The Sacred Labyrinth Walk is the ancient practice of Circling to the Center by walking the labyrinth. The rediscovery of this self-alignment tool to put our lives in perspective is one of the most important spiritual movements of our day. Labyrinths have been in use for over 4,000 years. Their basic design is fundamental to nature and many cultures and religious traditions. Whatever one’s religion, walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight. It calms people in the throes of life’s transitions. To walk the labyrinth is to become a pilgrim, to leave our place of familiarity, to take a risk to enter a new land.
People, formal cultures, and traditions have used the spiral and labyrinth designs as a symbol of their search for meaning and guidance. The labyrinth is a unicursal or one path design. There are no tricks or decisions to be made, much as the surrender to walking a sacred spiritual path in life: our only decision is to choose spirit/God and surrender to divine guidance. The labyrinth is non-denominational. People of all faiths and people longing to re-connect to faith come to walk labyrinths. “I found peace and a sense of God’s presence that I had not experienced since childhood,” responds a labyrinth walker.
Our labyrinth is a replica of the Chartres design labyrinth laid into the cathedral floor at Chartres, France in the thirteenth century. The Chartres design is a classical eleven-circuit labyrinth (eleven concentric circles) with the twelfth being in the center of the labyrinth.
One walks a labyrinth by stepping into the entrance and putting one foot in front of the other. After traveling through all the paths and windings, the walker comes into the center – the six – petal rosette. After praying there, the walker returns out to cover the same path out as in. Total travel time is approximately one half hour. The Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth is 42′ in diameter. Our labyrinth is 51’ in diameter.
There is no “right” or “wrong” way to walk a labyrinth. At the entrance, quiet the mind and open your heart. Labyrinth walks are sometimes referred to as body prayer or walking meditation.
At the entrance stop, reflect, say a prayer or make an intention for the spiritual walk you are about to take. The walk around the design to the center can be a “letting go” – a quieting of the thoughts, worries, lists of tasks to do, a letting go unto the experience of being present in the body. Arrival at the center rosette is a place of prayer/meditation – “letting in” Gods guidance, and the Divine into our lives. After praying, the walk out, or “letting out” takes us back into our lives, empowered by spirit to transform our lives and actions.
In many ways, the labyrinth is a call to action, a transformational spiritual tool. It can aid in healing, help release grief, help guide you through troubled times, aid in decision making, illuminate our purpose in life, and act as a tool of celebration and gratitude. It is important to recognize walking the labyrinth as a spiritual practice, not a magical tool. Its work is our commitment to enter into the sacred spiritual walk, not merely once, but to use it as part of an ongoing spiritual practice.
Click here to read the article in The Palm Beach Post about our labyrinth.