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What is a Labyrinth

There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, and an archetypal blueprint where psyche meets Spirit. a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.

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.

The ancient seven-circuit labyrinth (so called because the path creates seven concentric rings around the center) is rich with symbolism. It draws on the mystical quality of the 7, a number of transformation and vision. In medieval times, the seven circuits were seen to correspond to the seven visible planets, and a walk in the labyrinth was a cosmic journey through the heavens. The seven circuits can also be seen to represent the days of the week, the chakras, colors, or musical tones.

Some research suggests that the geometric shape [of a labyrinth] produces an energy field that can heal ailments of the body and calm the mind. It balances thoughts with the presence of the body to the point where one stops thinking and the intuition of knowingness takes over

The whole of labyrinth design is rich with symbolism and inherent meaning.  The center is circular - an archetypal pattern symbolizing unity and wholeness. . Walking the path as it alternately progresses and turns back upon itself can balance our energy system and the left and right hemispheres of our brain, returning equilibrium to the body, mind and spirit.

There are also energetic forces present simply in the act of walking the path toward and back out from the center.  Both centripetal and centrifugal energies are activated in the course of a labyrinth walk.  Centripetal energy acts to assist the walker in drawing inward toward the center of an issue they wish to unfold.  And centrifugal energy assists the walker in separating out all aspects of the issue which are not relevant, crystallizing the solution and emergent consciousness into action.

What are the Benefits of Walking the Labyrinth

Walking the Labyrinth quiets the mind, opens the heart and grounds the body ... Some find answers to questions long asked, some find healing, creativity, a sense of wholeness ... What will you find on your labyrinth journey?

Labyrinth proponents claim walking a labyrinth can lead to deeper relationships, a stronger sense of community, a feeling of being on a spiritual journey, a sense of inner reflection and connection to sources of guidance, a sense of living in the present, greater creativity, and stress reduction

How to Walk the Labyrinth

  • 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.

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

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The Journey of Creating the Dragonfly Labyrinth