When you're feeling lost, this can help.
23 years ago a girlfriend and I drove from where we lived in Big Sur, CA, USA to San Francisco's amazing Grace Cathedral to walk a labyrinth for the first time. It was my 33rd birthday. Honestly, I wasn't anticipating the rush of serenity and "completion" when I reached the center. It was unexpected because in most of the study I'd done about walking labyrinths there seemed to be a lot of discussion regarding the movement to the center, not necessarily about the center. One of the favorite sayings among labyrinth lovers around the world is "Solvitur Ambulando". Wikipedia sums it up nicely:
Solvitur ambulando is a Latin phrase which means "it is solved by walking" and is used to refer to a problem which is solved by a practical experiment. It is often attributed to Saint Augustine.
The center has became a refuge for me from the moment I found myself walking labyrinths. I could be in a noisy park on the Fourth of July or in the midst of a hundred shouting children at the Science Center in Seattle, it didn't matter. There is a brief feeling of time slowing down and I can breathe. It is that breath that lead me to The Labyrinth Society, and for a few years I was on their board of directors as the "Energy Keeper", keeping a perfect rhythm for my ministerial position as the founder for the White Light Express.
When The Big Guy (@denmarkguy) and I reconnected we were not surprised (well, maybe a little) to find our shared love for labyrinths and that he had actually built a labyrinth at his home in Texas. We decided to build one together when we bought our home here in the Pacific Northwest.
So ...what's the big deal anyway?
We get a lot of questions about labyrinths, the most often of those questions is: "what's the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?"
Quite simply, mazes are meant to confuse and can trap people or animals inside them. Mazes might have dead ends and blocks, labyrinths will gently guide visitors slowly to their centers. You cannot get lost inside a labyrinth. My dear friend, Yadina Clark, a labyrinth expert at UMaine said this recently on a segment for News Center Maine, USA:
"There's still a lot about the mind-body-spirit connections that we don't fully understand, and sometimes, there's no substitute for activities that bring those things together."
Take a couple more minutes for this excellent piece of journalism:
You probably have a labyrinth near you too. Go to Labyrinth Locator online, and take a look. It's quite simple to put in your zip code, your country or wherever you are on this planet to find one, and get started with your own Labyrinth Journey!
Share your journey here with us, as we intend to share ours often.
Me and The Big Guy at the center of the new Labyrinth installation at Pearlstone Center in MD, USA for the 2019 TLS Gathering, just after the opening ceremony.