WALKING MEDITATION: THE LABYRINTH
Right around this time of year we are ready for new beginnings after a long, very cold winter! The days are starting to get longer, the sun is shining a bit warmer, and we are getting a bit more antsy to be outdoors! What better time than now then to take advantage of being outside and enjoying a path with a purpose.
Have you ever been to a church or park and have noticed a circular design on the floor? Most of us (me included) have simply thought it was some sort of art work or design, but it is actually a planned out path for meditation. Widely known as a Labyrinth. What comes to mind right away to me is David Bowie and his tight pants (from the movie: Google it), so I will have to try to crowd out that thought while meditating via a Labyrinth next time (thanks, David). Anyway, a Labyrinth sounds super ancient, and like it should be in a Harry Potter movie, so let’s figure out what a Labyrinth even is:
What is a Labyrinth?
A Labyrinth is a created path, generally circular, that a person can walk. It can be done alone or with a group. It’s not a maze where you have to guess which way is out. In a Labyrinth, where you begin is where you end. This “walking meditation” has been around for thousands of years and it’s been an important part of many religions, including Christianity, for just as long. They are usually found outdoors and can be made of dirt, gravel, paver or individual stones. More elaborate Labyrinths can be found indoors, in Europe, such as in the famous and beautiful Chartres Cathedral France
What is the purpose?
It’s an intentional way to meditate, contemplate or pray. You can start walking the Labyrinth without thinking about how to leave it, like you would a maze. This frees your mind to just be in the moment….to pause….to visualize….to reflect….to create intention or to make a spiritual connection. The experience is personal for each who walk the Labyrinth, mainly because of attitude, expectations and time commitment.
Where would you find a Labyrinth?
It’s not hard to find a local Labyrinth. They can be found on church grounds, parks and sometimes even hospital property. The use of a Labyrinth is usually open to anyone and generally without charge (some churches might have a suggested donation). Just search the internet for Labyrinth locations in your area to find what’s available near you.
Creating a simple Labyrinth can be relatively easy and there are many who have done just that on their own personal property. If you need inspiration to walk a labyrinth or create your own, then check these out on Pinterest.
(main photo source)