For many photography is a path of service. It’s not service to a master, or business owner, it’s a way to contribute to the planet, or reveal the beauty contained in the universe. Wisdom and compassion may both arise when believing this.
Think of the Mr. Carson the butler in Downton Abbey. How carefully he balances the needs of the masters and other members of staff. He is firm, human, and compassionate when keeping the household on track. He helps people develop their awareness within the limits of his role.
It’s similar when you are a business owner. Business is all about relationships. Without experiencing wisdom and compassion these will appear as hollow profit-governed mechanics and manipulations. True relating means finding aspects of yourself in others, recognizing them for what they are, and liberating them from enslaving wants and needs, by recognizing their source, and thus creating something of lasting satisfaction.
Business practices and tasks vary. To become better at business requires a commitment to self-discovery. When you perform at your best, both with respect to the services you provide and the ways you deliver, you begin to experience the joy of living. This has the power to influence others, perhaps even helping liberation to find them.
This doesn’t always mean offering services and products for free. Nor does it mean that you must extend long lines of credit. Indeed it’s not good to let others become indebted because resentment and guile frequently aise in the face of unpaid bills.
Compassion sometimes means having the faith that people ultimately pay up, but sometimes you may not directly reap the reward of your labour. If someone can save enough time, or make sufficient money, using what you provide they are able to afford your services but even then not all will remunerate you for your time and effort. Learn from such experiences and move on.
Whenever possible you use the data, information, and knowledge, you have about your customer in order to wisely overcome the limited self-belief that gives rise to their problems.
Many in business don’t think like this. They develop products and services that meet peoples wants simply because that seems the easiest way to make a profit.
Whilst there’s some merit in that approach, it leaves out two important elements. These are your customer and you.
Rather than relating to people directly, profit driven business people relate simply to mass problems. There’s less merit in doing business in this way because it disconnects your customer and you from your essential natures, which are essentially both one, and also at the core of living. Experience becomes reduced to abstract analysing abstract statistics, rather than experiencing the fullness of life.
Wisdom, is far more than a way to engage with the world. True wisdom is self-wisdom. Self-wisdom is the ability to understand your essential nature. To see, hear, and feel your connection to others, and the world and know it as one unbroken experience appearing as if in time and space, is thought by many to be ultimate wisdom.
According to the Dalai Lama compassion is the wish for another to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness. It’s a simple definition, and it doesn’t matter who first thought of it. When this mantra finds itself within you, and you, in turn, experience the grace to let it work its magic through all levels of your business, then you may become a successful artist.
By enjoying our thoughts, others, society at large, and our natural environment we become larger people. The world seems to live within us, rather than we within it. The people we meet reflect aspects of our totality. We meet them with an open embrace, but if they seem to attack us, or attempt to take us by surprise we are ready. We anticipate their move, and let their strength become their tipping point.
Then, with a smile on our faces, we take them by the hand and place them once more upon their feet, where they feel not so much thrown, but rather restored to their dignity.
How do you live like this?
Express Your Original Face
You remember your original face. The one you had before you were born into a land of other people’s dreams, ideas, complaints and conditions.
That original, clear, unbroken, wholeness is still there. How could it not be so? It’s simply that generations of, well meaning, relatives and teachers have said you must disregard it. That was their way, but did it make them happy?
Wisdom and compassion are powerful and universal. They make lives complete. They continue to fulfill, even experiencing extreme conditions such as concentration camps, prisons, or places where people endure other kinds of torture.
Experience The Beloved
A business is a wonderful opportunity to experience miracles. It’s also a challenging discipline through which you can discover your true nature as you solve problems without succumbing to anxiety, hatred, jealousy, greed, or creating something purely for profit that might only bring misery into your life.
Sebastião Salgado: The Silent Drama of Photography.