Labyrinths are ancient human symbols that date back more than 4,000 years.
For many, labyrinths held a specific purpose: they served as a way to make a sacred pilgrimage even if one could not undertake an actual journey to a holy place. They engaged the body, the soul, and the mind—focusing upon movement along a defined path toward the center, and back again. Today, labyrinths are used for prayer, introspection, meditation, centering, or relaxation.
Unlike a maze, the labyrinth is not a puzzle and does not have dead ends. The labyrinth is one single-coiled pathway leading toward a center and then back to the world again. To follow the way of your spirituality in a labyrinth is to journey to the sacred center and then return, renewed, to the world.
HOW TO WALK THE LABYRINTH:
Remember - Before walking the labyrinth: Take a deep breath or pause for a moment of silence, clearing your body and mind, as you approach the entrance to the labyrinth. Take time in gratitude be thankful for your life. Bless the people in your life. If there’s a specific event or situation troubling you, bring it to mind and form a healing question if possible.
Release - Walking into the Labyrinth: This is the time to quiet the mind, let go of the mind chatter and release your troubles. Open your heart to feel whatever it might feel. Become aware of your breathing. Take slow breaths. Relax and move at your own pace. As you follow the path toward the center, go at your own pace, and use the time to pray, listen, reflect, and feel. One step at a time, let yourself lose track of the outside world as you move toward the center.
Receive - Standing or sitting at the center: This is a place of reflection. Pause and stay as long as you like. Open yourself to your higher power. Listen to that small inner voice. In the safety of the labyrinth have a heart-to heart talk with yourself. As you linger in this space, considered the most sacred of the labyrinth, receive what is there for you to receive.
Returning - Walking out of the labyrinth: When you are ready, begin walking out the same path you followed in. Walking out, integration of your experience happens. Experience the sense of well-being, healing, excitement, calm or peace. Each labyrinth experience is different. You may feel nothing or have a powerful reaction. Whatever, listen to your heart and take all the time you need. The above description is only a thumbnail sketch. You provide the bigger picture. Reflect on what you have learned, and let yourself feel gratitude for the journey and insights. Remember them as you re-enter the world.
Facilitated Labyrinth Walks on the SMU Campus in Dallas, Texas.
The SMU Habito Labyrinth—a seven-circuit design, based on the eleven-circuit medieval labyrinth in France’s Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres—is located in the Frost Marcus Labyrinth Courtyard Gardens, in the open and accessible space between Prothro Hall (5901 Bishop Boulevard) and Selecman Halls at Perkins School of Theology on the SMU Campus in Dallas, TX. Parking is located in the Meadows Museum Parking Garage (5900 Bishop Blvd.) The path of the labyrinth is about one-third of a mile long and takes about 20 minutes to walk at a moderate pace. All necessary Dallas County Covid regulations for outdoor activities are practiced.
NOTE: Because the labyrinth is outdoors, walks will be cancelled if weather is inclement.
Virtual Finger Labyrinth Walks
Experience the practice of mindfulness on a Zoom labyrinth walk using a paper labyrinth. Let your finger do the walking. The experience is contemplative and quiet but can be quite transformative as it quiets the mind, opens the heart and nourishes the soul. I encourage you to walk the labyrinth if you are seeking ways to start or deepen your mindfulness practice. As a Verditas Labyrinth Facilitator I will provide participants with bit of information on labyrinths, and how walking the labyrinth is a mindful practice. Labyrinth PDF
I look forward to seeing you soon on the labyrinth!