Thursday, May 22, 2014

World Labyrinth Day 2014

I so enjoyed getting together with old friends to walk this beautiful labyrinth on World Labyrinth Day, May 4, 2014. It was created several years ago by Lars Howlett of Discover Labyrinths. It is located in an old rock quarry and he chose stones from the hillside. At some times of the year the path is well-trodden, with very few "weeds" obscuring the stones. But today the California dandelions shimmering in a lovely pale yellow haze lined the paths of our meditative walk.

Sometimes people think that it requires a special event - like World Labyrinth Day - to walk a labyrinth.
Or a special intention, either a prayer or a subject about which we seek clarity to make it worthwhile. This is so not true! These special occasions serve to remind us that this opportunity for quiet meditative motion is available to us. It is available all the time. For those of us lucky enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area, labyrinths abound. But even for us, on rainy days a ball of yarn and a hallway are excellent alternatives.

I often don't really have an intention other than to become more peaceful or relaxed, to let go of worries for a bit. Sometimes my question is "What is my question?" And occasionally I do actually have a specific intention or query. It doesn't matter. Every time I enter this magical walk, I understand more when I leave than when I arrived.

I find that I like to walk the path more than once. Rather than a single ingress, pause at the center, and a single egress, I benefit from staying in motion until the mood strikes me to stop. In the 11-circuit Chartres-style labyrinth, that means walking it at least twice. In the Cretan or Baltic labyrinths which go much faster, I find myself retracing my steps 4 or 5 times. This is easiest of course when there aren't too many other people around.

On this day, inspired by a special occasion (World Labyrinth Day), we created our own event. As mothers of 9-, 10- and 11-year-old boys a decade ago, we developed a friendship based on the desire to explore spirituality through art. Amazing, really, that the children brought us together and we would probably never have met otherwise. Even in our small community our paths were not likely to cross. Today, in walking this labyrinth, we could feel our heart-connection. It was so tangible, like a solid band of tenderness, love and comfort for each other, having supported each other through so many different, seemingly never-ending trials with each of our sons.

Walking a labyrinth with old friends is a wonderful way to maintain connection and community. It reflects the walk of life we take together. It is a beautiful process in joy and grief. And although it's also an excellent individual meditation practice, walking with friends in silence reminds us of the true bonds of our friendship and strengthens our heartfelt commitment to that friendship in ways that no glass of wine will ever accomplish.

Grab a friend. Walk a labyrinth!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for stopping by and making the time to post a comment. Your message will appear shortly.