Seafarer Mama/Karen is a Life Coach who uses labyrinths as a tool for personal growth and transformation for both herself and her clients.
Who Are We in This World?
Our present era of the twenty-first century is at the height of the information age, and perhaps still climbing. We are constantly bombarded with so much data that it's a miracle more people haven't just shut down completely. Though, instead of shutting down, many keep themselves going in a state that isn't entirely awake or engaged. To cope, we walk through life with a persona that may or may not reflect who we really are, which leads to rampant loneliness despite being surrounded by so many other humans who are also trying to get by. Unfortunately, sustaining such a state of existence holds heartbreaking consequences. The results are exhaustion, trauma, addiction, failed relationships, cancer, suicide or chronic illnesses, and perhaps a combination of those.
Our Power Is in Our Awareness
Amidst all of the modern world's confusion, we still have the power to redefine our lives, to reinvent ourselves when we feel we've lost our way. As long as we're breathing and can move around on our own, it's not too late!
One of the beautiful aspects of having so much information accessible to us is that we have the ability to learn about new ways of living the lives we dream of. We can choose what to take in and what not to. But how do we determine who we are, and who we want to be? We start with spending more time with ourselves, doing things we love to do. We engage in a spiritual practice. We write in a journal, then read what we've written. We give ourselves lots of room to breathe throughout our days.
Walking a Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
Walking the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
Walking a labyrinth path is an amazing spiritual practice that will leave you with a deep sense of renewal. A labyrinth has one path inward toward a center, which also leads back out again to the place you started. The path turns around the center a certain number of times before you reach that innermost space. As you turn, you release worldly cares and listen to your own heart and mind, your own center. When you return to where you started, your mind is relaxed and you walk away with greater insight into a question or concern.
Let the Right Side of Your Brain Have a Voice
A labyrinth path relaxes the mind because there is only one path toward the center. There's no way to get lost. Follow the path and it'll lead you where you need to go. The left side of your brain is given a little nap or an afternoon at the spa while your right brain is given room to show you what it sees. It's the side of the brain that sees patterns and looks at things in a non-verbal, non-linear fashion. It's the seat of creativity and inventiveness. When you walk the labyrinth path, all of the information you store in your subconscious mind, your shadow side, begins to come to the surface of the conscious mind. You begin to access your own inner wisdom. Your intuition becomes stronger because you've listened to that voice from deep within, the voice that comes from all of the stored knowledge you've accumulated throughout your life. You may find solutions to problems you thought were tough to resolve because you have given yourself the chance to think about them differently. As Einstein once observed, "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." We need to look at something that puzzles us from different angles in order to resolve it.
When you walk a labyrinth regularly, you learn to trust your Intuition, especially if you write down the ideas that come to you and process their meaning in a journal. It's important to process what comes to the surface of your mind when you walk the path. Writing in a journal will help you remember and take your discoveries on the path to the heart. It will also facilitate your seeing patterns in your life, perhaps an overall message with clues to the life you are meant to live, or the right decision you are meant to make.
In this article, you will learn how to find a labyrinth to walk with your whole body. You are also provided with a labyrinth path to walk with your finger and a ritual to use while you walk the path.
The Labyrinth Path Encourages Us to Think Differently
"No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it." ~ Albert Einstein
Finding a Labyrinth to Walk
If you don't know where a labyrinth is located near where you live, there is a tool you can use to find out. This is called the World Wide Labyrinth Locator. On this site, you will find more information about labyrinths and the organization formed to spread the population of labyrinths around the world.
You can also visit your local library and find books about labyrinths. There are many resources online, including "seed patterns" for drawing a labyrinth of your own to walk.
Materials for Building a Labyrinth
Labyrinths have been built from a wide variety of materials, and still are. My friend James draws labyrinths with a rainbow of chalk colors on Boston Common. There are people who draw labyrinths in the sand on seashores all over the world. I once created a labyrinth on the grass with string and stones. Other materials that can be used include but are not limited to: shells, herbs, flowers, pinwheels, bricks and mosaics.
Finding Labyrinths All Over the World
- World-Wide Labyrinth Locator - Welcome
The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator has been designed to be an easy-to-use database of labyrinths around the world. Features information about labyrinths you can visit, including their locations, pictures, and contact details.
- The Labyrinth Society: The Labyrinth Society
The Labyrinth Society, known affectionately as "TLS," is made up of labyrinth enthusiasts from all over the world. TLS supports all those who create, maintain and use labyrinths, and serves the global community by providing education, networking, etc
- Discover Labyrinths
Building a labyrinth? Lars Howlett is an expert labyrinth designer and master builder offering site visits, workshops, tours, and events.
Read More From Remedygrove
Ritual for Engaging Your Innate Intuition
There are so many reasons and ways to walk a labyrinth. There really is no wrong way. You can be silly or serious. You can be reflective, solemn or joyful. You can bring meditative music to listen to while you walk, or listen to the sounds that surround the labyrinth path you've chosen to walk.
