A labyrinth is a single winding path leading to a center. Unlike a maze there are no dead ends and it is not intended to trick you. Whoever you are, walking the labyrinth has something to offer. When struggling with grief, anger, a 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 your 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. (from Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth by Melissa Gayle West).
When we examine the pottery, tablets, and tiles of the Aztec, Hopi, Greek, Egyptian, and Norwegian cultures, we find that this ancient pattern or design goes back as much as 4,000 years. The pattern appeared in churches in medieval Europe, on the walls of caves, in North America, on coins on the Island of Crete and the shores of Scandinavia, and as doodles on the Greek clay tablet dated 1200 B.C.
Labyrinths are currently being created in places such as schools, medical centers, businesses, churches, parks, prisons, privates homes. Considered a spiritual tool, that are nondenominational, inter-generational, and cross cultural. Labyrinths can be used for stress reduction, spiritual reflection, healing, finding balance, problem solving, meditation, and prayer. In a fast-paced world, walking a labyrinth can help us find our center and bring us back to calmness. It can evoke feelings of wholeness and unity by helping to open the mind and quiet the soul.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to walk a labyrinth. The only choice a person must make is to enter the path. The same path is followed when entering and leaving, but each experience in a labyrinth is unique. It is a personal journey in which one is free to walk at his or her own pace to pause from time to time or to pass others along the way. If any guideline is given as a “rule” for walking, it would be a walk the labyrinth with an open mind and heart.
Today labyrinths are undergoing a revival of use and interest.. They offer a chance to take “time out” from our busy lives, to leave schedules and stress behind. Walking a labyrinth is a gift we give to ourselves, leading to discovery, insight, peacefulness, happiness, connectedness, and well-being.
Walk often by visiting local labyrinths. You can find more here: World-wide Labyrinth Locator