by Cindy VanDyke
The labyrinth is not a maze, there are no tricks and no dead ends. It is a single continuous path into the center and out again.
Walking into a labyrinth is a tool for a walking meditation that allows us to focus on our thoughts and feelings. It enables us to slow down in a busy world. As like in everyday life, when walking through a labyrinth, one must share space, step around, and let others step around you.
When we slow down and deepen our internal awareness, the process can stir up the creative fires within us to solve issues in our lives or allow emotions that we have ignored or rejected to rise to the surface.
The labyrinth is a place to meet your SELF. It is a wide gracious winding path that allows us to ponder things. As we walk through a labyrinth and pass others, we are reminded of life’s curves and bumps. Some people also find it easier to quiet the mind while moving slowly. Labyrinths also assist us in using our intuitive side.
There are 3 parts to walking the labyrinth. First is entering the labyrinth and setting our intentions, whether that be to find a solution or release a worry. Second is pausing at the center of the labyrinth to allow insight, feeling, or our thoughts to emerge while also leaving behind any heavy burdens. The third and final part is when we walk out of the labyrinth to give thanks and gratitude for the calming experience.
When people choose to walk a labyrinth, they may be looking for strength for the next step of life, or to slow down a busy life for a few minutes. Whatever the reason, the purpose of a labyrinth is always to bring something POSITIVE and NUTURING to one’s life.
Mount Carmel on Stanley Ave in Niagara Falls has a beautiful labyrinth on the third floor. There is also one at Angels Landing in Wainfleet and one at Jericho House in Port Coulbourne. In total, Ontario has over 200 labyrinths and there are over 5300 more in over 80 countries around the world.
Labyrinths are as much about the journey as they are the destination. Going internally and then back out into the world represents a wholeness. Universal shapes such as circles, spirals, and squares are used within the labyrinth to accomplish this effect.
Finding and walking a labyrinth is an experience I encourage everyone to have.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in blog entries are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Heart Niagara.