Mindful Photography Sessions

Combine the healing practice of mindfulness with photography to find yourself in the moment.
Be prepared to experience transformation, awakening, and joy in an inspiring exploration of higher consciousness in day-to-day life.

Mindful Photography Logo

Find yourself in the moment with Mindful Photography.

Mindful Photography combines the healing practice of mindfulness with photography to experience transformation, awakening, and joy, in an inspiring exploration of higher consciousness in day-to-day life.

To live fully, live lovingly in this world, to walk this pathless adventure called life with understanding, we must learn to read the inner essence of a landscape. To find any sense of perfection we must learn to master our own inner landscape.

One Glorious Day, by Melanie Gow

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the emotions thoughts, and sensations occurring in the present moment.

The Earth Whispers, Listen Carefully - taken by Melanie Gow, on her exceptional 33 day walk with her two sons over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela

Photography

Photography is the art of noticing a moment, at its essence it is a personal conversation with the world around you.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)Mindful Photography

Mindful Photography is a gentle, creative and powerful tool that helps you understand the meaning for you in what you notice, and practice the art of bringing awareness to the subconscious.

“Highly recommended – in fact, it should come with a warning; it is very likely to be inspiring and life-changing
Angela Johnson

In asking what it is you are seeing, and why, explore the reasons you take a photograph of one unique moment over others and learn more about how you think and feel.

Mindful Photography will help you to be more observant, contribute to finding your “voice”, and improve the quality of your relationship with yourself, and your interaction with the world around you.

Tiara crowned dandelion
According to the philosophers of Ancient Greece to strive to ‘know yourself’ was the highest purpose, for the Buddhists knowing yourself is true wisdom, mastering yourself is true power. Most spiritual practices and social sciences speak of the importance of self-knowledge.

While we all have some ideas about who we are, the knowledge we have is often patchy and unconnected, and we have few opportunities to be guided in reflecting on our interaction with our world.

Mindful Photography is a gentle practice that creates a feedback loop with your sub-conscious.

Mindful Photography puts self-awareness into your hands.

Enjoy a one-to-one Mindful Photography session
from as little as £45 for two hours
half-mornings available

Take a Mindful Photography walk
for £20
group discounts available

Mindful Photography Workshops
half days from as little as £25 per person, minimum 5 people

PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN FINDING OUT MORE, OR BOOKING A SESSION

“Out of yourself such a journey will lead you to your self. It leads to transformation of dust into pure gold!” Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī

Imagine what could happen if you backed yourself and walked the talk. I'm in the business of inspiring people to walk the talk. My coaching is not for the faint of heart, it's for those who want to wake up and unleash a dream. Imagine what could happen if you backed yourself and Walked the Talk, Leap of Faith by Melanie Gow

In its nature, and by intention, Mindful Photography is known as a heuristic approach to self-awareness and self-discovery; it employs methods not expected to be optimal or perfect, but right for the immediate goals. It can help with anxiety, stress, anger, fear, hurt, guilt, depression, self-esteem, and grief, and surprising breakthroughs are not unusual.

Mindful Photography Case Study : Andrew

He fell silent as the simple beauty of that sank in and he slowly nodded, as he saw he was accepted he fought back tears.

Mindful Photography Workshop, with Melanie Gow, Norden Farm, September 2015

Mindful photography is all about opening up to the experience of seeing more than focussing on what you’re looking at, and finding yourself in a moment; realising why you notice a particular moment and what it means to you.

By coming to understand the essence of the landscape consciously, and your personal relationship with it, you begin to master your inner landscape.

*Andrew opened the introductions by telling us he and his wife used to do everything together, they rode motorbikes and took a trip all down the west coast of America, and another around Vietnam.

They have been married forever and had two daughters, but she contracted Alzheimers, and then breast cancer. She beat the breast cancer, but of course she’s left with a degenerative memory and diminishing ability to function. Although he fulfils his duty to her care, Andrew described it as a living death with someone who doesn’t know who he is, and “There is nothing left of my wife.”

It was a very powerful outburst. Andrew apologised, and qualified it by saying that if he didn’t say it all then nothing would come out. He was here because he was trying to find a life again, his daughters had told him he had to be more mindful. He had tried to write down what he was grateful for at the end of every day but, he lost interest after three days as he felt; “I have nothing to be grateful for.”

Here was a man who was so closely enmeshed in relationship to someone else, someone he had built his entire adult life around, that he had no clear idea of who he was on his own.

