My ChristCare group, Cultivating Mindfulness, has been experimenting with labyrinth prayer.
colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but
many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze
refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path
and direction; while a single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a
single, non-branching path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth in
this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not
designed to be difficult to navigate. (Wikipedia).
Writer Dan Johnston points out that “a labyrinth is a
right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, imagery.”
that word again....creativity! In the past, I considered the words
labyrinth and maze to be synonymous. It’s so interesting to me...being
mindful of the differences.
labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and
imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is
needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth
there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A
more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not
to walk a spiritual path.
only physical maze I have experienced is a corn maze. Every year, at
least one is available to try at a farm fall festival around here. Designed for young children, it’s just my speed. To be honest,
with my sense of direction, just driving around my own town can often feel like a
maze to me.
frustrate me. Michael and I are very different in that way. He loves a
Rubik’s cube and can spend hours with it, if need be. Usually he's figured it out quite quickly. Me? Within five
minutes I want to throw it out the window. I've never solved a Rubik's cube.
Mazes (and puzzles) are not my cup of tea. But I have wanted to have a labyrinth
experience for quite some time now. And tonight, I walk the labyrinth
for the first time in the company of these amazingly smart and
unflinchingly brave women.
week we prepared by meditating with a finger labyrinth. Click here to
download your own finger labyrinth and give it a try!
Please share any labyrinth experiences you have had in the comments section. I’d love to hear what you think about labyrinth meditation.
Here’s one last quote from Johnston:
With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center.
With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.
I have no idea what will happen tonight but I am excited to find out!