Labyrinth

Introducing Covenant's Walkable Labyrinth

"Quiet Your Mind. Restore Your Spirit."

What is a Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are usually in the form of a circle with a meandering but purposeful path; from the edge to the center and back out again. It is large enough to be walked into and it has only one path. The Labyrinth is a spiritual tool for meditation and healing. A growing number of individuals have rediscovered the labyrinth as a path to prayer, introspection and emotional healing.

The History of the Labyrinth

All the great world religions contain teachings that articulate the journey of the spiritual seeker; the path one must walk in order to grow in compassion and respond to the world with clarity and wisdom.

 

The tradition of pilgrimage is as old as religion itself.  Usually, early in life, Christians in the Middle Ages made a vow to make a pilgrimage to the Holy City of Jerusalem once during their life.  However, by the 12th century, when the crusades swept across Europe and Jerusalem became the center of religious struggle, travel became dangerous and expensive.  In response to the situation, the Roman Church appointed seven pilgrimage cathedrals to become the “Jerusalem” for pilgrims.  The walk into the Labyrinth in many of these cathedrals marked the ritual ending of the physical journey across the countryside.  It served as a symbolic entry into the spiritual realms of the Celestial City.  The tradition of pilgrimage is being revitalized during our times to seek answers to our longings.  The Spiritual Hunger that is present in the Western World is calling forth millions of people.  They are seeking answers through a variety of paths ranging from fundamentalism to various New Age spiritualities to traditional religions.  The Labyrinth has proven to be one spiritual tool.

Why Do People Walk the Labyrinth?

Lauren Artress, author of Walking a Sacred Path - Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool, notes that her work with the labyrinth aims to integrate people’s psyche and soul. The labyrinth allows for quieting of the mind, followed by meditation and prayer. At the time of walking, one may find insight into their problems; their lives are illuminated. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the spiritual journey. It urges action. It calms people in the throes of life’s transitions and stresses. It helps them see their lives in the context of a path, a pilgrimage.

The pilgrim seeks to follow the spirit’s compass, which guides us to find an inner openness to the outer world of people, places and events that become the fabric of our lives. The pilgrim comes with a searching heart.

 

When we are carrying the burdens of the past, our relationships suffer and our creativity is limited. 

The Labyrinth can provide a safe container for shedding these burdens.

 

Walking the Labyrinth gives comfort to the aching heart, and solace to the weary soul. 

Healing on the Labyrinth comes in the form of renewed strength and perspective that is needed when illness has made us vulnerable.

 

Many people find their way to the Labyrinth in the process of searching for their own special talents. They come for insight into how their unique skills can serve the world. Perhaps the only result of walking the Labyrinth may be to notice that there exists another part of you that is speaking to you.


The Labyrinth experience is different for everyone because each of us brings different raw material to the Labyrinth.  We bring our unique hopes, dreams, history, and longings of the soul.

Covenant's Labyrinth

The Labyrinth at Covenant Presbyterian Church arrived in June 1998. The design is a classical eleven-circuit Labyrinth -- the best-known example remains embedded in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. In the past 25 years, many have walked and found comfort from the Labyrinth at Covenant Church. Walkers have included parents, medical personnel, camp counselors, those who are grieving, cancer patients, teachers, students, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and concerns.

Walking the Labyrinth can mean different things for different people.  It can be used as a quiet path for prayer or meditation. It is a tool for focusing, for relieving stress and anxiety, for shutting out whatever may be causing problems, and for just “being.” The Labyrinth can aid healing, help in releasing grief, help guide through troubled times, aid in decision making, illuminate our purpose in life, and act as a tool of celebration and thanks.

 

There is no right or wrong way to walk a Labyrinth.  

While you are walking, the mind is quieted. Labyrinth walks are sometimes referred to as a “body prayer” or walking meditation. The first phase of the walk -- the entrance -- can be a place to stop and reflect. The walk around the design to the center can be a “letting go” period: a quieting of the thoughts, worries, and tasks to do. Arrival at the center rosette is a place of prayer: letting in God’s guidance.  When ready, the journey out of the labyrinth takes us back into ourselves, empowered by spirit to transform our lives and actions.


Anyone and everyone can appreciate the Labyrinth, and walks at Covenant Presbyterian Church are open to all. Covenant offers several times each month when the Labyrinth is available. Special evenings are also scheduled throughout the year -- sometimes featuring live, meditative music from harp or classical guitar. Please visit Covenant's website often for updates and information on these events and monthly times.

Individuals unable to walk the Labyrinth may benefit from a laptop finger Labyrinth, available as needed by contacting the church. 

 

To schedule individual or group Labyrinth walks, or for more information, contact the church office at 570-346-6400.