A phenomenological investigation of spirituality in outdoor recreation experiences
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There exists a rich history of people describing meaningful moments during outdoor recreation as spiritual experiences. These involve connecting to something bigger than yourself, and recognizing your place in a larger universal system (Ashley, 2007; Fischer, 2011; Huss, 2014; Jirasek et al., 2017; Naor & Mayseless, 2019; Taylor & Egeto-Szabo, 2017). Although many different disciplines are beginning to explore this relationship, challenges exist in defining these moments, appropriate methodologies for studying them, and with illuminating a holistic understanding of experience. This study drew on Ingold's (2000) Dwelling and hermeneutic phenomenology to explore spiritual outdoor recreation experiences and proposed the use of an emplacement nexus to highlight the converging of histories, social and cultural understanding, and embodied experience within this phenomenon (Grimwood, 2015a; Pink, 2011). This theoretical orientation allowed for the essences of rhythms, the power of nature, and elements of purpose in life to emerge as tenants of spiritual experiences. It illuminated the importance of intentionality, balanced course design, and opportunities for reflection as vital to the facilitation of spiritual outdoor recreation experiences. This study hopes to move the outdoor recreation field towards an understanding of the ways humans exist as part of a larger universal system, and to extend empathy and caring towards the human and non-human elements that influence our lives.
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Jordana Milne (2020). A phenomenological investigation of spirituality in outdoor recreation experiences. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15902