We wandered onto a farm in the Magaliesberg one Sunday whilst exploring the area. I had never seen a labyrinth before and was curious.
There were no signs or instructions – just a path which invited walking. As I walked back and forth and round following the path, I felt a sense of peace and calm.
I have been hooked ever since.
Now, whenever I come across a labyrinth, I will walk it.
What is a labyrinth?
It has a single circuitous path that winds its way into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return from the center and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally.
Last year, sometime, I said out loud: “I would love to have my own labyrinth”.
Now I do! Thank you to the man who makes my dreams come true.
Few things can more rewarding than to create a labyrinth and walk it afterwards. The love and care that go into the building – and in the walking – add to the transformative benefits of the labyrinth.
If you are ever lucky enough to come across a labyrinth on your travels, here’s what you can do:
Some ideas for walking a labyrinth
- A prayer walk: Churches around the world have built labyrinths as an aid to prayer. They are even used by people as a substitute for going on a pilgrimage. Take the time as you walk to connect to God, to converse with God, to thank God.
- A meditation walk: Choose a meaningful phrase/ word to repeat as you walk. When you reach the center, sit and appreciate your present moment. Walk out repeating a different phrase/word.
- A clearing of the mind walk: Count as you take each step, up to ten, then back down to 0ne, then up to ten again – over and over. If you find your mind wandering, let go and start counting again. When you reach the center, sit and appreciate your present moment. Walk out counting back and forth again.
- A grateful walk: As you walk in, think about everything for which you grateful. Sit in the center, experiencing your blessings. As you walk out, things about different ways you can give back.
- Solving an issue walk: As you walk into the center, reflect on your issue. How did it come about? What is your role in it? Who are the other role players? What attitudes/ thoughts are dominating your perspective on the issue? Sit quietly in the center, asking for wisdom and courage to deal with the issue. As you walk out again, brainstorm all the possible solutions – come up with as many as possible. Sleep on it, then make a decision as to what action you will take to shift the issue.
There are many other ways of walking a labyrinth. Be creative. Be open to possibilities. Experiment.
As I looked over our recently completed labyrinth, I tried another walk: As I walked in I remembered all the special times we’ve had with our friends – weekends away, BIG birthday celebrations, dinners, experiences, sharing of sad times, supporting each other.
Sitting in the middle I let the gratitude I felt for special people in my life wash over me.
As I walked out, I thought of each individual person and asked that they be given whatever I thought the needed in this moment.
Have you ever walked on a labyrinth?
Leave a comment and tell us about it….
Now, you may be thinking, “That’s all very well but I don’t have access to a labyrinth”
Do any of the walks in your mind by writing in a journal.
Go for a walk if it is safe to do so.Do one of these exercises as you walk.
Also – look out for a finger labyrinth. You can buy them at spiritual or religious shops. Sit with it on your lap, and do any of the exercises as you slowly run your finger around the path.
There is always a way…