So, can meditation produce an observable or discernible difference to you, your life, and your appearance?
This series of photos by Peter Seidler, taken before and then after a month of meditation (yes, only 4 weeks!), are moving. Not in the mould of your typical before and after photos with dramatic differences following cosmetic surgery. Rather, the differences are subtle, yet pronounced enough to be noticed. The qualities of stillness and centredness in the after photos moved me.
Titled “Before and After”, Seidler said the following about the project:
This series of photos, titled “Before and After,” comes from a larger project called “Contemplatives,” a visual exploration of the physiological qualities of meditation practice. I set up the “Before and After” project to explore the observable effects on practitioners after long periods of intense meditation practice. The question is: what are the observable changes after a period of intense practice?
Each participant in the project was asked to simply sit for a portrait on first day of a dathun, a month-long meditation retreat. I photographed them against a consistent background. Prior to the photograph, I asked each person to consider what they were looking for in the practice period ahead. This was on day number one. Then, at the end of the program, after approximately thirty days of retreat, I asked each participant in the project to sit in front of the same background and asked each to consider what the experience of mediation retreat had been for them. The result is the series of photos. It’s clear from results that the person in every one of the portraits has undergone an important transformative experience. I leave it to the viewer to draw their own conclusion.
Here are a sample of the photos taken. Draw your own conclusions.