Eyes of the Heart; photography as Christian contemplative practice
Eyes of the Heart by Christine Valters Paintner explores photography as a spiritual practice from a Christian perspective. Christine builds on the process of contemplative creativity in her book The Artist’s Rule (also available from the community bookshop) by adapting the monastic practice of lectio divina (sacred reading) into a form of visio divina (sacred seeing). A spiritual director and Benedictine oblate, she guides readers through a new way of spiritual observation – through the lens of a camera – and in receiving images, not simply taking them.
She writes that, ‘My hope is that, in exploring the language of photography, you [develop] new portals into the your own experience and awareness of God. Shadow and light, framing, colour, reflections, and mirrors all offer us metaphors for ways of understanding how we might move towards seeing ourselves and God with the eyes of the heart.’
She invites us to use our cameras to help us to release our expectations of what we think we ought to see and learn to discover what is actually there. And then helps us to bring this kind of interaction into our everyday lives.