Suggestions for Walking the Labyrinth
Labyrinths have been a powerful part of human existence for thousands of years. As you can see below, the labyrinth is a convoluted path that moves through four quadrants, passing into each quadrant multiple times.
‘As you start on the Way, the Way appears.’ Rumi
‘Ask and you will receive so your joy may be complete’. John 17 v24
‘We are in God. And God whom we do not see, is in us’. Julian of Norwich
‘Earth and heaven are in us’. Mahatma Ghandi
‘The Kingdom of God is within you’. Luke 17 v21
‘We are meant to be mothers of God. For God is always needing to be born.’ Meister Eckhart
One approach is to simply quiet the left brain, the thinking mind, for a while.
If thoughts arise, which they will, gently notice that you are thinking, label it ‘thinking’, and then gently return to your breath focusing on the out-breath.
In this form of walking the labyrinth the focus is to allow a gracious sense of attention to be present.
Asking a question
A second approach is to focus on a question that has emerged for you and which is
important. Open questions are useful to take into the labyrinth rather than closed
questions with yes/no answers. Part of the preparation for the labyrinth walk can be to bring these questions into your conscious mind. You may want to write these thoughts down before you walk. The labyrinth can be a place which allows our consciousness to open so that deeper and new parts of ourselves are revealed to us more directly.
During your walk you will pass progressively through four quadrants.
~ In the first quadrant, consider what you think and feel about your question.
~In the second quadrant, consider others' perspectives on the question.
~In the third quadrant contemplate what your spiritual guide would say about the question.
~In light of this contemplation, consider your answer to the question in quadrant four.
~Reconsider each of these perspectives as your path winds back and forth through the quadrants.
~In the center, pause and pray.
~As you return along the path, reconsider the perspectives you have contemplated, in light of whatever decision you have made.
Use of repetition
Some people like to repeat a mantra or simple prayer silently to themselves as they walk. This could be an affirmation which is important to you.
Asking for help through prayer
Another method is simply to pray during the labyrinth walk. The Labyrinth is a sacred space where we can talk to and listen to God or the Divine. If something is weighing heavily on your heart and mind, walking the labyrinth and sharing that concern with God can be an enormous support.