One of the daily rituals I’ve learned to love is walking in circles, using the seemingly confusing pattern of a labyrinth to let go of confusion and chaos and to seek silence and grace in the present moment.
Labyrinths are not new. In our global community labyrinths have been around for thousands of years. But over the span of time, the interest and use of labyrinths has ebbed and flowed, often in direct correlation with the level of chaos in the world. Periods of increased turmoil or strife have also been associated with times of increased use of labyrinths as places for people to escape or make sense of the world.
So why labyrinths and why now? If we consider the world we live in, it is crowded with chaos and clutter. There is a deep spiritual hunger for ways to calm down and find balance.
Labyrinths offer a safe container for whatever is important in our lives, be it burdens or sorrows, joys or celebrations, problems or simply a place to get away, to shed the noise and allow the quiet to open our hearts to the inner wisdom, that still, small, whisper of a voice that we can only hear if we take time to listen.
The graceful pattern of the labyrinth paths offer a predetermined space and time commitment. It is a single path, the only decision we need to make is whether or not to step in. Within the winding paths we can journey to the center of our deepest soul and return with new insight and self understanding.
The labyrinth may speak to us in symbols, images, memories or emotions, the language of our soul.
Labyrinths can also be used with a specific intention or purpose. I find the back and forth turning offers insight at clarity to problems or creative blocks. The gentle paths are also a wonderful place to carry concerns or release burdens, and walk out with a brighter outlook.
As a spiritual practice, labyrinth walking balances body, mind and spirit. A gift of grace to begin the day or a way to close the day with an expression of gratitude.
The Twin Cities is labyrinth rich, with over 100 public labyrinths, more public labyrinths than any other metropolitan area in the world. Why? Perhaps it is our creativity or our deep spiritual tradition. Whatever the reason, here you can find labyrinths in hospitals, churches, schools, city parks and even the Shakopee Women’s prison.
I hope you will take the opportunity to join me on the FSIM bus tour October 3rd and experience several of the many labyrinths available to our community.
Questions about this event? Contact Carolyn Vinup FSIM Meetings and Events Coordinator