contemplatieve fotografie miksang mindful mindfulness fotografie meditatiecursus workshop training



Hèlen Vink

Joining my experience of meditation and photography...

I immediately understood the freshness of this artistic discipline where the two experiental worlds of meditation and photography come together. From 2006–2008 I completed the Miksang course of study in a passionate pace under the guidance of Michael Wood (CA), founder of Miksang of The Miksang Institute in the United States.


Captivated by the beauty and power of this young art form, I completed the Miksang Teachers training in the US. Since then I have been the sole Miksang teacher dedicating fulltime teaching Miksang training courses in the Netherlands and Europe based on this Miksang tradition. Over the years I have introduced all levels of the Miksang Photography training course and developed the Miksang Instructors Education. 


miksang photography, miksang retreat, miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat

My encounter with Miksang Photography

In 2006 I was invited to help out with the first Miksang Contemplative Photography in Europe, in Cologne, where I ended up coordinating the program. This introduction to Miksang brought together my experience of photographic art and meditation. I immediately understood the freshness, timelessness, and accessibility of this artistic contemporary discipline.


The possibility of experiencing ancient wisdom as meditation-in action-and with a modern medium, expressing the sacredness of life and ordinary beauty as poetic art beyond the cultural parameters of the wisdom of Tibetan Buddhism and Shambhala Buddhism with the modern discipline of photography just made my heart jump of joy!
miksang photography, miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat

How my spiritual journey started

As a child I had a boundless curiosity about who and what I really am. Around the age of 8 I often wondered why I am 'me' and not someone else. I tried consciously and with great effort to put myself in someone else's shoes, like my mother, classmate, girl next door ;-)

I was an active child, running a lot, climbing the tallest trees, bringing in found animals from the forest and immersed myself in reading, crafts and children's movies. Playing outside with other children was my favorite thing to do: playing marbles and getting really good, playing soccer and getting good at this, running up against walls and getting good at this, and wearing out a pair of roller skates every year.

Being very good at something had my interest early on, I practiced endlessly and enjoyed the progress, the discovery of endless possibilities and the repetition.

miksang photography, miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat

In perfect timing I bumped into the Dharma Art teachings of Chögyam Trungpa, and I entered through participating in a Dharma Art workshop in the Shambhala Center Leiden, in the Netherlands in 1997 and consecutively a few more more. Subsequently I started practicing sitting meditation and studying the Shambhala teachings and Tibetan Buddhism. In 2000 I met my Dharma teacher Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche, and a week after a retreat and a personal interview, a traffic accident brought an abrupt stop and a major life change.

My recovery was accompanied by participating in multiple contemplative arts, deepening my meditation and immersing in-depth into the studies of Shambhala Buddhism, while relaxing, awakening and healing. I studied with Tibetan meditation teachers and senior students of Chögyam Trungpa in various disciplines of contemplative arts in the Netherlands, France, the US and Canada. In the following years I lived and worked in Shambhala Buddhist centers in France and the US, serving in the following positions: office manager, Head of Office, assistant to Director of Arts at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya and being a cook, at Shambhala Mountain Center.

miksang photography, miskang, miskang photography ,miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat

After a semi-professional career in speed skating on the ice (allround speed skating) until my twentieth, I studied photography and sculpture for 2.5 years at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in Utrecht, Netherlands, and did an intern with sculptor/architect Dries Kreijkamp for a year. From here I developed myself as a self-taught artist and worked on 3D-installations, photo works and various art projects.

Over the years, my dissatisfaction about my artistic development and opportunities within contemporary art grew, and at the same time the need for deepening a meaningful life grew.

Through a 'coincidental' overheard conversation about Dharma Art at my first time visiting the Shambhala Center Amsterdam, a new chapter started: I signed up for a Dharma Art program, and consecutively immersed myself in a series of Dharma Art programs. Through the exercises and the mixture of the playful and serious approach on direct perception and being fully present in the moment I experienced meaningful experiences. I rediscovered my (childlike) joy. This also turned my life upside down for a while, as this new approach on art and the creative process brought forth a mixture of discomfort, feeling excited and inspired.

miksang photography, miksang retreat, miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat
"At the end of June, a group of 14 people gathered mostly from the Netherlands, but including two Brazilians, and one person each from England, France, Germany and Spain. We learned and rediscovered exercises with our eyes and body, training to stop and look without thinking or allowing mental chatter, long before picking up the camera." By Luz Rodriquez, Shambhala Times, 2013
meditation, miksang photography, mindfulness in action, meditation in action, buddhism, dharma art, dharma, spirituality, spiritual photography,

"Every moment of awake experience can open your mind to the vastness of self and beyond self"


For my own inspiration and in service to others and this turbulent world, out of sheer enthusiasm for awakening and wakefulness, being myself and (re)discovering more of myself I explore further with curiosity in a timely manner. I invest in fulfillment, relaxation and expansion, both spiritually, creatively and in sports following the breadcrumbs of intuition, synchronicity and joy. Riding the waves of perfect timing. I love to explore multiple perspectives, at the right moment at the right place when it is necessary. Tuning into Source supports and encourages me to be more of my best creative natural self, and to be a steady inspiration for others

I've learned not to get too caught up in reasoning thinking too much, neither weighing the pros and cons coming to logical conclusions and decisions or following up on a resonance 'sometime later'.

If something resonates now, I'll follow it up now - as much as possible, with integrity, and within the cultural rules and laws ;)

Taking regular breaks to regenerate from overdoing and learning to find a balance seems to keep going on, as part of my personal journey.

My motto: the point of power is always in the now and everything is unfolding in perfect timing.

I've discovered the joy of a courageous heart, an open approach and the need of a steady and resilient mind.

miksang photography, miksang, good eye, mindfulness, mindful photography, meditation, dharma art, miksang mindful photography, miksang rereat, miksang photography retreat
Sign up for the online Miksang training if you want to get to know me and Miksang first. If you want to know more about what this contemplative approach to photography exactly means, the theory how to apply it and what it can do for you. You start with the introductory lecture and the photo presentation. With visual exercises to immediately experience for yourself how you experience clear vision and touch, and experience in deep relaxation with an awake look.