Labyrinths: A Guide
BY Rebecca Valette
Walking the Meditation Labyrinth
- Stand still for a moment at the opening of the labyrinth and take a deep breath. If you wish, say a brief prayer or invocation. Then, as you begin walking the labyrinth, focus on the path and stay centered in your body.
- When you get to the center of the labyrinth, stay there for a while. Notice any sensations in your body, or if there are any changes in your awareness of self, time, or surroundings.
- Take time to spend a few moments in each of the "petals" of the rosette. You may find this "flower" offers the perfect space for prayer.
- The center marks the halfway point of your walk. To return follow the same path out to the entry point. Pause a moment at the end to bring closure to your meditation.
- The labyrinth is a single path (or unicursal) labyrinth — there is only one path in, and the same path out. This means that you may meet people coming in the other direction.
- It is perfectly all right to pass someone, if you wish to go at a different pace. Step into the next path as you pass, and then return to the path you were on.
- If it is not too cold, you can walk the labyrinth barefoot. You can even run or dance along the path. Enjoy the contact with the ground.
- Sing or hum to yourself as you travel the labyrinth. Or repeat a prayer. Or simply smile and enjoy the fresh air.
- If you are with a group, you may want to hold hands and move together in a great spiraling dance. Or you can all walk meditatively in a single file.
- At a quiet time, you may wish to do a Zen meditation walk. Place each foot directly in front of the other, move slowly, take one step with each breath and focus on your feet.
Five Paths through the Labyrinth
There are many approaches to the walk. Begin by quieting the mind and then follow the path that is right for you.
- The Path of Silence:
Empty your mind of the hubbub and commotion of the outer world. Open your heart to the silence of the walk.
- The Path of Image:
Follow the images or dreams that arise in your imagination.
- The Path of Memory:
Walk the sacred path in the memory of a friend or family member who has passed away.
- The Path of Prayer:
Recite a prayer, a Bible verse, or a line of poetry.
- The Path of Questioning:
Concentrate on a question. Don't expect an answer. Simply be content to explore the possibilities.