We are pleased to offer an 11-circuit labyrinth patterned after the famous Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in France. It is located on the church grounds between the Garden Chapel and 67th Avenue to the south of the entrance drive. There is no charge for using the labyrinth and it is always open and available to the public.
What is a Labyrinth and How do I walk it?
The labyrinth is a path to the center of the soul. While the path is the same for all who walk it, we carry a variety of religious and cultural traditions, so our experiences are highly personal and individual. As a tool for meditation, an experience for prayer, a trigger for growth, an opportunity for new questions, the labyrinth should be approached with reverence and respect for the journey toward the center.
Since ancient times, spiritual pilgrims have walked paths seeking enlightenment. The labyrinth is one such path. It has been revered for its mysterious healing abilities and used as a meditation and prayer tool.
A Spiritual Metaphor
The labyrinth can be viewed as a metaphor for one’s life journey. The single path, laid out in a circular fashion, does not proceed in a straightforward manner. Rather, it winds back and forth on itself, appearing to draw close to the center and then moving farther away from the goal. The journey through the labyrinth is a metaphor of wandering, trusting that we are moving toward the good in our life journey.
Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path in and one path out, with no dead-ends, no way to get lost. The journey toward the center is clearly marked so the seeker can be confident in encountering silence, peace and illumination. Through walking spirals, we return to what seem like places we have already seen, but the path of the labyrinth provides a discipline with safe boundaries to help us make our way to the center.
The Practice of Walking
Each person walks the labyrinth in his or her own fashion. Some walk the labyrinth slowly, carefully. Others walk as a contemplative and joyful pilgrimage. Others tread fearfully as a penitence for sin. Still others use the walk to give thanks and praise, while asking God’s help for themselves and for others. Regardless of the method you choose, a prayerful and meditative walk through a labyrinth can deepen your spirituality and allow you to better focus on your relationship with God. Walking a labyrinth is a liberating exercise that lifts us out of our linear, left-brain thought processes by joyfully invoking our intuitive, creative right brain.
Walking the Labyrinth
As you begin, PAUSE at the entry into the labyrinth. Allow what comes naturally to guide you. You may wish to start your walk with a prayer, or some scripture. Spend a few minutes in transition from the outside world to the inner world, where all things are possible through God’s love. Allow yourself that connection with God that we seem to forget in our hectic day-to-day lives.
BE YOURSELF on the path. You need not hurry nor plod along. Walk naturally. As you walk, take time to reflect on the world around you.
REMEMBER you are not alone, so be considerate of others. You will meet people coming in, going out, facing you and joining you in the middle. Be respectful on this journey. You may nod or embrace others, but take your cue from them. Most of all, be aware that God is always with you. God has never left your side. On this journey or on any journey you will make.
DON’T EXPECT anything to happen. The experience may have immediate impact on you, or it may seem remote. Spiritual practices are disciplines; rewards follow preparation, repetition and reflection. There are no promises or revelation.
FINALLY, there is no wrong way to walk a labyrinth, no ways to get lost, no ways to make a mistake. Feel free to walk the labyrinth your way, open to God’s Spirit.