Labyrinth is an ancient symbol that has been recently rediscovered
and adapted for use in modern times. Walking the Labyrinth is a practice
that is thousands of years old, and the Labyrinth crosses all faiths
and cultures. Found in such varied countries as China, Crete, Ireland,
India, Scandinavia, and others, the Labyrinth also shares similarities
with the Native American medicine wheel, the Kabalistic symbol in
Judaism, and Tibetan sand paintings.
played an important role in the Christian tradition beginning in the
12th Century when pilgrimages to Jerusalem became too expensive and
dangerous. Labyrinths were placed into the floors of many Gothic cathedrals
throughout Europe to be walked as part of pilgrimages. One of the
most well known of the remaining Labyrinths is inlaid at the cathedral
in Chartres, France.
is one circuitous path to the center and out again. The entrance is
also the exit. Unlike a maze that it designed to confuse and have
us lose our way, the Labyrinth has no dead-ends and is designed to
help us find our way. A maze is a puzzle to be solved, a left-brain
task that requires us to think logically, sequentially, and analytically.
The Labyrinth, in contrast, is a right-brain task that involves intuition
is no right way to walk the Labyrinth path. There is one path in and
out, and there are no decisions to be made as to which way to turn.
The only decision is whether to enter and walk. The Labyrinth is flat
on the ground, with no walls or tricks to confuse us.
as a metaphor for life's journey, the Labyrinth offers lessons as
we walk the path. It can offer a mirror to reflect where we are in
our lives. Walking the Labyrinth can assist us to address challenges,
gain insights, make decisions, and find peace and serenity.
may be permanent or portable, outdoor or indoor, and of various designs
and sizes. Labyrinths are currently being used in hospitals, schools,
prisons, wellness center, hospices, churches, corporations, public
parks, and retreat centers.