St. James' Labyrinth was dedicated on
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The labyrinth is available to all who wish to follow its path.
Our St James’ Labyrinth is designed to copy the pattern of the most famous Christian one, located in Chartres Cathedral in France. For hundreds of years the Labyrinth has been used as a way to help pray and make a personal spiritual journey. It can teach us to recognize the wider pattern of our lives and to work in greater harmony with one another.
The Labyrinth is a meditative tool. It is different from a maze. It has one well defined path that leads into the center and back again. Unlike a maze, there are no tricks, no dead ends, no intersecting paths, no getting lost. Each visitor walks the Labyrinth in their own way. There is no "wrong" way to walk the Labyrinth.
How you may want to walk:
- Pause at the entrance to the Labyrinth and take a few breaths to prepare for your walk, then begin to follow the path into the center. Maintain silence for your reflection (and that of others, if present).
- As you walk the path, allow yourself to find your own natural pace. If you meet other walkers, gently give way to your meeting and passing.
- As you move toward the center, let go of the details of your life, bring quiet to your mind, concentrate on your breathing, feel the release of tension and stress. Be aware of your feelings and focus.
- When you reach the center, pause there for as long as you like. This is a place of meditation, clarity and insight.
- As you leave the center, the meditation takes on a grounded, energized feeling. It is a time for integrating the insights you may have received; a time to contemplate initiative and action in the world.
- As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you walk the labyrinth. Whatever you experience, it is your experience. Be open to possibility, relax and see what happens
Suggestions for what you might do as you walk:
In the Moment: As you walk the labyrinth, be aware of each breath, find your natural pace, notice how your body is moving. When you reach the center, still your mind and let all distractions go. When you are ready, begin your walk back to the start, again focusing on your breath, your pace and your movement along the path.
Chant: Walk the labyrinth repeating a phrase, a line of scripture, a prayer or singing a hymn to yourself. When you reach the center, quiet your mind and be still.
Prayer: As you walk into the labyrinth, think of your regrets, disappointments, anger, “sins.” When you reach the center, offer them to God and ask for forgiveness. When you are ready to return, walk out giving thanks for all the blessings in your life.
Problem-Solving: If you have a problem to solve or a decision to make, walk into the labyrinth thinking of all aspects of the problem or decision: pros and cons, what you imagine other people think, your own emotional reactions, the rights and wrongs of the situation – be creative. When you reach the center, rest there as long as you want to, to quiet your mind and wait. When you are ready, begin your walk out and contemplate this experience and how you might out into the world.