The Labyrinth

 

The labyrinth is an ancient design that dates back almost 4000 years. It is found in many cultures and most probably has   always been used in some spiritual manner. It is a symbol that relates to wholeness and is a basic metaphor for the journey of life.

A labyrinth combines the imagery of a circle with that of a spiral and represents the journey into our own center and back out again. It should not be confused with a maze with its twists and turns and dead ends. Rather, a labyrinth has only one path  that leads us in and then out. It symbolizes the spiritual journey into one’s deepest self and then the journey back into the world with a renewed sense of personal meaning and a broader vision.

There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth; you have only to decide whether to enter it and then follow the path. You can walk it alone or with a group. Walk mindful of your life and attentive to all that you experience as you walk.

 

Some suggestions for a labyrinth walk are:labyrinth

Focus:

At the entrance pause and quiet yourself. Try to become more centered.
A symbolic gesture or bow may help you begin the walk reverently.

Experience:

Be attentive to the process of your walk. When you reach the center
remain there and refocus yourself. Leave only when you feel it is time.
Remain attentive as you prepare for the return walk.

Exit:   

Turn and face the entrance. When you reach it turn toward the center and
mark the end of the walk by a gesture or sacred word such as Amen.

Reflect:

Consider what you have experienced. Write it in a journal or symbolize it in a drawing.

Repeat the walk often. The more you use the labyrinth, the more powerful a symbol of
transformation it can become for you. There is one path in the labyrinth, but the experience is different for everyone.

References:
Walking A Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth As a Spiritual Tool, Lauren Artress, Riverhead Books, New York, June 1966.

Exploring the Labyrinth : A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth, Melissa Gayle West, Broadway Books, New York, February 2000.

The Healing Labyrinth: Finding Your Path to Inner Peace, Helen Raphael Sands, Robert Ferre, Barons Educational Series, 2000.

 

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