This morning I spent an hour at my favorite local labyrinth. This is an outdoor maze made from bricks and stones, the design of which is full of complex curves and turns eventually leading the walker right into the middle. The experience of walking a labyrinth is different for each person. When I walk one, I like to set an intention at the beginning of the walk/maze. Usually I consider what I would like to release and what I would like to receive. This morning however, I just showed up open and empty and let the walk guide me out of my mind. Walking a labyrinth is really a moving meditation. It’s an opportunity to notice one’s surroundings, turn inward, connect with the earth, drop into presence with the body, and be gentle with oneself.
This particular labyrinth holds many memories for me. Ten years ago I was introduced to this labyrinth by a dear friend as she guided our small group of women in a Priestess Process journey. As Priestesses in training, we were introduced to a variety of ways to express our gifts and tune in to our spiritual connections. We gathered at the labyrinth, cleared our energy by burning sage, set our intentions, and then set off at different paces. Once reaching the center of the labyrinth, we would individually pause, reflect, listen, pray, and receive. When we felt guided outward, we continued our journey back to the beginning using the same winding, curving path we had taken on the way in. After we completed the walk, we sat in meditation and then journaled and shared our experiences with one another.
As I walked the labyrinth this morning, I was reminded of my Priestess experience. I also remembered gathering there years ago for birthdays of special women friends. I remembered my sister and I walking it together as we honored our emergence as High Priestesses. Memories flooded in as I recalled taking my children to this labyrinth several times and teaching them the magic of following a maze and meandering along the path. My children loved it. I remembered my daughter at age 6 pausing in the middle of the labyrinth with a serious and intense look on her face for many minutes. Her eyes were closed and I could tell she was concentrating. I wished I could read her mind. On the car ride home she said, “Mommy, do you know what I did in the center of the maze? I talked to God and asked God to help the scientists find a cure for diabetes so Alex can get better”. Her older brother had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes that year and it had taken our family on quite a roller coaster as we navigated these new medical needs.
This morning on my labyrinth walk, I could feel the strong presence of my best friend Jennifer who transitioned 7 months ago. The last time I was at this labyrinth, we walked it together. I heard her guiding me with loving presence and compassionate words. She reminded me to be gentle with myself and others. I also felt the presence of my dear Aunt Georgia who transitioned 6 months ago. Her presence was felt in the breeze around me and the warmth of the sun on my face. So, you see, walking a labyrinth can be a powerful experience.
I encourage you to find one in your area and give it a try. It is a wonderful opportunity to connect more deeply to yourself and the earth. Who knows what else you will find within?