A Phenomenological Study Among Spiritually Engaged Individuals in the Netherlands
Gilles Havik, Birgit H. M. Elands, &C. S. A. (Kris) van Koppen2015
Natural environments are the setting for spiritual experiences for people from all over the world. Interpretative phenomenological
explorations of such experiences are scarce, even though the method suits the topic. We conducted field interviews with 18 Dutch visitors
of a Dutch spiritual festival on how they (1) describe spiritual experiences in natural environments and (2) see the role of different
natural attributes in these experiences. Principle descriptive concepts for spiritual experiences were a deeper self and spiritual energy.
Aspects of nature facilitating such experiences were wilder sites, open spaces, sacred sites, sites remembered from childhood, old
trees, animals, water, and fire, each adding a quality to the experience that resembled its innate properties. Participants agreed
on the positive impact of these experiences on their well-being, mentioning different degrees of long-term benefit.
Gilles Havik, Birgit H. M. Elands, &C. S. A. (Kris) van Koppen (2015).An Encounter with One’s Deeper Self and Energy: A Phenomenological Study Among Spiritually Engaged Individuals in the Netherlands. ECOPSYCHOLOGY VOL. 7 NO. 2 JUNE 2015 . MARY ANN LIEBERT, INC