Walk, Turn, Walk, Turn, Walk, Turn, Walk, Turn…
The labyrinth is the symbol of unity and wholeness. The labyrinth creates moments of connection to oneself, to another, and to creation as a whole. This walking activity connects us to the greater community of things.
Honestly, there is no one way to take a labyrinth walk. I always encourage people to navigate a labyrinth whichever ways work best for them and their belief system.
Taking a labyrinth walk is a revival of an ancient spiritual custom.
The labyrinth, a winding one-way path that leads walkers into and back of a central space, offers a kind of body meditation which parallels the inner journey of prayer and reflection. You may want to have a journal or paper and pen along with you to write down the insights which might come.
Labyrinth Walking: Taking the First Steps
Begin your journey. Pause at the entrance to the labyrinth to take a cleansing breath and focus your attention. You may ask a question, say a prayer, or recite an affirmation. Some people choose to bow or make another ritual gesture to signal the beginning of their walk.
Walk the inward path. Put one foot in front of the other, and walk at a measured pace that is comfortable for you. On the way in, focus on letting go of things you want to leave behind and releasing things that stand in the way of your spiritual journey. Pause when you need to. Don’t focus on the center as a goal; be present in each step of the inward path.
Spend time in the center. Take as long as you wish. You may stand, sit, kneel or lie down. This part of the journey is about being present and still.
Take the return path. When you are ready to leave the center, begin walking back the way you came. On this part of the journey, focus on what you will bring out from the center and back into your life. As before, pause when you need to. Resist the temptation to sprint to the finish line: the return journey is as important as every other part of the labyrinth.
Reflect on the journey. Pause before you leave the labyrinth. Before leaving the area, take some time to reflect on insights you’ve gained, or make notes in your journal to explore further later. Labyrinth walking is very calming to young children. Just have them walk, one foot in front of the other all the way through and back again.
Is this something you and your family would like to experience? Finding a nearby labyrinth is very easily done by searching The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator.
You can also learn more about labyrinths on my creative site, ValarieBudayr.com and I also have a fun finger labyrinth activity that kids and adults will love.
One More Thing:
Fans of Spiritual Travel…where will your gypsy soul take you this year?
Author Evans Bowen raises the vibrations and shifts the restless souls’ perspectives that are unable to travel due to our increasingly fragmented world. In Pilgrimage: A Modern Seeker’s Guide, Bowen recounts her 40-day trek on one of the world’s most sacred paths, Camino de Santiago (known in English as the Way of St. James) in 2014.
Written to be a guide on how to live life, Bowen also encourages transformative travelers to savor every moment and not let the constraint of miles and money hold them back from their pilgrimages. Bowen delivers a wisdom-filled book that will help others find the secret space where they can step out of ordinary life and into an extraordinary one.
A tradition of all religions, a Pilgrimage is a journey to sacred sites as an act of devotion and dedication. Still, Bowen shares with readers that it is time to expand that definition to encompass modern life. Taking time to visit a place near home or around the globe, to open the mind and heart to the Divine, brings healing and new meaning to life. Pilgrimage is both an external journey to a place longed for and an internal journey to the center of our most authentic self.
It is an epidemic of our time to come to the end of our days and realize we’ve never taken the time to let the simplest of pleasures nourish our souls, or even be aware of what those pleasures are. Evans offers pragmatic advice for heightening sensory awareness, finding presence, connecting with nature, breath, movement, mindfulness all in the context of a well-told story of a 40-day pilgrimage.~Amazon review
A lovely and inspirational book that beckons travelers to realize that a pilgrimage can be made with friends and doesn’t have to be in faraway lands.~Mia W