Stages for Walking a Labyrinth
There are three main stages to walking a labyrinth that can be adapted to any spiritual tradition:
1. Release—You release distractions, anger, habits that don't serve you, and anything that isn't working for you anymore.
2. Receive—Receive the wisdom from your Intuition while you spend reflective time at the center of the labyrinth path.
3. Return—You return to the outside world with a fresh perspective and ways to use your newfound wisdom in your life and work.
Ritual for Walking a Labyrinth Path
Here I offer a short meditation to use while walking a labyrinth path:
- Stand at the entrance of the path; take a deep breath and release it slowly.
- Set your intention for walking the labyrinth path. Ask your Intuition for a message about a particular aspect of your life you seek Wisdom for.
- Take another deep breath and release it slowly.
- Walk the path and allow your mind to relax. Take in the features of the path and let the turns deepen your meditation as you move toward the center. Pausing before each turn enhances its power to bring you deeper, closer to your intuition.
- At the center, take a deep breath and release it slowly. Walk around the inside perimeter of the space, then choose a place to stand or sit. Spend time quietly listening to the life around you. Is there an idea that comes to you? If so, write it down. How do you feel? Write that down, too.
- When the thoughts and feelings you've received at the center have slowed and quieted down, take a deep breath and thank your Intuition for the Wisdom you were given. Bow to the center, then turn and step back onto the path.
- Return to the world refreshed and renewed. Write more in your journal when you've reached the end of the path (which was also the beginning). When you return home, pay attention to your dreams for the next few nights. They may reveal more to you related to the Wisdom you received at the center. Farewell and Namaste.
The Benefits of Walking Labyrinths
|Types of Labyrinths||Ways to Walk a Labyrinth||Benefits of Walking a Labyrinth|
Classical Greek 7-circuit
Same benefits as sitting meditation
Classical Greek 3-circuit
With a Friend
With a Family Member
In a Group you belong to
Handheld Finger Labyrinth
With strangers in a public space
Inspiration for the direction of a project
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2019 Karen A Szklany
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on December 13, 2019:
Thank you for stopping by, Audrey! I'm glad you enjoyed my article.
I hope you find a labyrinth close to you. If you don't find one on the global labyrinth locator, please stop by my article from a few years back titled "How to Create a Background Labyrinth One Step at a Time." I built that one on a hill, but the ideal place for creating one, especially a more long-term path, is on flat land. ~:0)
I hope the new year brings you to a labyrinth you can walk. Blessings on the path!
Audrey Hunt from Pahrump NV on December 13, 2019:
I've wanted to experience walking a labyrinth for a long time. I live high in the mountains isolated from the closest city, Palm Springs, Ca. I'll go to the link you've provided here to find a labyrinth nearby.
Thank you for this beautiful guide through a labyrinth.
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on November 10, 2019:
Hi John/Jodah, thanks for stopping by. Hope you find a labyrinth near you to walk with the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator. I will make sure I pop on over to your Poems From the Porch 8 & 9.
John Hansen from Gondwana Land on November 10, 2019:
This was very interesting, Karen. I Walked a labyrinth once for as child but this gives it a whole new meaning and purpose. I need to check if there are any close to me. Thanks for sharing. (Oh, I wrote the poems (haiku) you requested in Poems rom the Porch 8 and 9 when you have to read.)
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on October 22, 2019:
I agree, Bill.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on October 22, 2019:
I had to read the article because the title intrigued me. :) I walk daily in the woods. It is my connection with sanity, the only time during the day I totally relax. I think there is some of that labyrinth business involved in my walks. :)
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on October 14, 2019:
Glad you've had the chance to walk some labyrinths. Yes, your back country treks serve the same purpose as a labyrinth walk meditation, as they integrate the mind-body-spirit connection within. The labyrinth walk concentrates the experience into a smaller space and time frame.
Karen A Szklany (author) from New England on October 14, 2019:
I'm glad that walking in parks and other natural areas gives you solace. I hope you'll give walking a labyrinth another chance. Both integrate the mind-body-spirit connection, but walking a labyrinth is a more concentrated meditation in a "smaller space." Hope you find one to walk with the WWLL.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thought!
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on October 14, 2019:
I have walked a labyrinth with a person who thought doing so was nonsense, so knowing that I did not get much out of it. He thought it was silly. Doing it alone would probably have been a better experience. Thanks for telling us the pluses of doing so. I do like walking in natural areas such as parks and enjoy nature. That can give me solace and an escape from a daily bombardment of information, etc.
Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on October 14, 2019:
This is really cool. I have walked many but never stopped to intellectualize them. Thank you. And I never considered that being round and round mattered. I have always thought of my back country treks in the same way. Thanks again.