There are thousands of wonderful walking meditation techniques. The labyrinth meditation walks have had a growing popularity over the last 20 years.
First of all…. let’s clear something up. A labyrinth is NOT a maze. A maze has many paths, and is easy to get lost in. A labyrinth is quite different. It has only one way in, and one way out. This is important if you use a labyrinth as a guide for a walking meditation technique.
Here’s one person’s view of this – from a particularly Christian point of view. Most of the modern labyrinths are in church grounds, cathedrals, or often laid in stone or tile right on the floor of a church. But labyrinths are not only Christian. The Norse tradition, the Celtic tradition, the ancient Cretan tradition, ancient Egypt, old Roman, ancient Greece, even Siberian shamans…. they all had similar forms of labyrinth walks for meditation purposes.
The labyrinth is a meditation aid that enables pilgrims to undertake a short reflective journey in the quietness of their home or chapel. Taking time out in the day to trace the labyrinth provides a way of become more closely drawn into the mystery of God.
The use of the labyrinth is growing in popularity among Christians seeking a deeper spiritual experience as it can be used in the quietness and privacy of your home. There are many ways to use the labyrinth and no two people will have the same experience using it.
It is recommended to approach the labyrinth as you would commence a spiritual journey, with an open mind and a prayerful desire to spend time with God. Begin by placing the labyrinth on your lap or a table in front of you and commence the journey be tracing the path with your finger from the outside to the centre. Pause along the way to reflect, listen and spend time in silence so that you can connect with how God is leading you on your life’s journey.
When you reach the centre, spend time in this sacred space to pray and share with God your concerns and feelings. You may care to dedicate each petal of the rose to some issue you would like to pray for: family, peace, those in need, etc..
Then begin the outward journey by retracing your steps along the path to the outside edge. This is where you begin your mission of ‘going out’ to the world. During this phase you may want to call on God to strengthen you for life’s journey and to empower you to show love to others. Original story here
Here is what wikipedia says about the cultural meanings of the labyrinth as a one of many walking meditation techniques.
Prehistoric labyrinths are believed to have served as traps for malevolent spirits or as defined paths for ritual dances. In medieval times, the labyrinth symbolized a hard path to God with a clearly defined center (God) and one entrance (birth). In their cross-cultural study of signs and symbols, Patterns that Connect, Carl Schuster and Edmund Carpenter present various forms of the labyrinth and suggest various possible meanings, including not only a sacred path to the home of a sacred ancestor, but also, perhaps, a representation of the ancestor him/herself: “…many [New World] Indians who make the labyrinth regard it as a sacred symbol, a beneficial ancestor, a deity. In this they may be preserving its original meaning: the ultimate ancestor, here evoked by two continuous lines joining its twelve primary joints.” .
Labyrinths can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later, the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence.
Many newly made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind. The Labyrinth Society provides a locator for modern labyrinths all over the world. see original here
*** This article was inspired by Marshell Germany – who generously shared information on our Facebook page about a Labyrinth walk. Thanks again Marshell! We are interested in all kinds of meditations, and the walking meditation techniques of labyrinths are particularly beautiful.
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