Yet, he had a battle fury in his eyes, and a passion to his frustration that was desperately seeking a way through his darkness. He wanted to get out and feel alive again, find out who he was, but he was tethered by care and unfamiliar with the language of where he found himself.

He was in the class because he discovered his daughters would take over the supervision of their mother for something they approved of, in this case mindfulness, and he needed time for himself.

He still rode his bike, he was wearing his leather jacket covered with the emblems of adventure, the insignia of how far he had travelled with someone else. He carried his helmet, he was early and he reached out to greet me with a clear-eyed eagerness for life. All while he told me, “My old life has no worth now.”

Mixed Media and Printing Taster Day in the Barn at Norden Farm
The barn at Norden Farm taken by me at another time; when I took a multimedia art workshop with artist, Caroline Crawford.

The final exercise of the workshop was to go out and take a photograph that was meaningful right now, that spoke to you personally, and tell its story. Andrew chose a photograph of the exposed, vaulted timber ceiling structure in Norden Farm barn; and he talked of the craftsmanship of the old beam work. It was no surprise that he started out in life as an engineer, he also told us he had a shed full of useless stuff he couldn’t throw away, “but whenever my daughters need something fixing I love solving it with all the bits I’ve got lying around.”

His face burst with a real light as he went on to say he loved finding a purpose for things that seemed useless to others, or repurposing something that was no longer wanted. At this point I reflected back to him that was the same with his old life; it had worth then, and worth now in being repurposed. Just like the old beams that were now being used in the beautiful open roof structure of Norden Farm that he had just photographed.

He fell silent as the simple beauty of that sank in and he slowly nodded, as he saw he was accepted he fought back tears.

He stayed back at the end of class to tell me about a spiritual experience he and his wife had with the Navajo when they were touring America with 27 other Hells Angels. Now fancy that, a Hells Angel having the courage to gently opening himself up and be vulnerable in a teeny Mindful Photography class in Berkshire – and finding everything he was had worth, and what he had to look forward to was finding the new purpose.

* Identities have been changed to rightly protect the privacy of individuals

Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work

Based on medieval Illuminated manuscripts and icon work, I create illuminated found poetry pieces inspired by poems I find within the text of favourite books, combined with my photography, illustrative drawing and painting, to tell profound stories of the inner landscapes of human experience.

Based on medieval illuminated manuscripts and icon work, I create illuminated found poetry pieces inspired by poems I find within the text of favourite books, combined with my photography, illustrative drawing and painting

To tell profound stories of the inner landscapes of human experience.

My work can be found in the very enriching, and extraordinary, Gabriel Fine Art Galleryan oasis of peace just a few steps away from St. Thomas’ Hospital. Situated in the Victorian Old Paradise Yard, in a converted Buddhist Centre (an area frequented by William Blake), the gallery hosts art events, and displays collectable artworks all year round.

Awakenings, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, by Melanie Gow, based on Brave New World, that combines my photographs with drawing and painting, inspired by poetry I find within the text of favourite books, to tell profound stories of the inner landscapes of human experience.
Awakenings, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, based on Brave New World

Illuminated Found Poetry Workshops

I run workshops too, where you can create Illuminated Found Poetry pieces that combine photographs with drawing and painting, inspired by poetry you find within the text of favourite books.

Finding poetry inside the text of favourite books to create a new work, and illuminating it with pictures and art is an absorbing and fascinating art form that helps unleash your creativity – any age can achieve profound and beautiful work.

Illuminated Found Poetry for Children – the same as above with age appropriate materials and expectations.

Rapture, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, by Melanie Gow, that combines my photographs with drawing and painting, inspired by poetry I find within the text of favourite books, to tell profound stories of the inner landscapes of human experience.
Rapture, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, based on Brave New World

I also give teaching demonstrations: £150 for half a day (approximately 2 ½ hrs) within 15 miles of Windsor, or £200 if further afield.

Or £350 for a full day (approx. 5 hrs teaching).

Once a year, I run drop-in sessions for the Illuminated Found Poetry work – payment is by donation

These are held in my home in Windsor, during September over the Windsor Artist Open House Trail weekend. Tea and biscuits provided.

