We all seek an "experience" of spiritual truth as an energizing force in our lives rather than trying to be content with a merely handed-down belief system. This is an important trend in our time, and manifests the democratizing of mysticism. However, seeking experience can be quite exhausting, as I discovered early in my spiritual journey. Heightened experience can become a sort of "object" separate from the experiencer - an object that comes and goes, leading us into continual cycles of elation and depression. Eventually - perhaps twenty years ago - I realized during a "Dark Night of the Soul" that heightened experiences of spiritual truth are not meant to become an end in themselves. Rather, they are actually intended to reveal to us the DIRECTION in which to put our faith, hope and love. When any given experience eventually disappears - as it inevitably will - we are then called to EMBODY and PRACTICE the truth contained in the experience rather than merely FEEL it. In other words, we are called to BECOME the experience! Using a Hindu metaphor, we at first seek to "taste" the sugar or sweetness of spiritual insight. Later, however, we realize we are actually called to "become" that sugar or sweetness for the world. This, we discover, is a much more mature - and less exhausting - way of traveling along the contemplative spiritual journey!
Photo: Willow trees and ruddy buttes west of Loveland, CO, November 6, 2015
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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.