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Labyrinth at Miraval

Recent Events

Recently, our work with and love for the labyrinth have taken us on some interesting paths.

Lynne has been working with Jana Markova' in the Czech Republic.  Their first interactions were by e-mail, but they've twice been able to meet together in Prague to share ideas and experiences -- and a labyrinth walk.  Jana has been doing some wonderful work in southern Bohemia, sharing the labyrinth with different groups, and they met again in October 2007 when Lynne was back in the Czech Republic. Together they visited the Labyrintharium, a unique chateau park in the town of Loučeň with a set of 10 labyrinths and mazes. Here’s a sampling of some of the labyrinths:

Copyright © Zámek Loučeň

Janine’s had the opportunity to visit some beautiful labyrinths, especially the three (!) outdoor labyrinths at Harmony Hill in Union, WA and the Cretan labyrinth in the spaciousness of Miraval in Tucson, AZ.  Both Harmony Hill and Miraval offer retreats for cancer survivors. After being diagnosed with cancer in 2006, Janine had the opportunity to support her healing by taking part in these retreats. She’s been using the labyrinth in her journey with and through cancer.

In October 2007, Lynne & Janine shared the labyrinth with the Wellness Community of Philadelphia, an organization that offers support services to people with cancer and their loved ones.

In December 2007, Janine presented the labyrinth and facilitated labyrinth walks at the Eighth Annual Life beyond Cancer at Miraval.

Here’s a sample of some other workshops we’ve facilitated:

LabyrinthJourney Facilitator Training, Philadelphia, PA
April 2008

We provided a day-long workshop for a group of individuals who were interested in the history and current uses of the labyrinth, and the various ways the labyrinth can be used for personal and/or professional reflection and development. As well, we addressed the practical, logistical, and financial issues of labyrinth facilitation. Participants experienced and reflected upon different types of walks during the workshop. There was also ample opportunity for participants to exchange ideas and plans for facilitating labyrinth walks.

Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback, we’re planning another Facilitators’ Training in 2010. Check back for details.

The Wellness Community of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
October 2007/March 2008

The Wellness Community of Philadelphia (TWCP) invited us to offer labyrinth walks to people affected by cancer. Participants had the opportunity to discover new insights, acknowledge challenges, and/or simply rest in the safety of the labyrinth.

Camp Charlie, Safe Harbor at Abington Memorial Hospital, Abington, PA
June 2009/June 2008

For two years in row, we’ve had the pleasure and privilege to work with our friends from Camp Charlie, a one-week summer bereavement camp associated with Safe Harbor at Abington Memorial Hospital. We shared the labyrinth with the campers and leaders as one of the activities that brought the week to a close.

Life beyond Cancer at Miraval, Tucson, AZ
December 2007

The American Cancer Society includes labyrinth walking as a complementary and alternative treatment modality and many cancer centers have permanent or portable labyrinths available for their patients, loved ones, and professional caregivers. Janine had the opportunity to present the “Labyrinth Journey: A Path of Hope & Healing” at Life beyond Cancer at Miraval, a four day retreat for cancer survivors, nurses, and social workers. Facilitated labyrinth walks were also available to participants.

Howard Center, Children, Youth, & Family Services, Burlington VT
Staff Retreat Day
June 2007

We had the pleasure of sharing the labyrinth experience with some of the human service staff of the Howard Center in Burlington, VT. As a component of their staff retreat day, nearly 100 women and men had the opportunity to use the labyrinth for personal and professional renewal.

Christ Church, Philadelphia, PA
Advent Labyrinth Walk
December 200

The community members of Christ Church walked the labyrinth as part of their Advent journey.

Enhancing Spiritual Strengths of Children & Families: The Labyrinth in Social Work Education & Practice

Presented at the23rd Annual Conference of the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors, this program was well received by social work educators and practitioners who are considering ways to integrate the Labyrinth in social work practice.

The Healing Journey

In April 2006, the Healing Journey was presented to the Maryland Association of Counseling and Development. At this workshop, participants learned ways to address professional burnout and use the Labyrinth for personal and professional renewal.

Family Guidance Center

In January 2006, we presented the Labyrinth to a group of educators, counselors, and social workers at Family Guidance Center in Pennington, NJ, which offers an after school program for adolescents.

The Labyrinth, Grief Work and Transformation: Rituals to Assist in Healing Loss and Grief
University of Maryland School of Social Work, Continuing Professional Education
Baltimore, MD

April 2005

The Labyrinth Society
Maple Lake, MN

In October 2004, we presented our research on the effects of Labyrinth walking on relaxation responses. We compared the effects of walking the Labyrinth vs. listening to music or walking in general. This study followed-up on our earlier research about the positive physical, cognitive, and emotional effects of Labyrinth walking.

Society for Spirituality & Social Work
Binghamton University, Binghamton, New York

In June 2004, we presented “Walking a Path with Heart: The Labyrinth as Spiritual Intervention for Social Work Practice” at the 9th Annual Society for Spirituality and Social Work Conference.

