The labyrinth has only one path, which leads in a circuitous way from the outer edge to the center and back out again. Unlike a maze, the modern-day labyrinth always reveals itself in entirety. It has no dead-ends, and is not meant to puzzle those who walk it. Instead labyrinths offer its travelers a parallel inner journey, making it a potent spiritual practice and tool for personal and psychological growth. The meditative practice of walking a labyrinth is also an excellent form of stress-reducing preventative care.
Benefits of a Labyrinth Meditation
There are many benefits to working with a labyrinth. Not only do they provide a place to clear the mind, reduce stress, and find peace and wellbeing, a labyrinth meditation can also induce a trance-like state, allowing for access to the deep subconscious mind. New awareness and epiphanies may come up for examination, healing, integration, and release. Labyrinth meditations can also improve intuition and assist with inner self-reflection and transformation.
Ways to Work with Labyrinths
As labyrinths gain in popularity, it’s becoming easier to locate ones near your home.
Before entering the labyrinth, choose an intention or mood you want to explore. Maybe you need more play in your life, and you want to joyously journey through the labyrinth. Are you at a crossroads in your life, and need greater clarity? The labyrinth is a great tool for working through life’s challenges. Perhaps you’re really stressed and want to work with the anxiety you’ve been experiencing in your body. Don’t be afraid of the emotions our society likes to suppress – like anger, sadness, and fear. The labyrinth is a safe place for shadow work, whereby you’re taking things to the center for healing.
Stand at the entrance. Get grounded. Pause. Open all your senses. Feel the sky above and the earth below. Observe the sounds. Deepen your breathing. Quiet the mind. Pray. Sing. Be present. Walk with purpose. Observe yourself. When reaching the center, pause again. Stay in the moment as you retrace your way back to the entrance. Reflect on your experience with creativity by journaling or doodling to get the most out of the experience.
While it’s wonderful to get out and walk a labyrinth, there are other beneficial ways to use them.
* Draw a labyrinth.
* Buy an adult labyrinth coloring book, and get creative.
* Meditate on the patterns found within labyrinths.
* Find a labyrinth image that resonates with you, print it out and
hang it in your home.
* Build your own labyrinth in your yard. A small labyrinth is just
as beneficial as a large one.
As society finds itself more stressed than ever, it’s wonderful that we are turning to these ancient techniques for introspection and healing. There are various organizations around the globe that can guide those interested in local labyrinths. You may wish to go alone, or with others. There is power in group labyrinth experiences, but ultimately it is a journey one must make on their own. Labyrinths give us a way to travel to the heart of the sacred, allowing for deep healing, growth and self-transformation.