Earlier this year I attended a Storytellers’ conference in the beautiful Baulkham Hills, just under an hour’s drive NW of Sydney. The conference centre had a large labyrinth outside.
We were encouraged to walk in it during our free time. I was keen to have a go, even though it would mean braving the cold. I bundled myself up in a green skivvy, my black woollen jumper, a purple scarf knitted for me by my mother, my navy blue fleece lined parka, and my bright blue Monash Uni beanie. I didn’t have my fluorescent pink ski gloves with me, so I kept my hands in my pockets. The experience of walking round and around in the labyrinth was a peaceful experience that took about 20 minutes. I walked back inside, savouring the warmth of the heated conference centre. As I walked past the reception desk, an information sheet about labyrinths caught my eye. I picked it up and started reading it. The following quote resonated with me:
‘Your life is a sacred journey. It is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul,learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition,taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path…exactly where you are meant to be right now….And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing, of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love’. Caroline Adams.
I read further:
‘We are all on the path… exactly where we need to be. The labyrinth is a model of that path.
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within.”
Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.
A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.
A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.
At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are’.
For more information about types of labyrinths, go to http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm
May we all be blessed with the strength, courage and resilience we need to overcome the challenges, struggles and obstacles of our life’s journey.