Jerome Liebling was a photographer and filmmaker dedicated to showing people things that they “wouldn’t see unless I was showing them.” Liebling also became a masterful teacher, deeply influencing many documentary filmmakers, including Ken Burns (himself so influential in the field that a cinematic effect bears his name).
As a teacher, Liebling’s interest was not to teach the technical aspects of picture-making. Rather, he wanted to impact his students’ reality, to infect them with a suspicion of dogma, and make them “see that there are no shortcuts.” Liebling pushed his students to plumb the depths of their motivation and vision until “they really started to look.”
Burns referred to Liebling as being “so authentic, in a way that a lot of us had never experienced.” As reported by the Times, Burns said,
“You wanted to be like him. You wanted to tell the truth. You’d go out to take pictures with him, and we all saw the same things he did, and then we’d come back, and he’d put up his prints, and you’d put up yours, and you were devastated.”
Reiki practice, like all spiritual practices, reveals truth from within, and prepares us to be in its presence.
It’s not easy being in the presence of truth. That’s why there are no shortcuts. It takes time, and steady practice, to develop the ability to face truth without flinching, or trying to make it pretty, or somehow fix it. It takes time to be willing to let truth’s beauty shine forth on its own terms, unembellished.
Isn’t this the possibility that a master teacher shows us, no matter what the technique? And isn’t this the possibility that consistent practice makes real?
Who inspired your pursuit of truth?
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