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9-day Retreat Miksang Photography

Learn seeing from the heart, express your visual perceptions genuinely and elegantly, while improving your pictures


August 31-September 8, 2023

Retreat Center Dechen Chöling, Le Mas Marvent, France

9+
Discover in 9 days your Miksang 'Good Eye' with contemplative photography

6+1

Learn in an easy way the 6 steps of the Miksang Method to improve yourself
1001+
Guaranteed successful pictures for the rest of your life!
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Stillness within

Learn to photograph in a gentle way as mindfulness-in-action. Letting go of overthinking and stabilize your inner stillness. This open space in yourself is the base for fresh seeing.
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Aligned focus

Focus with awake eyes, calm mind, open heart, inquisitiveness and relaxation aligned. Discover the simplicity of what visually resonates for you, right in front of your eyes.
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Fresh Eyes

Take a break from your familiair surroundings and activate fresh seeing; learn about the mechanics of looking & seeing. Wherever you go & are, with your eyes wide open
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Vivid seeing in the now

If you visually only scratch the surface of your daily world too often with thoughts like 'soon' and 'later', 'not now' will make you feel dull and drowsy. Reconnect in the here and now with vivid joyful seeing.
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Ordinary Beauty

The presence of everyday beauty is already and always present and you have the ability of clear seeing. Let the beauty come to you, learn to be receptive instead of working hard, searching for places and pictures.
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Simplicity & elegance

The simplicity of the Miksang pictures are created in a natural way'; key is slowing down thinking and assuming. Discover how you can easily improve your pictures with this contemplative approach.
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Love at first sight - instantly at the first day of photography class in my entry year at the Academy of Arts with my newly bought camera.I developed into a visual artist creating photo works based on conceptual ideas. Which felt very satisfying for a long time until it didn't. For a long time I didn't understand. In retrospect I understand how I excelled in overthinking! In the creative making itself I felt closeness, aligned and happy with the material and tools. However, I was running out of ideas. Although the unexpected and surprise in the creative proces and as an end result is inspiring in many ways, gradually more often than not I experienced being an artist as too hard work, burning myself out.


With Miksang Photography I landed in complete relaxation; physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and creatively. My photography and meditation experience fused naturally. In this contemplative approach to looking & seeing the 'beautiful photos' came to me, instead of me searching for places and pictures. What a delight!


Miksang Photography it is not about becoming the best Miksang photographer, which is certainly possible ;) The emphasis in Miksang is on unprejudiced looking, receptivity, being openhearted & heart centered, necessary to land in fresh seeing, discovering the magic of everyday beauty..

With the Miksang approach to the process of perception and photography you will learn how to express your unique perceptions authentically and genuinely with your camera. You will able to intimately connect in the here and now, in every now-moment. Within a few days you can learn how Miksang Photography helps to break free from overthinking, crystalize a calm mind, awake eyes and open heart and embody the intuitive seeing and knowing.

What can Miksang Photography do for you?

The camera is a medium for mindful looking with fresh eyes, an open heart and calm mind and genuine creative expression. Miksang thus becomes the art of an appreciative way of living and letting in what resonates from the heart, directly and joyfully. A lifelong journey and lifestyle of bringing your 'Good Eye' and photographic expression together. Let photography be your authentic journey for poetic expression of heartfelt moments and visual delight.
  • Reducing stress
  • Letting go of frustration
  • Improvement of concentration and calm
  • Developing resilience in demanding situations
  • Helpful for clear perception
  • Less thinking and more feeling
  • Uninhibited looking and refreshed seeing
  • Feeling more connected in the here and now
  • Gently slowing down and vitality
  • Deep relaxation and visual delight
  • Enjoying more fully your sensory experiences
  • More intimacy within everyday activities
  • Appreciating the ordinary, dissolving dramatic needs
  • Discovering your unique everyday beauty
  • Simplifying your photography
  • Effortlessly improving your pictures
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€ 990,-
€ 749,-

9-day Retreat: August 31-September 8, 2023

In this 9-day in-house Miksang Retreat the emphasis is on perception, the process of visual perception and your genuine photographic expression.

Learn the most important basic principles and the ins & outs of Miksang Photography.

Experience this contemplative approach to photography as mindfulness-meditation-in-action, which requires no photography or meditation experience. If you do have mindfulness-meditation experience, you may experience deepening of awakeness and stillness while being in action.

Discover your intuitive seeing and the magic of ordinary beauty.

Every day with talks, visual exercises, new Miksang assignments, Q&A, photo reviews.


  • 1x 4-day Miksang Introduction Module | Seeing From The Heart
  • 1 day off/rest/ departure day/ arrival day
  • 1x 4 day Miksang Fundamentals Module | True Connection, Moments & Visual Haiku
  • The program price is exclusive accommodation, meals and travel
  • Accommodation needs to be booked at Dechen Chöling, this includes all meals


Please note: do not go ahead with your itinerary until you have received a confirmation from Miksang Photography! The retreat will be taught in English, with room for German and Dutch clarifications.

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€ 590,-
€ 440,-

Join us for the Miksang Introduction Module - Seeing From The Heart

Open to all.


Pre-requisite: online introductory talk with photo presentation


• Price is exclusive accommodation, meals and travel

• Accommodation needs to be booked at Dechen Chöling, this includes all meals

€ 590,-
€ 440,-

Join us for the deepening Miksang Fundamentals Module. Now that you have understood seeing from the heart and having embraced the idea of infinite perceptions, you will further crystalize connecting truly..

