Trinity Episcopal Church Labyrinth Ministry
Walking a Sacred Path….
WHY WALK THE LABYRINTH?
Many walk the labyrinth to listen to the spirit of God to guide their lives and to focus on the physical act of walking a set path that requires our attention. In the walking, distractions fall away and the mind is put to rest so that the Holy Spirit can lead the prayer for the labyrinth walker. The labyrinth is a path of prayer, meditation, introspection, and healing. It is a tool for centering prayer and for centering on Christ.
HISTORY OF THE LABYRINTH
The labyrinth is a tool of meditation that has been used for centuries. In the Christian tradition, the first labyrinths were found in the Gothic cathedrals of Europe, and were symbolic paths where the sacred pilgrimage to the Holy Land could be made closer to home. There are hundreds of public labyrinths in the United States. They can be found in churches, hospitals, parks, prisons, schools, and in many private settings.
HOW TO WALK THE LABYRINTH
There is no wrong way to walk, pause, or pray in the labyrinth. There is one path into the center and the return is through that same path. This walk is a symbol and metaphor for our daily walk in life — for situations that challenge us — for our daily walk with Christ. The circular path inward cleanses and quiets us as it leads us in. The unwinding path integrates and empowers us on our walk back to the world. Walking out of the winding path, we are literally ushered back out into the world in a strengthened condition, with Christ as our fellow sojourner.
GUIDELINES FOR WALKING THE LABYRINTH
Clear your mind. You may find it helpful to become aware of the rhythm of your breathing. Make an intention for your walk such as prayer, meditation, or growing closer to Christ. As you walk, allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. Most people walk slowly. You may “pass” people or let others step around you. Be open to the gentle guiding of the Spirit. You are in prayer. Take the space you need to hear God speak to you. Take time in the center. You may choose to sit, stand, or kneel. On your way out, keep your own pace, there is no need to hurry. When you have finished, take a few minutes to reflect on your walk. You may want to write down some of your reflections or share your experience with others.
The stages of the walk flow into three parts. The walk into the labyrinth is a time to let go of the details of life and clear the mind. When you reach the center; this is a time to listen, accept, and receive guidance and peace. The walk out is a time to integrate what you have received and to be nourished to return back out into the world. Pause as you exit and thank God for his presence with you on the Labyrinth. The experience of walking the labyrinth is truly your own, an experience between you and Jesus.
This information provided by Trinity Episcopal Church Labyrinth Ministries
(A Christian Ministry of Trinity Episcopal Church)