Opening the Good Eye Reviews

What a pleasure to spend time with these images and these words. For me this book is to photography- much as breathing is to yoga. Essential and very much to the point.

Michael’s carefully considered words about a path for seeing -articulate clearly what is so hard to express. And this ability to cut through language and say what is true – is very much like the quality of the photographs themselves –images of direct experience – direct heartfelt perception of this wide open world-just as it is.

For me, this book shows us all a possible path to whole-bodied presence – a way for us to get out of our own way and let this vivid world speak to us – with all its tastes, in all its deliciousness.

I highly recommend this book – and know it will be of benefit to everyone who spends time with it.

And truth be told, everyone should make the time .

Richard Allon
New York City

For those of us who have been fortunate to study with Michael Wood over the years, Opening the Good Eye, is exactly how we know him – a gifted teacher who is warm, gentle, authentic, humorous and inspiring. With Opening the Good Eye Michael has succeeded in distilling his more than 30 years of teachings into an elegant guide, illustrated with his mind-stopping photographs.

As Michael says, “Practicing Miksang is like attempting to see what is on the other side of a window. We can only see what is outside when the window is clean and pure.”

In Opening the Good Eye Michael teaches us how to clean the windows and see what is really there, to see beyond the film of preferences, labels, conventions, and projections. He teaches us how to be present in our everyday lives, to see and express our world that is full of breathtaking beautiful perceptions.

Fiona Wiseman
Edmonton, Alberta

An essential resource that can be referred to again and again, Opening the Good Eye is a must-have for students and practitioners of Miksang photography. Rich with guidance, insight and inspiring images, it can serve as a compass for ongoing exploration in this way of seeing—much like having a teacher by your side.

Whether opened at random or selecting a topic to revisit, I find different passages resonate on different days. I’ve enjoyed selecting one and allowing that to inform my intention before heading out to photograph.

Refresh your recollection of a workshop, deepen your understanding, and be inspired by this unique and wonderful book.

April Siegfried 
Chicago, Illinois

As an untrained “casual” photographer and newcomer to the Miksang journey, I had the incredible good fortune to be able to attend the summer Miksang Institute taught by Michael Wood and Julie DuBose. Although I have taken only the beginning courses, what I have learned from them has already had a positive impact on not only my visual world, but on how I experience my ordinary everyday life. I now notice things I’ve never seen before, see with a depth I’ve never experienced before, and have the capacity to engage with the world with a directness and clarity that I’ve never felt before.  It is safe to say that, for me,  the Miksang experience has been life-changing in the very best sense of that term.

Reading Michael’s new book, Opening the Good Eye, is like being back at the Institute. His voice comes through so clearly it is as if I am seeing through his eyes, mind and heart.

Michael’s masterful use of commonplace examples, practical descriptions and direct first-hand knowledge combine to produce a very clear explanation for how to engage in this practice of contemplative photography. It was such a relief that I didn’t have to be a trained photographer, wade through a lot of complex theory, or have a grasp of specialized esoteric concepts in order to understand and benefit from his instruction.

Michael’s extensive experience as a teacher was also put to good use because not only does this book lay out the foundation for this discipline in straightforward terms, but – in a seamless fashion – he also addressed the questions that I’ve had arise since returning home from the Miksang Institute classes. This is a book that has already been a resource to which I have repeatedly returned.  It has served as not only a refresher course, but as a source of ongoing inspiration. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anybody who is interested in experiencing their world in a fresh, open, and direct way.

Kat Pruett
Salem, Oregon

Singular wisdom is in each paragraph of OPENING THE GOOD EYE. The luminosity derived from Michael Wood’s unselfish commitment to Miksang photography is compelling in cultivating one’s natural originality. Experience genuine astonishment, joy, and learning from photography realizing the vast creativity away from its rules.

Miksang’s purity of intent inspires self-sustaining freedom beyond photography by advocating a personal, equanimous worldview. It is integral to my life and, hopefully, beneficial to those around me.

I am keeping Michael Wood’s OPENING THE GOOD EYE close-at-hand along with a small camera as an effective combination in my practice of Miksang photography.

His book can be routinely read sequentially, or specific paragraphs of singular wisdom selected for contemplation and guidance. This intimate distillation of Michael’s knowledge has the impact of hearing him personally as I progress in making Miksang a deeper part of my life.

Evan Simmons
Dallas, Texas

Opening the Good Eye” is a jewel, reflecting Michael’s spiral journey through change, emptiness, openness, discovery, clarifying, and sharing. The book itself is as much a reflection of Miksang as are the stories, the understandings, the practices, the teachings, and the images. As our separate paths share the essence of quietness, openness, receptiveness, faith and patience,“Opening the Good Eye”, has quickly/quietly become a most welcome and gentle companion.
Stan Friedman
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