"One of the qualities of a true saint is this: he or she is RADIANT. I was speaking once of the importance of having one's face lighted up, and after the service was over a woman with a very plain face, of which she was duly conscious, came forward and asked me what I would do if I had a face like hers! I told her that I had long been struggling with a similar problem, and had discovered that if you can light it up with inward radiance, any face you've got is good enough!
"But there should be a corollary . . . to the effect that saints never KNOW that they are radiant. They are not conscious of the shine on their faces. It is a byproduct of life, not a purposeful aim. The finest inscription in the Harvard Chapel is the one to the memory of Andrew Peabody: 'For thirty-six years he walked among the professors and students of Harvard College and knew not that his face did shine.' "
"The Radiant Life" (1944)
Making iPhone videos to expand the reach of my work has come at a cost: I am now much more self-conscious than before about my appearance and the things I wish I could change. I write about this because I know that nearly ALL of us - even the most physically attractive among us - struggle with this same issue. It is especially challenging in our era to realize that it is usually the people who are the most physically beautiful or handsome who get their work recognized. My musician brother-in-law (who is actually quite handsome) playfully noted this trend when he recently posted a quote on Facebook that said:
"Music was better when ugly people were allowed to make it."
One of the things I most appreciate about my Quaker heritage is its profound teaching on the "Inner Light." Although they are generally considered Christians, Friends prefer not to engage in extended speculation about the nature of Jesus, but rather seek to EXPERIENCE the Light of the Christ-life that is present within all things, and then work to facilitate the unveiling and shining of that Divine Light. How wonderful it is to know that ALL of us - regardless of how beautiful or handsome we are (or are not) - can indeed appear beautiful when the Inner Light radiates from within!
Photo: Aspen trees and Maroon Lake, Maroon Bells - Snowmass Wilderness, CO, September 27, 2015
- - - - - - - - -
I am available for one-on-one sessions giving instruction in Wilderness Insight Meditation, or for spiritual direction / mentoring via phone or Skype. You can contact me at email@example.com if you are interested. The rate is $65 per hour-long session. You might also want to check out my Spiritual Direction with Stephen Hatch Facebook page.
Many of my photos are available as prints, either mounted or unmounted. Here is a link to the pricing and various mounts available:
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.