Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Peace walks in the Labyrinth
“It is solved by walking.”
-St. Augustine of Hippo
A labyrinth is an ancient form found in many cultures and religions as far back as 5,000 years. Some labyrinths are made with rocks, some on landscape, and some on marble. There are labyrinths around the world—from Europe to New Zealand to the Philippines.
I checked out The Labyrinth Society and was so proud to find the we have several labyrinths in the country. One of which is at the Mirador Jesuit Villa (Society of Jesus' Retreat House) Phone: (632) 426-5941. They have an impressive-looking Classical Right-handed Knidos type of rock and garden labyrinth set in Baguio near the Lourdes Grotto.
Here at the St. George’s Episcopal Church in Antioch, there is a walkable nine-circuit French Cathedral Chartres-style labyrinth—a pattern developed for use in the 1200’s. Installed on asphalt by trained labyrinth facilitators, Craig and Jane Wirth in October 2004, the labyrinth continues to attract those who wish to connect with their deeper selves in the midst of our fast-paced and noisy outer world.
The labyrinth, versus a maze, has only one path that leads to the center and out again. There are no tricks, traps, or dead-ends. There are also no religious, age, status, or any requirements to walk the labyrinth.
“It’s always different for everybody,” said Jane. “You have to experience it to understand it. But once you walk the labyrinth, you will understand what it brings. For me, it was a mirror of my unrealized pain at first. It also helps me when I am stuck creatively. It is always a different walk—there is something new to learn and feel.”
Helen Curry, author of The Way of the Labyrinth: A Powerful Meditation for Everyday Life, said, “Labyrinths offer the opportunity to walk in meditation to that place within us where the rational merges with the intuitive and the spiritual is reborn. Quite simply, labyrinths are a way to discover the sacred in everyday life.”
Craig explains that, though the labyrinth “is not a magic tool,” it may be a magical avenue for self-expression. “Here is a tool to look at your own life. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. In the many years of facilitating walks, we have sensed the joy and the suffering of the people. It has been very powerful.”
Members of the Labyrinth Guild of the Delta and The Labyrinth Society (TLS)—a non-profit world-wide organization providing educational information, project support and networking opportunities for people interested in labyrinths, past and present, Craig and Jane expound on the international efforts to share the healing labyrinth with a broader audience, specially with schools, hospitals, and prisons. TLS also created and maintains the World Wide Labyrinth Locator which will give everyone the opportunity to find labyrinths all over our planet.
The labyrinth at St. George has been used for candlelight walks for 9/11 memorials, for honoring Tsunami victims and survivors, and for the bombings in Beirut, among others—as a way to express concern and healing. Lately, Craig and Jane organized World Peace Walks. Held every third Sunday of the month, the walks are aimed towards achieving inner peace and sending peaceful thoughts to the world.
Walking for peace that Sunday was Kitty Hayes from Pittsburg. “Don’t worry much about the outcome. Just come and try it out,” she said. Also peace walking were Kathy Scopel from Antioch and John Fearn from Sherman Island. “The labyrinth is very compassionate. There is no judgement or comparison. I just offer myself the way I am,” said Fearn.
I send out prayers of peace and that all wars be resolved. I send out good wishes to my friends who are down or sick or lonely or poor. I think about my parents and my brothers and reflect on our lives together. I miss my brothers. I send happy thoughts to everyone and hope that our lives will continue to remain full in challenges and rich with wisdom and love. Let's not forget what is most important okay?