Whoever you are, walking
the labyrinth has something to offer. If a project is challenging
you, walking can get your creative juices flowing. When struggling
with grief or anger, or a physical challenge or illness, walking the
labyrinth can point the way to healing and wholeness. If you're
looking for a way to meditate or pray that engages your body as well
as your soul, the labyrinth provides such a path. When you just want
reflective time away from a busy life, the labyrinth can offer you
time out. The labyrinth holds up a mirror, reflecting back to us not
only the light of our finest selves, but also whatever restrains us
from shining forth.
-Melissa Gayle West,
Exploring the Labyrinth
What is a Labyrinth?
What is a labyrinth? It is
a path of prayer, a walking meditation that can become a mirror of
the soul. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is designed for you to
lose your way; a labyrinth is designed for you to find your way.
-Reverend Dr. Lauren
The labyrinth is found in
almost every religious tradition around the world. The labyrinth has
only one path; there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. The path
winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives.
It touches our sorrows and releases our joys.
The Chartres, 11-circuit
Labyrinth was constructed around 1201 AD in the stone floor of
Chartres Cathedral in Frances. Medieval Christians visited Chartres
(and other cathedrals) and walked labyrinths as an alternative to
taking a hazardous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk in the "foot
steps of Christ." Modern "pilgrims" walk the labyrinth to enhance
prayer, contemplation, meditation and/or personal growth. Labyrinths
are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, find
balance, and encourage meditation, insight and celebration. They are
open to all people
cross-cultural tool of well-being. They can be found in medical
centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, memorial parks and
retreat centers as well as in people's backyards.
Walking a Labyrinth
are three stages of the walk:
- Releasing - A
releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is the act
of shedding thoughts and distractions. A time to open the heart and
quiet the mind.
- Receiving - When
you reach the center, stay there as long as you like. It is a place
of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
- Returning - As you
leave, following the same path out of the center as you came in, you
enter the third stage, which is joining God at work in your world.
Each time you walk the
labyrinth you become empowered to find and do the work you feel your
soul reaching for.
Guidelines for the walk:
Quiet your mind and become aware of your breath.
There is no right way or
wrong way to walk a labyrinth, simply follow the path.
Allow yourself to find your
own natural pace, the pace your body wants to go.
The path is two ways. Those
going in will meet those coming out. You may
"pass" people or let others
step around you. Do what feels natural. Walk it with an open mind
and an open heart. Let go of any expectations you may have.
Whatever experience you
have is the right one for you.
ways to walk the labyrinth:
- where you address a specific intention, issue or concern as you
- offer prayer for people or needs.
- Repeat a specific word or passage, or pray repetitively, such as
the "Lord have mercy" or "Let there be peace on earth."
Walking a Sacred Path;
Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
by Reverend Dr. Lauren
Exploring the Labyrinth;
A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth
by Melissa Gayle West
Labyrinths; a brief
history of labyrinths and their modern usage
by John Ridder
Cecilia's Labyrinth is located directly behind the convent at
3802 Main Street in Warrensburg. It is open to the public. All
are welcome. Click here to
see the labyrith.