There is a popular practice of taking a photo of oneself each day for one year. It documents the subtle yet profound changes that occur on a grand level. While change is an ever-evolving concept, the small changes that take place on a daily level can sometimes go unnoticed. It’s only when we reflect from a distance where we can see the difference. What if we could make the absolute most of it? A similar concept takes the subtle and magnifies the crevices. Before and after photos document the evolution of expression and inner peace brought on by practicing meditation.
Photographer Peter Seidler, captures the rawness behind individuals participating at dathun, a meditation retreat. Spanning a total of 30 days, Seidler snaps portraits documenting the first and last day. The images speak volumes and amplify the power inner observation has on outer expression.
“I set up the “Before and After” project to explore the observable effects on practitioners after long periods of intense meditation practice. The question is: what are the observable changes after a period of intense practice?” Seidler shares with Shambala Times.
“Each participant in the project was asked to simply sit for a portrait on first day of dathun…. I photographed them against a consistent background. Prior to the photograph, I asked each person to consider what they were looking for in the practice period ahead. This was on day number one. Then, at the end of the program, after approximately thirty days of retreat, I asked each participant in the project to sit in front of the same background and asked each to consider what the experience of mediation retreat had been for them….” he adds.
“It’s clear from the results that the person in every one of the portraits has undergone an important transformative experience. I leave it to the viewer to draw their own conclusion,” Seidler declares.
The mirror effect applies in so many ways through these photographs. Not only does looking within alter and improve the world we see reflected back to us, but it also expresses a lightness to the outer world.
What we give is what we receive.
Whether or not meditation is part of your daily practice, it’s safe to say our appearance changes every single day. Why not do it in peace?
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