The Prayer Labyrinth.
The Labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in all religious traditions in various forms around the world. By walking our Labyrinth, you are rediscovering a long-forgotten mystical tradition that is insisting to be reborn.
You may think of walking the labyrinth in three stages:
Purgation – a releasing, a letting go of the details of your life. This is an act of shedding thoughts and emotions. It quiets and empties the mind as you walk into the labyrinth.
Illumination – may occur when you reach the center. Stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
Union – which is joining God, the divine healing force at work in the world. Each time you walk out of the labyrinth you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul reaching for.
Guidelines for the walk: Clear your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the pace your body wants to go. The path winds throughout and becomes a mirror for where we are in our lives; it touches our sorrows and releases our joys. Walk it with an open mind and an open heart. You may “pass” people or let others step around you, whichever is easiest, at the turns. The path is two-way; those going in will meet those coming out. Do what feels natural when this happens.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a labyrinth? The labyrinth is a pattern, usually in the form of a circle. There is a path meandering through the circle that takes you to the center.
Is this a pagan symbol? The labyrinth is found in many faith traditions across history. Examples include those found on the island of Crete, in Gothic cathedrals, in China, in Amerindian cultures, in Egypt, in Africa and all across Europe.
Does walking the labyrinth “heal”? Walking the labyrinth allows great self-clarity. It helps you know what to do next in your own healing process. Psycho-spiritual healing does happen on the labyrinth.
Where is Jesus in the labyrinth? Jesus dwells within you. You walk with Jesus on the path. You often find Jesus in the center of the labyrinth.
Is this experience “new age”? As a spiritual tool, our labyrinth dates back to the Middle Ages. It speaks to the present age also because it is an universal, inclusive tool. Other labyrinths date back even further in time. Remember…those practicing “new age” spirituality are usually very sincere spiritual seekers. Try not to be judgmental.
What if I get lost? You can’t get lost in a labyrinth. If you lose your way you will either return to the center or you will return to the entrance.
I walked the labyrinth and nothing happened. What did I do wrong? You received something. Walk the labyrinth again or take time to reflect on your experience. It may be several days before you begin to understand your experience.
What does the labyrinth symbolize? The labyrinth symbolizes the journey to the center or to self, the life journey or the path of life, or the spiritual journey – our walk with God. It is also said to represent the ongoing cycle of birth, life, death, rebirth and the process of transformation and healing.
Why are you using a labyrinth? The labyrinth facilitates movement. You can face whatever YOU need to face there. It is not doctrinal or dogmatic. The only dogma you will meet in the labyrinth is your own.
What is the future of labyrinths? The labyrinth is re-entering our collective conscious. Hopefully, it will be a tool for global healing, spiritual renewal and community building.
The Labyrinth, which is found in the Maginnis Memorial Chapel is open these days and times.
Saturdays-10:00 a.m. to 12:oo p.m., or after Centering Prayer
Sunday-12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., unless there is a conflict with church events.
Thursdays during Advent and Lent-10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.