The Second Gaze – My Practice for 2021


One of the core ideas of my photography practice is that it is about “seeing more.” Not simply what is immediately apparent, but seeing beyond the surface and growing in awareness of what is present.  A few days ago, in his daily email, Fr Richard Rohr shared a concept called “The Second Gaze” that has really stayed with me.  Here’s his full writeup about it .  He shares about how the first gaze we give to something is much more about how something will affect “me” and it primarily self-focused.  But there is growth when we move to a regular practice of “the second gaze” which he describes in this way…

The gaze of compassion, looking out at life from the place of divine intimacy is really all I have, and all I have to give, even though I don’t always do it.  In the second gaze, critical thinking and compassion are finally coming together. It is well worth waiting for, because only the second gaze sees fully and truthfully. It sees itself, the other, and even God with God’s own eyes, the eyes of compassion, which always move us to act for peace and justice.

So, this year, I want to focus on the second gaze and so I am going to do that through a daily photo practice to lead me in reflecting, seeing, growing.  I will be working off a list of themes but the intent will be to try to see something deeper than simply what is on the surface.  Some days, I’ll just post the photo and others I’ll post a reflection.  We’ll see how the Spirit leads.  

Categories: The Second GazeTags: , ,

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