Spiritual Enrichment: How to Walk a Labyrinth

What is a Labyrinth?

A labyrinth is a single path tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. The true labyrinth has no false pathways or dead ends to confuse those who follow its winding course. The mouth is where you enter. You walk on the paths or circuits. The walls keep you on the path. The goal is in the middle of the labyrinth. When you reach it, you have gone half the way. You need to turn around and walk out.

Walking the labyrinth is more about the journey than the destination (we know we are going to get to the center),

it is about being rather than doing, integrating body, mind and spirit into Oneness.

How to Walk a Labyrinth

There are as many different ways to walk the labyrinth as there are individuals. When we walk the labyrinth, we discover our sacred inner space. We are attracted to healing tools such as labyrinth because they deepen our self-knowledge and empower our creativity. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the life journey.

 It calms those in the throes of transition, and helps us to see life in the context of a path. We realize we are not humans on a spiritual path, but rather spiritual beings on a human path. It urges actions and stirs creative fires. To those who are in sorrow, it gives solace and peace. The journey is different for everyone , as is life, for we each bring different raw material to the labyrinth. We bring our uniqueness, and often depart with a greater sense of oneness and unity. So, walk as you are , with the understanding that you can access the truth in your soul.

Maintain a relaxed pace and allow adequate time for meditation / relaxation while at the center. Each movement entering and departing should be controlled, focused, and done in silence. Allow your other senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch) to be heightened throughout each stage of the exercise. At the conclusion of the walk of the labyrinth, you should experience a sense of being centered, having a strong ki flow, and conscious of a clear and relaxed mental state.

People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you do it. There is no “right” experience. Some people feel a sense of peace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight, or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. Others have very small experiences or none at all. The experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time. Whatever you experience, it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.

A BASIC WALKING EXERCISE

Think of a question or concern, clear your mind of conscious thought, and just walk mindfully through the labyrinth. Feel the inherent power in the sacred design and notice how you feel when you reach the center. Pause in the center, and listen to your inner Spirit for answers and insights. When you feel ready, begin your mindful walk out of the labyrinth. Pay attention to your emotions and feelings as you walk, and especially as you  emerge from the labyrinth.

The Labyrinth as a Method of Problem Solving

The three basic parts of the labyrinth are the entrance, the circuits, and the center. 

 Pause at the entrance and think of a problem or concern. It is important that you stay open to receiving a solution. The labyrinth is entered on circuit number 3. When you have your issue clearly identified, begin your silent walk into the labyrinth. Walk at a slow pace, not stopping until you reach the center.

Each path is associated with a feeling or attitude about the problem or concern.

As you walk, focus your attention on the following:

Circuit 3 – Explore what “you “think” about the problem.

Circuit 2 – Explore what you “feel” about the problem.

Circuit 1 – Explore how this problem affects you in your physical world. (i.e. money, possessions, health).

Circuit 4 – How does this affect your spiritual life? Does it aid in spiritual growth? Does it inhibit spiritual growth.

Circuit 7 – Ask your Higher Self/God to walk with you. Place the problem in the hands of your Higher Self/God and be thankful.

Circuit 6 – Ask for vision — a solution to your problem. When it comes, accept it without judgment. Accept the idea of a solution that you have been given.

Circuit 5 – Ask yourself, “What is the first step?” Let it come.

Goal (Center) – This is the place for just pausing and letting the solution you have been given settle in. Just be with it. This is the first half of your walk.

Circuit 5 – Look at the first step you were given with non-judgment.

Circuit 6 – Keep looking at answer you were given in a non-judgmental way.

Circuit 7 – Thank your Higher Self/God for giving you this awareness.

Circuit 4 – How will this solution affect your spiritual life? Will it help you grow or inhibit you?

Circuit 1 – How will this solution affect your physical life —your body, your health?

Circuit 2 – How does this solution make you feel?

Circuit 3 – What do you think about the solution? If it still just doesn’t seem like the right solution, try walking again later! You might try asking the question in a little different way.

 At the entrance to the labyrinth, turn and give thanks for the guidance you received. Notice how you feel as you emerge from the labyrinth. Use the labyrinth as a helpful tool for growth!

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One Response to “Spiritual Enrichment: How to Walk a Labyrinth”

  1. 2012 Ecumenical Labyrinth Experience « Prayer Ministry Says:

    […] Here is a link to more detailed information about the labyrinth, and ways you may walk it. […]

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