Guidelines for the Journey
Spend some time in prayer before beginning
Pause at the entrance … become fully aware of what you are about to do … a ritual gesture such as a bow may be appropriate.
Find your own pace … breath gently and evenly as you walk the path.
When you come to the center, stand in prayerful silence as you allow yourself to be immersed in God’s embrace.
Allow yourself a ritual gesture before you begin your journey outward.
When you have completed the walk, spend some time in prayer … reflect on what you felt … on what God is saying to you through this prayer experience …
Give God praise for the sacredness of this time.
Come walk our labyrinth.
Labyrinths are used throughout the world as a meditative and healing tool. To walk a labyrinth is to make a pilgrimage. Perceived as a sacred space, walking a labyrinth can help us discover something about ourselves and God. The destination is not important … it is the journey which gives us an opportunity to connect with the God of our understanding. As Dr. Lauren Artess points out, the seeking of answers to our questions is the act of walking a sacred path, so walking the labyrinth brings us to our inner sacred space. Such a “journey” can deepen our self knowledge and empower our creativity, clear our minds and give insight into who we are and our relationship to our world.
There are two common ways to walk: the way of silence and the way of image. Using the way of silence, it is sometimes helpful to focus on your breathing. The way of image focuses on a prayer or name for God or a question posed by a talk we heard. Either way, be open to your heart and mind and pay attention to your thoughts and feelings as they rise and then let them go.
Walking and Praying the Labyrinth
Calm yourself before you start. Do everything in an attentive manner. Allow yourself to be present to God, maybe even walk around the outside of the labyrinth once. If you desire, think of different people, events or situations in your life to develop a specific intention if you wish to use one for your meditation. Get centered.
The labyrinth is a place of presence so allow yourself to be present to yourself and God. The labyrinth is a teacher so let it teach you through the mysterious power of God. As you walk the path, remember that there is only one path in and out. You will not get lost. Choose your pace. Some people choose to walk slowly; others walk at a quicker pace.
People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. There is no “right” experience. Some experience a sense of peace, others recall old memories, and some find themselves thinking about an immediate situation, person or question. The experience will be unique to you. Some people have shared experiencing physical sensations while walking the labyrinth. There can be times of great insight or profound thoughts or there can be small experiences or none at all. The experience is different for each person each time they walk. Whatever your experience … it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.