (the next one will be 8-11 September 2022).

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We heard from Osho that all activities can become a meditation; our work, cooking, cleaning the floor of our home, painting a picture. When we watch a child play, we discover very clearly what Osho wanted to say. A child building a sandcastle on the beach is totally and completely immersed in what he is doing, he is in the present, not disturbed by the mind that would take him away from this precious moment.

Here I would like to tell you about how photography has been my sandcastle for so many years.

If you walk down a street in a city or village, there are countless details you will notice, but if you walk down that same street with your camera, everything becomes more vivid. You can thus access a higher level of attention.

First of all the light. We are often unaware that we are immersed in light and its energy, with its infinite qualities of colours and shades. Being aware of light is the first step towards meditative photography. For this you do not need a camera, you just need to open your eyes wide, both your physical eyes and your inner eyes. (In fact, one can do meditations on the third eye to see more clearly.) When you are aware of the light you also become aware of darkness, of the shadows that outline the world with light.

I love to photograph nature. Nature is pure harmony – even the simplest blade of grass is a miracle. It is a manifestation of God. Photography is a means to get in touch with nature, and can therefore be highly therapeutic.

The result of your shots, in the end, will not be that important – although it is nice for someone to see and appreciate your work – but when there is intensity and presence, the results will be excellent.

two women hugging

Many times I have been behind the camera at festivals, therapy groups or meditation sessions. In these moments the art is to make oneself invisible, not to disturb the subtle processes that are taking place. In these situations it is important to disappear as a cumbersome egoic presence and to move in a feminine way, merging with the energy of the moment.

When the faces of the participants open in relaxation, smiling or dancing – these are very beautiful moments. There is no better subject to photograph. To be a witness to those magical moments is to honour that space beyond the mind.

On many occasions I have photographed Osho (which I have described in two articles for Osho News), whether in private sessions, satsangs or darshans, and have worked in the ashram as a photographer. This is also why photography has a spiritual connotation for me.

I would say that the technical part counts for 10% – and still, it must be known in order to have more possibilities of expression. No need to have an expensive camera; enough to start with a simple mobile phone.

All this to tell you that photography can be an inexhaustible source of poetry, awareness, celebration and meetings with people.

The published photos were taken at Osho Sun River Festivals. The next Festival will take place in Tuscany, 8-11 September 2022:

Related articles
  • Drink it, drink it all!Part 1: Muni’s adventures while taking photographs of Osho in Pune 1 and in Crete (December 2011)
  • Osho, could you smile?Part 2: Muni becomes an ashram photographer and meets Osho again ‘on the job’ (January 2012)

Deva Muni is a freelance photographer and runs a holiday village in Tuscany, Italy.

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