Pre-requisite: completion of the 4-day Introduction Module


Pre-requisite: online talk


• Price is exclusive accommodation, meals and travel

• Accommodation needs to be booked at Dechen Chöling, this includes all meals

Slowing down & learning pure photography
Over the course of the four days I learned to slow down and walk with an open mind, discovering and noticing what strikes me visually. And then photographing this as pure as possible, filling the whole frame. Peaceful and just lovely.
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Yvonne van Sprang
Seeing from my heart
Again, as it turns out, it starts and ends with yourself. I rediscovered my peacefulness and was touched by everything that is already present around me. My enthusiasm to photograph the simplicity of beauty has returned and even deepened. Great set up of the daily classes, study material and online talks. I enjoyed the immersion and time for reflection. Four days in a row may seem like a long time, but it immediately set me right on track.
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Conny van Ryn
I feel touched...
I tremendously enjoyed our days together in the Miksang training. Coming to a full stop and standing still for a flash of perception, expressing what has stopped me, so many beautiful images around us, Hèlen's view of Miksang, and the many rounds of the exercise 'human camera'...
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Caroline

Program 4-day Miksang Introduction | Seeing From The Heart 

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Miksang Introduction - Day 1 

Your introduction to the Miksang basics: What is looking and how do I look? What is seeing and what do I see? How do I recognize seeing from the heart ?

With grounding exercises and visual exercises you align your eyes, mind and heart; settling into a still mind, open heart and awake eyes. You will experience the difference between seeing from your heart and thinking about what you see and shift to clear seeing. Your lightning-fast thinking is - often unconsciously - destructive to true connection, and now you discover the gaps in which you are able to connect directly and genuinely.

From this open space within yourself you set out with the 1st Miksang photographic assignment. You will learn to see and photograph from your heart, with a practical intention. Ascending from a busy head into your heart, exploring the streets of Limoges with fresh eyes and your camera as a medium to express.

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Miksang Introduction - Day 2 

You continue with: what is Miksang photography with the Miksang method? How to stabilize fresh seeing?

Now that you have experienced the joy of seeing from the heart and the simplicity of mindful photography, you are able to more consciously let go of what you (already) know about it is that you see, or what you want to photograph. You will land further in to the not-knowing, your intuitive knowing. In the Buddhist teachings this is the real knowing; knowing from inner source, which you feel in your heart as a bodily sensation. In this spacious and sometimes uncomfortable space of not-knowing, free of reference, you relax. The emphasis is on being with what you see directly and unexpectedly, what resonates and recognizing 'fresh'.

On this 2nd day you will shift from thinking to feeling what you see. Also, likely you will now encounter obstacles; like seeing too much, or not enough, photographing too quick, too thoughtful or shying away. The exercises easily transmute obstacles, and in a playful more precise manner and very practical with a new Miksang photo assignment.

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Miksang Introduction - Day 3 

In-depth practice day Miksang Photography with the Miksang Method: how do you look, see and shoot with precision, a calm mind and with gentle confidence?

Step-by-step you dissolve the veil between 'this' & 'that', between 'I' and 'everything around me'. Relaxing the dividing mechanism, dissolving judgements and feeling more appreciating for things as they are. We will explore the Miksang Method in-depth to resolve the photographic ambition.

This is a day of slowing down in looking, seeing and photographing. Letting fully in what resonates and taking your time to look, see and take a picture with 7 helpful steps.

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Miksang Introduction - Day 4 

Now you have experienced uninhibited looking and seeing from the heart, and having experienced 'fresh' perceptions; now we shift to Thatness & true connection

With the new visual exercise 'what is a thing?' and new Miksang photo assignments you will explore 'thatness' and 'isness'. The unmoving quality that is always and already present in everything.

From deeper stillness, calmness you develop equanimity in yourself and equality about what you see.

Miksang Photography is Corona-proof partly because we are outside most of the day. The morning program takes place in the training room in the chateau: the 1.5 meters is guaranteed and all necessary measures are taken.

For risk reduction, there is an air purifier with a HEPA filter, VC lamp and ionizer (ozone-free).

If the COVID-19 guidelines change and the retreat cannot continue, you will receive your money back and we will plan a place for you at the next Miksang Photography program.

Travel advice can change with the progressive insights regarding Covid-19, and it is useful to inform yourself ahead of time, and regularly with the guidelines from your government.


Dechen Chöling is situated in central France, near Limoges (Haute Vienne – Limousin), about 400 km south of Paris.

• By train to Limoges > St. Victurnien > pick-up service DCL •

• By car •

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Retreat Center Dechen Chöling is located in the middle of France. This unique retreat centre is nestled among the beautiful soft green hills of Limousin region. The main château and surrounding farm buildings sit in an open yet protected landscape. The grounds surrounding the buildings are dotted with century-old trees, flower gardens brimming with roses, and rolling fields. The extensive 56 hectares comprise of serene fields and lush forests. Some of this land has been adapted as amenities and camping sites, while the remaining land remains unspoiled in its natural form.

The building and houses on this Dharma Land of Great Bliss host a meditation hall, a modern kitchen, a rustic dining room, a cosy meditation space in the chateau, and offices. Nearby meadows and farmland are grazed by cows and horses, while the energetic Vienne river passes nearby. The immediate area lends itself well to short or long walks, energetic runs and hikes, and short dip in cool water. Small sleepy French villages are in found at a short distance from Le Mas Marvent.

You may take a trip to nearby Saint-Junien or Saint-Victurnien towns, where you can rent a bike or enjoy a coffee at one of the local boulangeries.

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Refresh your state of Seeing, Being & Photographing

at Retreat Center Dechen Chöling, France