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About Labyrinths
A labyrinth is a path, a contemplative tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Walking a labyrinth can be 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.


The journey is the reward. -Tao saying

The traveler begins at the entrance and follows along the path, or circuits, to the center. When the traveler gets there he or she has completed half the journey. After their reflection time in the center, the same path they used walking in is also the path they use to walk out.

As a symbol, the labyrinth relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. A labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation tools.

Classical labyrinth designs are based on a pattern first documented on a clay tablet from Pylos, Greece circa 1200 BCE. Designs have also been found on Cretan coins of 400 to 500 BCE. Labyrinths were common in Europe in the Middle Ages, and walking them was part of popular and religious culture. Perhaps the most famous of these is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France, built around 1200 CE.

Walking the labyrinth has reemerged today as a metaphor for the spiritual journey and a powerful tool for transformation. Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, find balance, and encourage meditation, insight and celebration.

When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze, a puzzle to be solved. A maze has twists, turns, and blind alleys, and you have to make choices to find the right way. It's a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return and the entrance then becomes the exit. Walking a labyrinth is a right brain task that involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made, the choice to enter or not.

Learn more at labyrinthsociety.org

 

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