RELIGION
09/29/2015 02:30 pm ET

15 Photos That Prove We Can Experience Spirituality Anywhere

The divine has many faces.

People experience their spirituality in diverse and abundant places. Awe, wonder and the feeling of connectedness can crop up when we least expect it.

To highlight that diversity and honor the many ways people experience spirituality, we asked The Huffington Post newsroom to share photos and stories of their personal sacred places. We invite you to email us at religion@huffingtonpost.com to share your own photos and anecdotes of places where you have felt deeply and inexplicably connected to the divine.

Scroll down to see a sampling of these surprising and stunning spiritual hotspots:

  • Vik, Iceland
    "To me spirituality has always been linked to the Earth and I often find it above the water, whether its a rock by a pond or
    Jake Reeves
    "To me spirituality has always been linked to the Earth and I often find it above the water, whether its a rock by a pond or a cliff on the edge of the world. My favorite place so far has been in Iceland in a city called Vik. The cliffs there are just about the southern most point in Iceland, sitting on the edge of the cliff you realize that there is nothing in between you and Antarctica, just a straight shot. It was mesmerizing from that point I could see the edges of the world falling off the horizon, I could see so far that with my own eyes I could see the curvature of the Earth." --Jake Reeves, Multimedia Fellow
  • Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
    "This is Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, where I pilgrimaged for re-grounding after a very chaotic and emotional period of my lif
    Antonia Blumberg
    "This is Lake Wanaka in New Zealand, where I pilgrimaged for re-grounding after a very chaotic and emotional period of my life. The lake reflects the sky and all the earth around it, creating a timeless and spaceless effect. Gazing upon the water, filled with compassion for myself and others, I experienced infinity. I felt intimately connected to everything around me, and embraced a deep sense of peace that Nature always, eventually, finds ways to heal herself." --Antonia Blumberg, Associate Religion Editor
  • Wherever Your Pets Are
    "Through the innocence and gentleness of animals we can reflect on our own shortcomings and strive for a higher, even if
    Stuart Whatley
    "Through the innocence and gentleness of animals we can reflect on our own shortcomings and strive for a higher, even if unreachable, moral and aesthetic ideal." --Stuart Whatley, Executive Blog Editor
  • Delaware Water Gap
    "I find an extreme amount of spiritual comfort and serenity whenever I am immersed in complete nature and far away from the n
    Rowaida Abdelaziz
    "I find an extreme amount of spiritual comfort and serenity whenever I am immersed in complete nature and far away from the noises of life. Some of those locations include being on a beach alone at an odd hour, on a quiet trail or laying in a lush green field. Most recently, I felt heightened in my spirituality during a quiet trip I took over the weekend to the Delaware Water Gap between NJ & PA. Experiencing solitude in unadulterated world surrounded trickling waterfalls and untouched greenery helps me reflect and ponder the important things in my life and reconnect with my morals and values." --Rowaida Abdelaziz, WorldPost Social Media Editor
  • Patagonia
    "I remember traveling to the Argentine Patagonia for my birthday in 2012, it was one of the most moving trips I've ever taken
    Carolina Moreno
    "I remember traveling to the Argentine Patagonia for my birthday in 2012, it was one of the most moving trips I've ever taken. Never had I seen such natural beauty -- from the vibrant greens and red of the changing leaves to the majestically frigid glacier trek on Perito Moreno. The water was a deep icy blue and it wasn't too cold that we couldn't enjoy our hikes and treks outside. I'd never felt more in tune with nature and the world. In fact we stayed in Ushuaia for part of the trip -- it's known as the 'End Of the World.' So it's funny that I had to go to the end of the world to find that peace. It was something really special." --Carolina Moreno, Latino Voices Editor
  • Self Realization Fellowship, Los Angeles
    "The Self Realization Fellowship is a hidden oasis in the city of Los Angeles. The place has almost an aurora that instantly
    Tiara Chiaramonte
    "The Self Realization Fellowship is a hidden oasis in the city of Los Angeles. The place has almost an aurora that instantly relaxes you when you step in. But what I love the most about it is how it is so accepting of any other kind of religion. There are statues of all the major religious figures in history." --Tiara Chiaramonte, Social Graphics Editor
  • Ohio River, Kentucky
    "My grandmother was deep into Alzheimer's. Long robbed of all her memories and most of her words, she would smile at recogniz
    Carina Kolodny
    "My grandmother was deep into Alzheimer's. Long robbed of all her memories and most of her words, she would smile at recognized faces but couldn't remember names or places. For an annual family reunion, my grandfather brought her from their transplanted home in California to their original home in Kentucky. They trekked to the place she was born, the place they had met and started a family. She spent most of her time in a rocking chair on a porch overlooking the Ohio river, surrounded by extended family. At this point it had been nearly a year since she had really spoken and out of nowhere, her eyes affixed on the river, she calmly declared, 'I like this place, I'm happy here.' Ever since then, I can't go back to Kentucky without feeling a spiritual connection to that place and that river: no matter what's going on in my life, I can look out past the banks and find calm in a confusing world." --Carina Kolodny, Director Of Multimedia Platforms