She Closed Her Eyes, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, by Melanie Gow, based on The Somnambulist by Essie Fox, that combines my photographs with drawing and painting, inspired by poetry I find within the text of favourite books, to tell profound stories of the inner landscapes of human experience.
She Closed Her Eyes, an Illuminated Found Poetry Art Work, based on The Somnambulist by Essie Fox

If you require further information or if you would like to book me for a workshop or demonstration, please contact me:

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The Art

The Walking With Angels Art is a collection of signed Limited Edition Photographic Art Prints – moments – that tell the inspirational story of 33 exceptional days walking over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela.

14 signed Limited Edition Photographic Art Prints with a signed Certificate of Authentication, telling the inspirational story of one woman's walk with her sons, aged 16 and 12, for 33 exceptional days over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela
a collection of signed, Limited Edition Photographic Art Prints, by Melanie Gow

Click on The Collection for the SHOP

The Walking With Angels Art is a collection of signed Limited Edition Photographic Art Prints – moments – that tell the inspirational story of walking for 33 exceptional days over the Pyrenees and across Spain for 800km to Santiago de Compostela.

Each one is signed with a Certificate of Authentication, with a detailed description, verifying the authenticity of the accompanying Melanie Gow print, 1 of only 50 in the edition. 29x29cm on Photo Lustre paper 360gsm, care information included.

A Park Bench Meditation

Every day we are part of a miracle, the little things that are so easy to overlook, yet so awe inspiring when we take a moment to notice them with the wisdom of a child.

A Park Bench Meditation

On the way to somewhere today I paused and this is where I found myself…sit with me awhile in the colours of an English Autumn and let us just be.

There is a little phenomenon I happened upon this week, called Park Bench Meditation. A bench is a place where you can expect to sit for a moment, catching your breath.

The idea is that you find a bench on any given day, take a seat and, well, meditate; but, this is an ordinary and realistic meditation, almost in parenthesis. The most important thing is to decide to sit awhile and let go; put aside the phone, take no book or newspaper, no sandwich and a bag of crisps, have nothing to distract you, settle and simply let your body become heavy. Then breathe, and allow the surroundings to carry your attention without much focus; if something takes your attention notice it, and then let it go.

Every day we are part of a miracle, the little things that are so easy to overlook, yet so awe inspiring when we take a moment to notice them with the wisdom of a child.

It doesn’t have to be in a park, it will work just as well on a street and it doesn’t have to be a bench, it can be a handy rock or a stairway, just take a seat, put away the distractions, breath and let go; ten minutes will change your day.

What The Mushrooms Had to Teach

Sometimes the blocked way is a guide. Whether we like it or not, we are committed to the human endeavour and we have to keep going; the way we go may turn us away, and we may not go in the direction we want, but as long as we are moving, we are creating alternatives and possibilities, and there is magic at our feet.

In the middle of a couple of rough days where nothing seems to be working and I have to think again about a big pitch that has been rejected, I was between mundane places and parked to take a photograph of the Autumn trees on a hillside in the early morning light.

However, as I walked the clouds overtook me and the life drained out of the moment. I stood in the middle of a muddy field, in cowpats and trampled, soggy hay, as the black crows flew over, and let go.

Pretty much giving up on pulling myself out of the mood, I turned back trying to accept it sometimes goes like that, yet still stalking the gaps in hope.

Then I ran out of time on my parking ticket and found my way to the car was cordoned off; I had to cut across a scrappy patch of grass, and worm casts, and mulching leaves, and I will not tell a lie I felt almost despondent; I couldn’t believe I couldn’t find something exquisitely beautiful somewhere, and then I nearly stepped in these…

Hallucines and Madmen

I never set out to go mushroom hunting but I felt the rush, the excitement and the wonder at the dew drops and glistening caps and, if a leaf of grass is no less than “the journey-work of the stars” as Walt Whitman said, what then are daisies and coy mushrooms but stories woven by magic.

I knew nothing about mushrooms except that they are all edible, at least once. But an hour with these creatures and I now know they are omnivores, feeding off plant and animal matter, they breath and have their own immune system, they are as different from plants as plants are from animals and that we do not yet know how mushrooms use sunlight; only that they do. I know the difference between a morel and a toadstool and that I don’t know enough, but I am in awe.

Every obstacle, disappointment, and frustration led to the discovery of these gorgeous beauties.

And there’s the learning, sometimes the blocked way is a guide. Whether we like it or not, we are committed to the human endeavour and we have to keep going; the way we go may turn us away, and we may not go in the direction we want, but as long as we are moving, we are creating alternatives and possibilities, and there is magic at our feet.

The Marilyn Monroe of English Mushrooms