Happy June!

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Have you stopped and smelled the sweet scent in the air? Spring is certainly in over-drive right now. Trees have flowered and blossoms have quickly been blown off with the relentless winds we have “enjoyed” for weeks (at least it feels like weeks or perhaps months!).

This is your June Meeting reminder. Yes, we are gathering virtually once again! Here are the details:

We connect at 9:30 am sharp. Please mute yourself while you connect. We have found that the quality of the connection is much improved without everyone’s sound on.

This meeting is much the same as our in-person meetings (except you won’t have to drive to Carol’s and spend money on coffee and breakfast 😉 ). We will connect at 9:30 am to discuss the theme presented in the handout and to view sample images. Then we break to make our own images.

Selected images will be forwarded to Vaughn by 11 am and we will reconvene at 11:30 am for the much-anticipated review.

Anyone able to participate in this session, please send an email by clicking here to Anna. She will then place your name on the list. On Friday morning, June 5th anyone on the list will receive the handout and the ZOOM meeting invitation with login info. Yes, there is rain in the forecast but this will be just perfect for the theme we have prepared for you this time.

May 23rd Meeting Re-cap

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It was a real treat to connect with Nalanda Miksang Moose Jaw members last Saturday. Our newest graduates Gillian, Jacki, Kim and Sharilyn joined us and were introduced to the group. We introduced the theme “Flowers, Weeds and Trees” after briefly clarifying some questions that arose after the handout was sent out Friday evening along with the secure ZOOM log-in information. For those who missed the virtual meeting please refer to Part Four: Flowers and Weeds on pages 82 – 91 in “Heart of Photography”. It’s a timely theme! It certainly offers great ways for creative and contemplative photography approaches.

On Saturday morning everyone had a good amount of time to make images and send them to Vaughn for the review session at 11:30 am. We were thrilled to see how everyone participating had interpreted the theme based on their environment. Well done, crew!!!

Thanks to Brenda, Kim, Bonnie, Jacki, Lynn, Marilyn, Sharilyn, Patricia, Gillian, Colin, Wade, Vaughn and Anna for the images. We hope you enjoy the slideshow of selected images below. We had well over 100 images submitted!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Stay tuned for meeting details on June 6th, 2020.

 

Upcoming Meeting Details

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Hi everyone,

It was nice to open emails to a couple of reminders to me that I didn’t send out the ZOOM meeting info and handout last Friday night… I can see that I created confusion last week. I am one who likes to get organized early and I posted the meeting reminder for this coming Saturday last week. I promise not to confuse you all in the future.

I have a lovely long list of names for this coming Saturday (May 23rd). We start at 9:30 am with a short discussion of the handout (will be emailed to those whose names are on the list). Then we log out, make images based on the theme and reconvene at 11:30 am for our review.

Anyone interested in this session, please send an email by clicking here to Anna. She will then place your name on the list. On Friday evening, May 22nd anyone on the list will receive the handout and the ZOOM meeting invitation with login info.

There have been a couple of requests to send the handout to anyone interested in the theme but unable or reluctant to join the virtual meeting. Vaughn and I have considered pros and cons but ultimately decided that the handouts are only going to members who can actively participate in the meeting. This is our gift of time and knowledge to those who support us with their time and interest. All topics we explore are covered in the books by John McQuade and Miriam Hall. We just break down a some details to make the contents a little easier to grasp. We hope you understand this decision,

Anna & Vaughn

Have a look…

… pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and tell us what you think!

After our very successful Online Miksang Workshop at the beginning of the month we decided to compile a small book with images of the participants. They were thrilled to see the book as a memento of their participation. We felt it would make a great advertising tool for future workshops!

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We recommend you view the PDF at full magnification. Feel free to download it to your tablet or iPad for the best viewing experience. Tell us what you think in the comment section below or send us an email! Thanks in advance for your input, Anna & Vaughn

Our Next Virtual Meeting…

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…takes place on Saturday, May 23rd, 2020. We connect at 9:30 am sharp.

This meeting is similar to our in-person meetings. We will connect at 9:30 am to discuss the theme presented in the handout and to view sample images. Then we break up to make our images.

Selected images will be forwarded to Vaughn by 11 am and we will reconvene at 11:30 am for our review.

Anyone interested in this session, please send an email by clicking here to Anna. She will then place your name on the list. On Friday evening, May 22nd anyone on the list will receive the handout and the ZOOM meeting invitation with login info.

Stay safe and stay well… Remember, the government didn’t relax the rules about social distancing because the virus is gone… they relaxed the rules because there is room in the ICU in case we catch it. 😉

Meeting and Weekend Workshop Updates

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How was everyone’s weekend? Vaughn and I cannot complain about a lack of visual stimulation. Grab a coffee or tea, sit back and get ready… this is a long read.

As I mentioned, Vaughn and I were busy but we cannot complain at all! We were fully immersed in a bit of a marathon, a Zoom marathon that is. After reassuring information about improved security measures to the latest Zoom 5.0 update I decided to sign up for the paid version for May.

We had a full schedule already using Zoom Friday night, May 1st as well as Saturday and Sunday. We are so relieved to have moved ahead with the paid subscription. No more time-restricted meetings where we have to rush through images and potentially cut off someone in mid-sentence. Our Friday night meeting went smoothly. Anyone invited to the meeting enters a waiting room and the host (Anna) would admit each person registered. That put all of us at ease as the dreaded “Zoom Bombing” reports were on our minds all of April.

