Photography as a Spiritual Path
Monday, June 22 – Friday, July 17
For Jan Phillips, photography has always been an act of intimacy — whether between other individuals and herself, the earth and herself, or the great mysteries and herself. She writes, “Because of this intimacy, more of me is poured out into the world, and more of me is fed and taught by the world. It is a great opening when one looks through the lens — a mighty opportunity for a magical exchange.”
In addition to being a photographer, Jan Phillips is an award-winning author, visionary thought leader, dynamic workshop facilitator, and Executive Director of The Livingkindness Foundation. She is profiled in S&P’s Living Spiritual Teachers Project. She ignites original thinking and inspires action through images, music, poetry, and storytelling to evoke deep, non-dualistic creative expression.
In this exclusive e-course on contemplative photography developed for Spirituality & Practice, Jan invites you to join her in making photography a spiritual path. Although photographers will no doubt incline toward this e-course, you do not actually have to take pictures to participate; just an appreciation of the image as a vehicle for revelation is enough. Through the process of looking for and taking pictures, you will learn to open up more, take some risks, become more mindful, and be more observant about the thoughts behind your actions.
The themes of her sessions will include:
- Exploring the impact of our images
- Reflecting on our family and communal relations through the lens of a camera
- Retraining our eyes to see the divinity in our midst
- Identifying our commonness with those who seem different
- Keeping ourselves fortified against the barrage of images that break our hearts
- Discovering new ways to add light to the world
Beginning on June 22, and continuing through July 17, you will receive:
- Emails on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in which Jan will help you explore how photography can be part of both your contemplative practice and your activist activities
- Enlivening exercises to sharpen your seeing and help you understand the power of commitment in shaping your reality
- Access to an online Practice Circle (a forum open 24/7) to share your journey in contemplative photography with people around the world engaged in kindred explorations.
Along with many other creative practices, Jan will bring selections from a lifetime’s treasure of inspired quotations to your time together, which you can then use to inspire the taking or collecting of photographs to make your own posters.
Jan has been using a camera to express her emotions, heartbreaks, and hopes since 1969. Looking at the body of work she has amassed, she can see how photography has enabled her to capture the action of peace and human rights rallies — “so that no one can deny we were there” — yet also the silent metaphors of contemplative journeys.
As you investigate the role of photographs on your spiritual path, you will no doubt discover your own mix of action and contemplation. You will have opportunities to stretch yourself, clarify your thinking, express your heart’s desires, and leave your baggage behind. You will begin to see differently as you notice what captures your attention and why. “We will learn deep and true things about ourselves,” writes Jan, “and come away lighter, purer, and more conscious.” (4 CEHs for chaplains available.)
Monday Jun, 22 – Friday Jul, 17