SPIRITUAL DIVERSITY AND SOCIAL WORK
Human experience, including spiritual
experience, is embedded within nature. As we live, grow, and die within
nature, it seems appropriate to show special appreciation for it in this
Gallery. Though religious traditions may disagree about the quality and
purpose of the human/nature relationship, all recognize its importance.
Indeed, wilderness and natural settings are often the intentional
contexts for spiritual search and illumination, such as Moses'
going up Mount Sinai, Jesus' fast in the desert, and
Buddha's sitting beneath the Bo tree in meditation. Further, in many
traditions, such as earth-centered, animistic and shamanistic ones, the
beings, sacred places, and powers of nature can be related with in a
personal and respectful manner as sources of insight, help, and
blessing. Indeed literally, all the medicines and therapies we use for
healing are gifts of nature, directly or indirectly.
The images in this section of the Gallery come from various parts of the world- many are from relatively pristine wilderness areas, while others are from gardens and cityscapes. In any case, I hope they evoke a sense of appreciation and enjoyment and remind you to seek out the natural places of beauty and potency that inspire, refresh, and nurture you. In return, as we celebrate the healing and restorative qualities of nature, we may be motivated to respond with empathy and compassionate regard for the world upon which we all depend.