The Healing Labyrinth:

The Labyrinth is a sacred space and can be used as a walking meditation or a form of prayer. It is a tool that enables us, to be still, to focus within.  Walking the  Labyrinth often leads to a spiritual transformation.

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness, combining the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. It represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.

Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. They have been found in ancient Crete, Egypt, England, India and the American Southwest; they have been inscribed on Neolithic tombs. They are a call to the center, a SACRED SPACE where the eternal beloved waits to be encountered. The labyrinth has always been associated with unity with God and conversation with the divine, with spirituality, worship, and the sacred mystery.

Entering the serpentine path of a labyrinth, you walk slowly while quieting your mind and focusing inward.

The healing labyrinth at the Light Center is in the Classical 7 circuit design. It is configured in seven concentric circles in line with the Seven Steps to Effective Prayer, seven chakras, and sacred geometry.

How to walk a Labyrinth

There is no set ritual for walking a labyrinth

Each person’s journey into the labyrinth is unique, although the labyrinth has a single pathway to the center. We all travel on the same pathway, but each person goes at a different speed, travelling in a different way. Rather like life, the path twists and turns, in and out, and you never know how close to the centre you are.

The basic advice is to enter the labyrinth slowly, calming and clearing your mind. This may be done by repeating a prayer or mantra or chant.

Walk slowly.  Walk deliberately.

Focus on each step, without thinking about anything but the current step, and then the next step.
You might sense that the journey forward is the journey inward, the journey to the interior, the journey to the Light within, the journey to the Divine Within.  

Remain in a calm and serene state of mind as you take each slow step.  Going deeper and deeper within, closer and closer to the Center, into your own Heart.

Reaching the center, pause to reflect, pray, meditate.   Sense the presence of the Divine, the connection to the all nature, to all creation, to the Universe.

Now slowly begin the return journey. Pray or reflect further as your journey outward, carrying the centeredness and inner peace with you and you travel outward, step by step by step.   The journey back from the center depicts bringing back the blessing and insight from the other realm to share with your community.

Upon exiting, absorb the experience with continued reflection, prayer, or meditation.   

Carry the memory and image of the labyrinth with you as you leave and return home; knowing that at anytime, in times of stress, our brokenness, or tiredness, you can return mentally to the Labyrinth and feel it’s healing energy.

Experiences to Expect

Slow and Deliberate

Walking a labyrinth in this way can be surprisingly calming and clarifying for your thoughts. Even if you don’t have a spiritual side, the slow, intentional walking in a quiet place on a set path allows for a level of focus that can be difficult to find in a busy life.

Credits

THE LIGHT CENTER LABYRINTH

Labyrinth Consultant and Designer – Horticulturist, Chip Hope, designed the healing labyrinth at the Light Center. Chip is an instructor of the Horticulture Program at Blue Ridge Community College in Flat Rock, N.C. He holds an MS degree in Plant and Environmental Science from Clemson University and has studied under Eileen Caddy at Findhorn.

Labyrinth Design – April 9, 2006 – Chip Hope, Marilyn Graham, Bill Westell, Charlotte Kurtz, Jennifer Spence, Barbara Halstead, and Darce Blakely

Labyrinth Builders – August 19, 2006 – Chip Hope, Stewart Huffman, Gretchen Vorbeck, Barbara Halstead, Arline Boyce, Lorna Loveless, Charlotte Kurtz, Johnie Black, Kathy Skerl, Christy Dickson, Lance Grunge, Mark Skenes, Timothy Beler, Keith Gebert, and Debbie Pickard

Member:  Labyrinth Society

Going Deeper

The labyrinth is an archetype of transformation. Its transcendent nature knows no boundaries, crossing time and cultures with ease. Labyrinths effectively address the area ignored by the scientific community, namely, inner healing.

In this way, the labyrinth symbolizes a journey to a predetermined destination (such as a pilgrimage to a holy site), or the journey through life from birth to spiritual awakening to death.

A labyrinth is not a maze. It has only one path to the center and back out.   It has no blind alleys or dead ends as mazes have. The path twists and turns back on itself many times before reaching the center. Once at the center, there is only one way back out.

The labyrinth serves as a bridge from the mundane to the divine and provides opportunities for each of us to:

Experience a prayer walk – the path to healing
Relax and feel at peace
Pray for the planet Heal relationships
Express thanksgiving to God

History of Labyrinths

Labyrinth walking in an ancient practice used by many different faiths for spiritual centering, contemplation, and prayer.    The term is of ancient Greek origin and the labyrinth in the palace of Knossos in Crete dates to over 4000 years ago and is   among the earliest  mazes for which we have an historical record.

Native Americans used the labyrinth as a symbol that represents birth, rebirth and/or transition from one world to the next.  Specifically, as a Hopi symbol,  labyrinths are depicted with a cross near the center which represents the four cardinal directions and their attributes.  The spirals encircling this compass are symbolic of the waves or cycles of creation all of life experiences.

Remains of ancient labyrinths are found throughout the globe.   Images and artwork depicting labyrinths from early times are also found.

Present-day Labyrinths are found in many Gothic cathedrals throughout Europe. 

In Christian usage, a labyrinth was constructed in stone in the floor of Chartres cathedral near Paris, around the year 1200 A.D.     The Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral, measures forty-two feet in diameter and was built between.  13th century churchmen instructed builders of Chartres, that numbers and symbols were to be used in its design.  The significance of which is drawn from Ancient Greek thoughts; Plato and St.Augustine reflections on the divine order of creation.    The path is laid out in eleven concentric circles intricately woven into a sacred geometric pattern.  It is then surrounded by twenty-eight semi-circular lunations per quadrant.

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