Labyrinths have been known to the human race for over four thousand years. They have been found on ceramic vessels, coins and in buildings. They were found in several Gothic cathedrals through Europe where, during the Middle Ages, Christians would use them to replicate the pilgrimage to Jerusalem which could not be taken because of the Crusades.
Walking a labyrinth is considered to be a walking meditation to allow deeper reflection on life and relationship with the Divine. It can be considered a metaphor for the journey in life and can be seen as a sacred space for creating order and healing in times of stress.
Relax. Clear your mind and become aware of your breathing. Give yourself permission to be as you are as you walk and accept others as they are. We are all on the same path but at different turning points.
Remove your shoes.
Walk around the edge of the labyrinth on the points (the lunations).
As you walk, you may pass people or let others step around you. You may rest on the points during your walk. There are no dead ends and no tricks in walking a labyrinth. It is your path.
The Journey In
Wait if someone has just begun their walk.
Focus on the pathway.
Listen to your body.
Listen to your inner voice.
This is the shedding, releasing, letting go of the details of your life.
Time at the Center
Rest a few moments. Sit if you wish.
Reflect on the walk in and open your body, mind, heart and soul to God.
This is the time for Illumination, Meditation, Prayer. Receive what you are meant to receive.
The Journey Out
Consider your thoughts and feelings. This is the time for union with God.
Walk around the edge again.
Time at the End
Take a quiet moment to reflect on the whole experience.
Write or share your thoughts.
Please join us at St. John's Cathedral, Jacksonville on Maundy Thursday at 4 pm in Taliaferro Hall for a guided labyrinth walk. It is a fitting way to pause in this frenetic week and remember the Way of the Cross.