The meeting proceeded in a relatively relaxed manner. Anna had booked a 90-minute meeting just so we could ignore the alarm clock and chat at ease. It was almost as if we were in the same room together. Our theme was “Sabi” and a handout to those who had indicated interest and registered for the meeting sent in some great images. We shared, reviewed and chatted with more confidence than at our last two virtual gatherings. Social distancing has us reaching new heights and overcoming previous reservations and challenges.

Usually, at this time we insert a slide show with images here. But, due to the new interface WordPress has imposed we still have not figured out how to upload a slide show. We sincerely apologize.

If you are interested in pursuing the “Sabi” theme on your own, please refer to Part Five: Zen Aesthetics, Visual Haiku, Drala in Heart of Photography. You can find the full chapter on pages 93 – 113 in the hard-copy of the book. The chapter “Sabi” is on page 101. If you are so inclined and would like feedback please upload 5 – 6 images to our Flickr site where Vaughn and I will do our best and comment.

Speaking of the Flickr site (Nalanda Miksang Moose Jaw, and yes, you need to get approved to join), Vaughn took a few minutes at the end of our weekend virtual workshop to share some of the ins and outs of Flickr. We are committed to making comments on your images once again, especially during these times of social isolation. Please keep in mind, Vaughn works full time, and Anna has numerous creative irons in the fire that have been her primary focus and source of income for many years. So, exercise a little patience if we are taking a few days to comment.

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And, here we are! We were very excited about our first virtual workshop classroom. We gathered Saturday and Sunday from 9 am till approximately 4:30 pm. Participants logging in were from Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Swift Current, Rouleau (aka Dog River), Toronto (with a connection to Saskatchewan and Moose Jaw), and Buffalo Pound Lake. Six creative thinkers (4 brand-new to Miksang, 2 photographers who had previously participated in a one- or two-day course) gathered every day.

Was it different? Yes, it was for us all!. However, what emerged when we asked for feedback everyone was full of praise with delivering the course in this format. Vaughn and I were surprised as there is usually someone who much rather come to an actual classroom

What we, the instructors/mentors, discovered was that the images submitted were well thought out and consistently met the objectives of the theme. Participants openly shared that this was a much more focused and cost-effective way for them to take the workshop, especially for those who would have had extra expenses with travel, hotel and meals. All around, the feedback thus far has been encouraging.

You may be wondering how the workshop was conducted. Here is a quick summary:

Anna and Vaughn prepared for weeks in advance with regular phone meetings and by creating detailed handouts covering the individual themes for the Intensive Level 1 & 2 Miksang course you all took three years ago with John or more recently with just Vaughn and Anna. We also prepared a detailed Course Outline with a time table to ensure we would cover the materials in an organized manner without going overtime at the end of the day.

Participants received their first handout on Friday night along with the login information for Zoom. 9 am sharp on Saturday morning we assembled! Each person was admitted into the meeting by the hosts and soon we were underway exploring the various Miksang themes from colour to more colour, light, pattern, texture and dot in space. A tired group (or should I say exhausted group) bid good night to each other around 4:30 pm on Saturday afternoon.

A new meeting invitation for Zoom was issued for everyone for Sunday along with the first handout for the second workshop day. We proceeded much the same as on Saturday. At 1 pm two Miksang members joined in for the last two themes. Handouts had been forwarded to them on Saturday evening with the Zoom login information.

With each individual introduction of a fresh theme, we provided a handout, a short verbal introduction, sample images as provided by John McQuade during our teacher training and time for questions and discussion. It was all very relaxed as the Zoom Meeting was scheduled for the full eight hours each day and nobody felt rushed or worried about taking too much time away from others. While participants logged out from their devices Vaughn and I made ourselves available to answer questions or for check-ins to clarify something. We were in front of the screen for most of these classroom hours. Were we tired? Without a doubt, but we were also experienced great satisfaction that we were able to be easily accessible for everyone who had committed to this workshop.

Our hearts are full of gratitude for everyone’s continued support. Let’s keep Nalanda Miksang Moose Jaw alive and moving forward during these times where physical distancing is highly encouraged. Welcome to our new members Jacki, Sharilyn, Gillian and Kim and thank you to Roberta and Marilyn for joining in for the full version of Level 1 & 2 despite previous workshop exposure.

Our next meeting takes place on May 23rd. Check back for more details closer to the date.

Putting your mind at ease with secure Zoom Meetings

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Hi again,

When we first introduced our virtual meetings some valid concerns were raised. These days we can rest a lot easier. Zoom has made a number of security improvements. For those holding off joining Miksang meetings (we have gathered twice in April and plan to do so again in May) here is an informative link to explain the new sign-in protocol introduced April 5th.

Thanks to all who have tested the Nalanda Miksang Moose Jaw virtual meeting waters. Vaughn and I are quite certain that virtual meetings will be the norm for the foreseeable future.

Take the plunge and check it out! Nothing can replace personal contact while visiting over a relaxing breakfast and coffee at Carol’s Cafe… but this is a close second. We also feel that everyone has really stepped up by selecting and submitting their own images. Virtual meetings take more effort on our part with preparing handouts to present the content of the theme and its assignment but the reviews are much better because everyone can see the images on their own screen. At this time we feel it is a win-win situation.

We miss seeing your friendly faces and the personal connections… but we are doing what we can to keep the Miksang spirit alive in Saskatchewan!

Stay safe, stay well!

Anna & Vaughn