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. the path and center are in full view.
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 and when walking, you may pass or meet others going in or out. Just like in everyday life, one must share space, step around, or let others step around you.
When we slow down and deepen our internal awareness, it can stir the creative fires within for solving issues we have been faced with, or allowing emotions to surface we have ignored or rejected.
The labyrinth is a place to meet your SELF. Like a pilgrims journey. It is a wide gracious winding path rather than a direct path allowing you to ponder things. It reminds us of life's curves and bumps as we walks and pass others. Some people may find it easier to quiet the mind while moving slowly.
Labyrinths are found all over the world. They are found in cathedrals and park from Europe to the coast of Sweden to North America.
They usually have their entrance facing the rising sun on the east.
Labyrinths assist us in using our intuitive side. There are 3 parts to walking the labyrinth. First is entering the labyrinth and setting your intention, whether it is to find a solution or release a worry. Second is the pause at the center to allow any insight or feeling or though to emerge or to leave a heavy burden. The third and final part is as we walk out, 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 just to slow down a busy life for a few minutes. Whatever the reason, it is always to and something POSITIVE and NUTRUING to your 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 Colbourne. Ontario has over 200 labyrinths and there are over 5300 in more than 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. The labyrinth uses the universal shapes of circles, spirals, and squares to do this.
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.