  • Yoga To The People, NYC
    "I was raised as church-going Protestant; I grew up fairly resentful of the religion that had been forced upon me. It wasn't
    Molly Bangs
    "I was raised as church-going Protestant; I grew up fairly resentful of the religion that had been forced upon me. It wasn't until I set foot in my first yoga studio (Yoga to the People in Williamsburg) in December of 2014 that the concept of spirituality actually resonated with me. Undergoing a difficult period of my life, I was convinced to try yoga by a friend. By the end of this first class I attended, I was reduced to tears -- both of relief that such an emotional and physical roller coaster existed, and of disbelief that I hadn't discovered it earlier in my 23 years. Yoga -- at this studio that exists solely based on donations so as to keep its doors open to all New Yorkers -- has taught me to breathe, to be present and to thank myself for showing up. I couldn't be more grateful." --Molly Bangs, Associate Editor, Special Projects
  • Big Sur, California
    "Big Sur was very spiritual. You feel so secluded from the default world and connected to some of the most spectacular views
    Maria Tridas
    "Big Sur was very spiritual. You feel so secluded from the default world and connected to some of the most spectacular views Mother Nature has to offer." --Maria Tridas, Associate Video Editor
  • On Solo Travels
    "When I'm traveling alone, whether it's in my city or internationally, I feel a sense of peace and awe while observing my sur
    Sahaj Kohli
    "When I'm traveling alone, whether it's in my city or internationally, I feel a sense of peace and awe while observing my surroundings. It's when I think more about my small, small place in this massive universe. I'm always overcome with love and wonder and awe and sincere gratitude." --Sahaj Kohli, Lifestyle Blog Editor. pictured in Peru
  • Tulum, Mexico
    "I've now traveled to Tulum, Mexico to celebrate my birthday for the past two years, and I always feel blessed to be alive an
    Dana Oliver
    "I've now traveled to Tulum, Mexico to celebrate my birthday for the past two years, and I always feel blessed to be alive and in such a beautiful place where my faith is constantly restored. Having grown up in the black Baptist church, I never would've guessed that my connection to God would deepen outside the pews and on a tropical beach." --Dana Oliver, Executive Fashion & Beauty Editor
  • A Terrace All To Yourself
    "My terrace: It faces the back of the building, and I'm usually the only person in sight when I'm out there (which, as you ca
    Brooke Sopelsa
    "My terrace: It faces the back of the building, and I'm usually the only person in sight when I'm out there (which, as you can imagine, is rare in NYC). It's typically just me, my dog and the birds." --Brooke Sopelsa, Producer, HuffPost Live
  • Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Museum, Joshua Tree
    "Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Museum in Joshua Tree. It's the most beautiful outdoor museum of junk arranged into a sort of city --
    Priscilla Frank
    "Noah Purifoy's Outdoor Museum in Joshua Tree. It's the most beautiful outdoor museum of junk arranged into a sort of city -- as if aliens put together our old objects in nonfunctional ways to recreate human life. There are walls made of busted televisions and sculptures made of old plastic playscapes, giant totems of bowling balls and toilets presented like statues. It's normally pretty empty and in the middle of the desert and the wind makes spooky music when it blows through the old structures just teetering there in empty space. It's a very magical place. This photo is by my bf Micah Hauser!" --Priscilla Frank, Arts & Culture Editor
  • Gindling Hilltop Jewish Summer Camp in Malibu, California
    "Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, California. Camp is a really special place. It's a place where I watched myself grow u
    Natalie Telson
    "Gindling Hilltop Camp in Malibu, California. Camp is a really special place. It's a place where I watched myself grow up. It's a place where I made friends who seem more like family. It's a place that allowed me to realize how special and important my Jewish culture is. Camp served as the foundation of my identity." --Natalie Telson, PR & Communications
  • St. Jean Beach, Saint Barthélemy
    "The beach. Isn't it everybody's spiritual place? For some reason, this one beach, called St. Jean beach in St. Barts, has al
    Kate Auletta
    "The beach. Isn't it everybody's spiritual place? For some reason, this one beach, called St. Jean beach in St. Barts, has always felt very home-y and happy to me, which in its own way, is spiritual. The light is always just right, the sand is soft and the waves make this perfectly small crash onto the shore. I've always thought that living in this little house at the end of this divine beach would be like being in heaven." --Kate Auletta, Executive Editor, Voices

 

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