Walking the Labyrinth May 2010


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What is a Labyrinth? How do I walk a Labyrinth?

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Walking the Labyrinth May 2010

  1. 2. <ul><li>&quot;Your life is a sacred journey. And it is about change, growth, discovery, movement, transformation, continuously expanding your vision of what is possible, stretching your soul, learning to see clearly and deeply, listening to your intuition, taking courageous challenges at every step along the way. You are on the path... exactly where you are meant to be right now... And from here, you can only go forward, shaping your life story into a magnificent tale of triumph, of healing of courage, of beauty, of wisdom, of power, of dignity, and of love.&quot;  Caroline Adams </li></ul>
  2. 3. <ul><li>ancient symbol that relates to wholeness </li></ul><ul><li>an archetype with which we can have a direct experience </li></ul><ul><li>a metaphor for life's journey </li></ul><ul><li>is not a maze </li></ul><ul><li>has only one path </li></ul><ul><li>is a right brain task </li></ul><ul><li>is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are. </li></ul><ul><li>It is a walking meditation </li></ul>
  3. 4. <ul><li>The Labyrinth is a tool for self-growth and personal discovery </li></ul><ul><li>In the Middle ages it was seen symbolically to represent the journey to the Holy Land. </li></ul><ul><li>Today many see it as a spiritual tool -- a metaphor for life and/or agent for global peace </li></ul><ul><li>Christians have always had a lively appreciation for the “path”, both as concrete reality and rich, suggestive metaphor </li></ul><ul><li>The Center the Ursuline Center Labyrinth faces east where the sun rises, representing new beginnings and inspiration </li></ul>
  4. 5. This is the classical or seventh circuit labyrinth. Seven circuits refers the seven paths that lead to the center or goal. This is an ancient design and is found in most cultures It is sometimes dated back more than 4000 years The classical labyrinth has an association with Christianity. A cross is the starting point used to construct this labyrinth. The cross at the center can become the focus for meditation and the experience of the labyrinth. The classical labyrinth design is found in many churches in Europe.
  5. 6. The Middle Ages This was an eleven-circuit design divided into four quadrants. It was often found in Gothic Cathedrals The most famous of these remaining labyrinths is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200 and is laid into the floor it could be walked as a pilgrimage and/or for repentance At the center is a rosette design which has a rich symbolic value including that of enlightenment. The four arms of the cross are readily visible and provide significant Christian symbolism
  6. 7. <ul><li>1 . Releasing </li></ul><ul><li>2. Receiving </li></ul><ul><li>3. Integrating </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Palms Up, Palms Down&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>These three stages can be symbolized with a &quot;palms down, palms up&quot; approach to walking the labyrinth. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;Palms down&quot; symbolizes release or letting go while &quot;palms up&quot; indicates receiving. </li></ul><ul><li>Enter the labyrinth and walk to the center with palms down and center your thoughts on releasing conflictual issues and concerns in your life. </li></ul><ul><li>When you reach the center turn your palms up to be receptive to insight. </li></ul><ul><li>As you walk out of the labyrinth keep your palms up to receive strength and guidance to make your insight manifest. </li></ul><ul><li>As you leave the labyrinth turn to face the center and bring you palms together for a prayerful end to your walk. </li></ul>
  7. 8. <ul><li>There is no right way to walk a labyrinth. </li></ul><ul><li>You only have to enter and follow the path. However, your walk can encompass a variety of attitudes. It may be joyous or somber. It might be thoughtful or prayerful. You may use it as a walking meditation. </li></ul><ul><li>Adults are often serious in the labyrinth. Children most often run in and out as fast as they can in a playful manner. </li></ul><ul><li>When you walk a labyrinth choose your attitude. From time to time choose a different attitude. Make it  serious, prayerful, or playful. Play music or sing. Pray out loud. Walk alone and with a crowd. Notice the sky. Listen to the sounds. Most of all pay attention to your experience </li></ul>
  8. 9. <ul><li>1. Focus : Pause and wait at the entrance. Become quiet and centered. Give acknowledgment through a bow, nod, or other gesture and then enter. </li></ul><ul><li>2. Experience : Walk purposefully. Observe the process. When you reach the center, stay there and focus several moments. Leave when it seems appropriate. Be attentive on the way out. </li></ul><ul><li>3. Exit : Turn and face the entrance. Give an acknowledgement of ending, such as &quot;Amen.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>4. Reflect : After walking the labyrinth reflect back on your experience. Use journaling or drawing to capture your experience </li></ul><ul><li>5. Walk often </li></ul>
  9. 10. <ul><li>The Ursuline Sisters had hoped to build a labyrinth on the Motherhouse grounds for many years </li></ul><ul><li>In 2009 Ursuline Center Board Member Jack Donadee put his engineering degree, artistic eye and the expertise of his employees at DOT Construction Corp., Canfield, to work—and the hope became a reality </li></ul><ul><li>The design is based on the eleven circuit design found in Chartres Cathedral, with some adjustments to make it both wheelchair accessible and nestle into the site just west of the Ursuline Center </li></ul><ul><li>This Labyrinth, dedicated Nov.1, 2009, is designed to give the walker the sense of leaving the world with all its clutter for a while and going into someplace clear—a place where we can focus on what is important and put answers to questions </li></ul>
  10. 11. <ul><li>“ I walked on the labyrinth today...in the sunshine and the wind.  When I got to the center, I sat down ... enjoying the birds hopping in the bushes...and the winter sun warming my back.  It's almost impossible to walk on the labyrinth without thinking about God...about life's journey...about being thankful” </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Take this bright and shiny year, Lord, and fill it with your love.  Give us the courage to be creative. Let the child in us always be ready to come out and play. Sprinkle ideas that are fresh and energetic into our minds and hearts and let them spill out into kind words...written and spoken. Thank you for this place...here amid the rocks...in the sunshine. For the wind, the trees with rustling branches, the birds singing back and forth songs, the sunlight and shadows, the green grass popping up through the labyrinth, the wind chimes playing wildly, the memory of summer flowers, this warm preview day of spring...for these I'm thankful today... here in the middle of the labyrinth. All is well.  Thank you, God. </li></ul>