Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On Walking A Labyrinth

There are two basic principles:
  1. On the labyrinth, everything is metaphor.
  2. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth.


Walking the labyrinth is quite personal. There are many different reactions to a labyrinth walk—joy, contemplation, revelation, sadness, elation, etc. Be unselfconscious and give yourself permission to let your reaction be expressed as it chooses—crying, laughing, dancing, singing. There should be absolutely no judgement or embarrassment associated with a labyrinth experience. Don’t be surprised by your reaction. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. Trust Spirit.

With the labyrinth, everything is metaphor—sound, waiting, thoughts, smells, body feelings, witnessing others, etc. Let the experience be what it will be.

The labyrinth is a two-way path. The walk is interactive. Do what feel natural. Follow your own pace. If you lose your way, that’s OK. Think of it as metaphor. It is OK to pass and to be passed. You may want to stop, especially at the switch-back turns. When on the labyrinth, it is important to be considerate. In the center you may want to visit each of the pedals, you may sit or lie down, and can stay for as long as you wish. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth.

A labyrinth walk is often considered a three fold path. Walking the labyrinth is a time of release, quieting, emptying, shedding (Purgation). Standing in the center is a time of awakening, receiving, opening (Illumination). And the journey out is a time of return, integrating, strengthening (Union). It is the metaphoric path home. Again, on the labyrinth everything is metaphor.

Take your shoes off unless you need them for support or medical reasons. You may want to approach the labyrinth with a centering thought or a question. You can ring a bell, wave a scarf, listen to music, or do what ever during your walk. It is common to make a ritual bow before beginning. When finished, it is again common to acknowledge the labyrinth.

Processing your experience is mostly personal. Keeping silence for a time is one way to do this. Be with your experience, your feelings (especially how you feel in your body), and your thoughts. It may be hard to express your reaction or experience in words so process things internally and symbolically. If you can, you may want to draw or write in a journal.

5 comments:

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and ideas here. You are appreciated!

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