As I travel the world and explore my own backyard of Los Angeles, I am struck by the ubiquity of and the varieties of spiritual expression by people of different cultures. From a Buddhist monk sitting before a candle at dawn in Luang Prabang to a graffiti painter on Venice Beach equating the Christian cross with love, from the majesty of Chartres Cathedral to the solemnity of Dia de los Muertos celebrants in a cemetery in Oaxaca, from a the joy of Santeria dancers in Havana to the mystery of the Theyyam festival in Kerala, spiritual expression has as many forms as there are cultures on our planet. The one thing they all have in common is the expression of awe as people deal with the mystery of the unknowable and seek to become a part of something greater than themselves. This collection of images represents my personal encounter throughout the globe with both the physical artifacts of spiritual expression from the past as well as the continuing expression through prayer, dance, music and art of that sense of awe.
© David Altschul Photography