The Labyrinth, Grief Work and Transformation: Rituals to Assist in Healing Loss and Grief
University of Maryland School of Social Work, Continuing Professional Education
Baltimore, MD

Friday, April 30, 2004
8:30am to 4:15pm

5th Annual Labyrinth Society Gathering & Conference
Baltimore Marriott Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD
November 6-9, 2003

Friday, November 7, 1:30 -2:30 p.m.
Using the Labyrinth with Those Experiencing Life-Changing Illness: Research & Practice

Saturday, November 8, 1:00 p.m.
Panel Presentation: Labyrinths in Mainstream Healthcare

We presented our research about the Labyrinth at this gathering of labyrinth facilitators and enthusiasts from around the world in Baltimore, Maryland.

St. John's United Methodist Church Women's Group Ivyland, PA

In March 2003, we shared the labyrinth with a large gathering of women from St. John's Church. This lively, engaging, and prayerful group incorporated the labyrinth as part of their Lenten practice.

The Labyrinth: A Spiritual Intervention for Social Workers and Clients
NASW-PA Annual Conference, King of Prussia, PA

Our March 2003 workshop at the NASW Conference explored the Labyrinth as an emotional and spiritual intervention with professional caregivers and their clients experiencing illness, life transition, and/or grief. We discussed the Labyrinth and its use an effective tool for assisting clients to access emotional and spiritual resources and for professional caregivers to experience renewal. Participants also had the opportunity to walk the labyrinth and received Continuing Education Credits for the workshop.

Workshop on Burnout and Renewal for Social Workers
La Salle University Bucks County Campus, Newtown, PA

In February 2003, we facilitated a workshop for social workers and other human service professionals who are at risk for professional stress and burnout. Because this risk is particularly high for practitioners who regularly face the complexities of collaborating with individuals as well as with families, organizations, and communities, this workshop provided an opportunity for participants to identify the symptoms of professional stress and burnout, differentiate between burnout and compassion fatigue, and develop strategies for professional well-being and renewal. Participants learned specific tools for renewal, including the Labyrinth, which they can continue to use in their own lives and in their professional work. We offered 5 CEC's for social workers who participated.

Patricia Kind Family Foundation Grant

With a generous grant from the Patricia Kind Family Foundation, we shared the Labyrinth with five non-profit organizations that work with people with life-changing illness, with the bereaved, and with their professional caregivers. We facilitated Labyrinth walks with the staff, volunteers, and/or the clients of local hospice programs, centers for bereavement, and wellness/spirituality centers. We are compiling the research from these walks for articles and presentation in a variety of forums.

Cancer Survivors

On January 4, 2003 we were invited by the American Cancer Society to share the Labyrinth with young adult survivors of cancer. The group gathered in Philadelphia to socialize and to honor the path that each participant has walked. Many spoke of the Labyrinth as a metaphor for their journeys before their cancer diagnosis, during treatment, and though he process of healing.

We were humbled and inspired by the lives of these young adults.

International Conference Presentation

In July 2002, we traveled to Montpellier, France to present "No Boundaries: Application of the Labyrinth for Social Work Education and Practice in a Globalizing World" at the Congress of the International Association of Schools of Social Work. We were honored to present the Labyrinth to an international community of social work educators, professionals, and students.

Community Development

On June 30, 2002, we presented the Labyrinth at the Wellness Day held at Keystone Hospice, Wyndmoor, PA. It was a wonderful opportunity to introduce the Labyrinth to health care providers, clients, and community members.

Pilgrimages to Chartres & Amiens

In August 2000, we participated with Robert Ferre in a pilgrimage celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Labyrinth inlaid in the Cathedral in Chartres, France. No matter how many times and in how many places we walk the Labyrinth, it is a mysterious, profound, and humbling experience to walk the Labyrinth in Chartres knowing that thousands of people have walked before.

During this trip, we also embarked on our own "pilgrimage" to the Cathedral in Amiens, France, site of the other remaining permanent medieval Labyrinth in France. We were struck with how different a design the Amiens Labyrinth is in comparison to the Chartres Labyrinth, particularly since the Labyrinth at Amiens was built only about 80 years later than the more well-known Chartres Labyrinth.

National Day of Prayer & Remembrance

We were reminded of the power of the Labyrinth following the tragic events of September 2001 when we opened the Labyrinth for a local Philadelphia community to honor the National Day of Prayer & Remembrance. On that day, we witnessed the burden of grief, the hopes and prayers for healing, and the deep desire for forgiveness.

Staff Consultation

In October 2001, we provided consultation to youth ministry staff from a church community in Michigan who hope to integrate the Labyrinth more fully in the life of their community.

National Conference Presentation

In November 2001, we conducted a Labyrinth workshop at a national conference of social work educators in Denver, CO and discussed how the Labyrinth could be used to heal the wounds of inequality.

Community Development

Back home in Philadelphia in December 2001, we opened the Labyrinth for three days for the La Salle University community. Over 300 students, faculty, staff, and administrators experienced the Labyrinth through a series of presentations and open walks.