The Labyrinth is an ancient path.
It is a path that is known to have existed for over 4000 years.
It is a path that has resonated with people in various countries, cultures, faiths and beliefs throughout the world.
It is a beautiful path that, in various ways, supports the reflective seeker on life’s path.
This ancient spiritual pathway is known to have been embraced by Christians since the fourth century as a support for prayer and contemplation.
There is something in the twists and turns of the labyrinth path that touches the twists and turns in our lives. Its winding path seems to help us unwind, slow down and be mindful of our thoughts and promptings of our hearts.
No wonder then, that in our time of speed and fast living, the labyrinth has once again resurfaced as a path to inspire, console, calm and awaken us. Labyrinths today can be found in cathedrals, churches, schools, universities, hospices, retreat centres, prisons, playgrounds, gardens and coastlines.
Portable labyrinths are often laid out on floors and temporary labyrinths are regularly made with rope, stones or marked out on a beach. Wherever they are offered people come and walk - grateful for the ‘quiet time’ and opportunity to just ‘be’...Following the labyrinth path offers the restless mind an opportunity to be inwardly observant, to pay attention to feelings, to explore challenges and to be open to new thoughts and ideas.
Being on a pilgrim path, having a contemplative approach to life is one of seeing the sacred in the secular.
Learning how to be totally in the present moment, to slow down to see what’s really important, to catch up with your soul.
A great way for learning contemplation is pilgrimage. Learning by walking at a different pace. Embracing knowledge , experience and reflection.
Labyrinths are pilgrim paths made for this. Labyrinths are ancient sacred prayer paths to help mindfulness, better spiritual, emotional and mental well being.
The Labyrinth is seen as a representation of ‘The Way’, a symbolic journey, an outward and inner pilgrimage.
A pilgrim path of encounter with the God, a higher power , peace, light and love, a journey of deeper understanding of the way of love.
The labyrinth is not a maze.
Mazes have dead ends, choices, many paths, multicursal.
Labyrinths have one path, to the centre and back out, unicursal.
You get lost in a maze, you find yourself in a labyrinth.
Labyrinths have been used for thousands of years in many different cultures.
The first recorded church Labyrinth is in Algeria, North Africa dating back to 324 CE.
In the medieval ages, labyrinths were common in Christian manuscripts and became large walkable labyrinths in cathedrals, especially in France and Italy.
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth.
Walking a Labyrinth is like teaching a fish to swim.
Finger labyrinths can be a pilgrim path of prayerful reflection when it is not possible to walk a full-sized labyrinth.
"Stand at the crossroads and look and ask for the ancient roads, ask where the good path goes, walk in it and find rest for your souls" Jeremiah 6v16 (Bible)
Labyrinths help generate an internal peace from the constant rumination's that go on in our minds. They quieten the mind and still the heart.
Helping us find space to think calmly, clearly and creatively in our everyday environment.
"Creativity often unfolds when people begin to use the labyrinth in their lives. Many people do not realise that to live a creative life is to live a spiritual life and that to live a spiritual life is to live a creative, flowing life open to the Spirit"
“Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts"
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started, and know the place for the first time”.
When it is not possible to get out to walk a labyrinth the next best thing is to use a finger labyrinth and let your fingers do the walking.
See what can happen in your life when you are open to spend some time using the contemplative practice of using a labyrinth.
This walking meditation is an archetype, a mystical ritual found in many religious traditions.
It quiets the mind and opens the soul, evoking a feeling of wholeness. It is a powerful tool for transformation.
There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror of the soul.
The rediscovery of the ancient Labyrinth has provided us with a spiritual resource, a walking meditation
Jim Bailey Pilgrim Paths
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