Photography and Mindfulness

Exploring the Ten Perfections

ONLINE: Photography and Mindfulness

Exploring the Ten Perfections

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Program Description

In this yearlong program, we will study and work with the 10 perfections – a set of qualities to live by – and we will explore them through mindfulness, meditation, and photographic expression. You will be encouraged to investigate each quality through a mindfulness practice while immersed in the natural world as you simultaneously embark on a journey of how you can visually communicate your relationship to these ten perfections through your photographic art. In this way, we will be exploring and investigating The Art of Mindfulness and the Ten Perfections.

The Ten Perfections, or paramis, are a set of qualities that are often described as some of the most useful meditation teachings for bringing the practice and benefits of mindfulness into everyday life. The perfections are a list of qualities that you can develop in any daily life situation from your formal meditation practice to your daily life at work or at home. They include generosity, virtue, renunciation, discernment, patience, persistence, truthfulness, determination,  goodwill, and equanimity.

The word parami is related to paramam which means “something of foremost importance.”  So, you can think of these qualities as the priorities in your life. If you make things like career, wealth, social status, or outside relationships your priorities, you are placing your happiness in things that are largely out of your control. On the other hand, the qualities you develop in your heart and mind (like the 10 perfections) are within your control. You have more agency over your own level of happiness when you focus on the qualities of your own heart and mind rather than social qualities outside of yourself.

Registration Options

Option 1: Live Online Course (Limited Seats Available)

In this option, you sign up for a live-broadcast, teacher-led course where we gather on Zoom video each month for a 2-hour course on the mindfulness concepts of the 10 perfections. Each class will include a talk on the perfection for that month, a presentation on how to practice with this concept for the month, and suggestions on how to convey the topic through a photographic composition. At the end of each month, you are invited to present your photographic portfolio to the group and receive instructor feedback in a live Zoom session. Each class will be recorded and the recording will be made available after class.

Option 2: Recorded Video Course

This option lets students participate in a self-paced version of the full course. You will have access to each week’s recording within 48 hours of the class session from Option 1 above. This option includes the full class presentation allowing you to develop a yearlong mindfulness practice with the ten perfections and your self-guided artistic exploration of these concepts through your camera’s lens. You are invited to share your images in an online forum to receive feedback and comments from the course teacher and the community.

Option 3: Monthly Email Digest Course

In this registration option, you will receive a monthly email digest about each of the ten perfections along with written suggestions on how to explore these teachings through mindfulness and photography. You are invited to participate in the online forum by sharing your images and thoughts and reflections about your experience where you can receive feedback and comments from the course teacher and the community.

Requested Participant Commitment

Option 1 participants commit to attending 11 online classes over the course of the year and are strongly encouraged to attend the 10 optional photo critique sessions each month. All Option 1 and 2 participants are asked to commit to practicing the mindfulness meditation concepts throughout each month. You should maintain a daily meditation practice and commit to exploring each concept through your camera’s lens. Option 3 participants may define their own self-guided way of exploring the mindfulness concepts and how they will reflect these ideas through their photography. All participants are invited to share their images in the dedicated Facebook Group and share their thoughts and experiences as it relates to the 10 perfections and their images.

Program Components

  • Live Broadcast 2-hour class each month with the instructor (Option 1)
    • Presentation on the 10 perfections
    • Photography presentation
    • Guided meditation sit
    • Question and answer session with the teacher
  • Photography presentation and critique sessions with the Teacher (Option 1)
  • Recorded videos of each monthly broadcast session (Options 1 & 2)
  • Monthly emails with written reflections on the perfections (Options 1, 2, 3)
  • Participation in a dedicated online forum (Options 1, 2, 3)

March – December 2023 (You can join anytime!)

Online and at home

Gary W. Sharlow

Sliding Scale:
$0 – $795
The 3 registration & participation Options are defined in the program details.

Register Today
Gary Sharlow

About the Teacher: Gary Sharlow

Gary has been working and teaching in the fields of conservation photography, wildlife ecology, and mindfulness meditation since 2001. He has previously taught nature-based photography workshops while managing conservation programs for the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. He has been practicing mindfulness since 2010 and has supported community meditation offerings at Spirit Rock Meditation Center, New York Insight, Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center, and Awake in the Wild.

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