The proportions of the labyrinth are based on sacred geometry—ancient knowledge that is expressed through architectural forms. The proportions of the labyrinth are designed to bring rest, order, comfort, and harmony to the mind. In moving through the labyrinth, the chattering, worrying “monkey-mind” becomes occupied with the action of following the path, leaving the intuitive, deeper levels of awareness free to be explored and engaged. There are other symbolic approaches to walking the path: seeing it as a metaphor for life, experiencing it as a journey into darkness and back again; regarding it as a path to meet with God or a higher power.
A few things to remember as you walk:
- The labyrinth is a continuous path, not a maze or a puzzle. The inherent hope built into the labyrinth is that there are no false turns as there are in a maze, but that by putting one foot in front of the other we will arrive at the goal of life. A maze is designed to make you lose your way and a labyrinth is designed to help you find your way.
- There is no “right” way to walk a labyrinth. The tradition is to walk the path to the center while meditating and praying, stay there a while and then walk out again. The walker cannot get “lost” in the labyrinth.
- If, at any time, you need to leave the pattern, you simply walk across the pattern and out.
- The challenge in walking a labyrinth is to let go of trying to see ahead and simply follow the path. It is a process of letting go—an element of most forms of meditation. When we relinquish control, we often feel open to new insights or new answers to questions.
- We walk the labyrinth together, giving space to the person in front and behind. If someone is walking very slowly, it is OK to pass. Once people reach the center, they may stay as long as they wish, depending on how many people the center can hold at one time.
- People leaving the center are likely to encounter people still walking in. Whoever has more room to sidestep without impeding someone else in an adjacent path does so.
- A group meditation of this sort can feel crowded to the person who is accustomed to having a labyrinth to him or herself. But if everyone moves slowly and goes with the flow, the presence of the group can be a powerful experience.
- We walk the labyrinth without shoes unless we need shoes for orthopedic reasons. Clean socks are here for you in the basket. We also have mantillas or prayer shawls if you’d like to use them on your path.
- We gather at the end of the walk for refreshments and reflections.
- And one final reminder…So you can know there is no ‘wrong’ way to walk the path— There is another answer to the question: Is there a way to walk the labyrinth? The is answer yes and no:
- You can walk slowly or quickly; you can dance and even sing on your way.
- The main ingredient is the intention with which you move through these mysterious curves.
- You can go to the empty center and get something you feel you do not yet have, or you can leave something in the center that you no longer need.
- You can walk to release blocks, to pray, to answer a question, to see what comes up, to set an intention, to forgive, to meditate, to share, to celebrate, to renew creativity, to reduce stress and to listen for guidance…only to name a few. You can simply walk in wonder…. You can simply walk in awe…. Or you can wonder as you walk.
- May your pilgrimage to the center grace you with a deeper experience of your purpose, your fullness and rootedness, and your own essential nature. Enjoy.