Labyrinths to visit around the World
The labyrinth is different from a maze, though the two are often confused. Labyrinths have one unbroken path with no forks or dead ends. It is not a puzzle but a journey symbolic of a pilgrimage.
The labyrinth is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools known to humankind, used for centuries for prayer, ritual, initiation and personal and spiritual growth. The elaborate winding paths originated in the stone floors of Cathedrals.
Since the destination is assured, there are no obstacles to overcome, no muddles to figure, no dead ends to retrace. What remains for the labyrinth walker is simply the deeply meditative and symbolic discipline of setting one foot in front of the other, of honoring the journey itself and what it has to teach. The mind can be stilled and attention paid to the body, the wisdom of the heart, and the graces of being rather than doing.*
The Finger Labyrinth
A finger labyrinth is simply a labyrinth printed on something small enough be traced with a finger. A link to the left will take you to a printer friendly page containing labrynth patterned after the walking labyrinth in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. It can be printed on any printer and "walked" almost any place and any time. View and print a finger labyrinth by clicking here.
The Labyrinth at Quiet Meadows
The Labyrinth at Quiet Meadows is cut into the lawn so that paths and borders differ in medium and low cut grass.
The design was based on the labyrinth of the Cathedral at Chartres in France. It can take between ten and twenty minutes to walk the labyrinth depending on your pace. Time however may seem to pass at an immeasurable pace as you make you journey.
Walking the Labyrinth
Your journey begins at the outside edge of the circle. The opening in the path faces the meadow trail that leads to the labyrinth. Stand at the path opening for a few moments in meditation, prayer and contemplation of your journey.
When you are ready to begin start following the path through its windings and turns to the center of the circle.
Most commonly a simple stride with arms slightly swinging at the shoulders and legs moving oppositely at the hips is used. However, you may also skip, dance, glide or move yourself along the path in whatever way you are moved to.
Once in the center of the labyrinth pause again for meditation before retracing the path back through the labyrinth, pausing once again to meditate and pray when you reach path's end at the edge of the circle.
Read more about labyrinths
Artress, Lauren. Walking
a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth
Fisher, Adrian, and
Howard Loxton. Secrets of the Maze. London:
The Labyrinth: Symbol of Fear, Rebirth, and Liber-
Lonegren, Sig. Labyrinths:
Ancient Myths and Modern Uses, 2nd ed.
Matthews, W. H. Mazes
and Labyrinths: Their History and Develop-
Puree, Jill. The Mystic
Spiral: Journey of the Soul. New York: Thames
West, Melissa Gayle. Exploring the Labyrinth. New York: Broadway Books, 2000.
© 2008 Quiet Meadows