Walk the Labyrinth
Listed Under: Vicars Blog
Walk the Labyrinth
“A labyrinth is a single path or “unicursal” tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity. The Classical Seven Circuit Labyrinth as in this example shows that you enter a labyrinth through the mouth and then walk on the paths or circuits. The walls keep you on the path. The goal is in the centre of the labyrinth. When you reach it, you have gone half the distance – you now need to turn around and walk back out.”
Based on the The Labyrinth Society website
The first evidence of Christian adoption of the labyrinth comes from the basilica at Al-Asnam, Algeria, dated to 324AD. Perhaps the most famous example was built into the nave in Chartres Cathedral in the 13th century.
Labyrinths were walked by Christians in such settings to celebrate the Easter journey from death to resurrection. They could symbolise the pilgrim’s journey and offer a focus for prayerful reflection upon the
travelling to and the returning home from a place of pilgrimage.
Based on the Westminster College, Cambridge website
Labyrinth: The Walking Prayer
Life can be described as a pilgrimage or journey with God, a journey in which we can grow closer in relationship with God, and in turn, closer to others.
In life, as in the labyrinth, we don’t know where the path will take us. We don’t foresee the twists and turns that the future holds, but we know that the path will eventually arrive at the centre, God. Sometimes the path leads inward toward the ultimate goal, only to lead outward again.
We meet others along the path—some we meet face-to-face stepping aside to let them pass; some catch up to us and pass us from behind; others we pass along the way. At the centre we rest, watch others, pray. Sometimes we stay at the centre a long time; other times we leave quickly.
4 Ways to use the labyrinth:
1. Pray for yourself on the way in, stop to remember God’s love in the centre, and pray for others on the way out (or vice versa).
2. Pray the Lord’s Prayer or a favourite prayer or verse as you walk.
3. As you move toward the centre of the labyrinth, focus on letting go of distractions or worries that keep you from God. In the centre, spend time reflecting on your relationship with God. Be aware of God’s presence. Then, as you leave spend time giving thanks and praising God for all that he has done.
4. As you move toward the centre of the labyrinth, focus on letting go of distractions or worries that keep you from God. In the centre, spend time reflecting on God's love for you. God is with you. When it's time move out into the world again walk with Christ back into the places of ordinary life.
Adapted from Soul Shaper by Tony Jones.
What's in the centre?
Look into the centre. You will see someone that God loves for ever and unconditionally. Do you recognize them? Give thanks for that person and rest for a while in the knowledge that God is not only the goal of our journey, not only our Companion on the road, but God is also the Way, the road, itself! “Underneath” the universe are God's everlasting arms! We walk from God, to God, in God and with God within. Rest in that truth, and carry that truth away with you. So walking back out is important too!
You are Forgiven, Loved and Free!
Adapted for use within the Old Hills Parishes with Kind Permission of the Reverend Wyn Beynon