HOW TO WALK A LABYRINTH
Some of us may have never walked a labyrinth and may be asking, Just how does a person walk a labyrinth? What are the rules?
There is no one correct way to walk a labyrinth. Each labyrinth walk may be an entirely different experience from other labyrinth walks.
Can more than one person walk a labyrinth at a time? Yes. There is no restriction on how many people can walk at one time.
What if the person in front is walking as slow as a tortoise? Be polite and considerate, but feel free to pass. People walk the labyrinth at different paces. We can all live together on and off labyrinths peacefully.
Should you talk to the other person walking the labyrinth? Typically, people like to walk the labyrinth in silence. Of course, if no one is on the labyrinth and you are walking the labyrinth with a friend with whom you’ve prearranged talking while while walking the labyrinth together feel free to do so. Silence, however, is recommended. God can be heard in words and noise, but our lives are filled with noise and chatter. Time in silence can be good for us.
What if nothing happens when I walk the labyrinth? What if I’m disappointed with my labyrinth walk? You might try having intentions when you walk the labyrinth, not expectations. Expectations set us up to feel disappointed or lead us to think we didn’t walk the labyrinth correctly. Don’t put pressure on yourself. Rather, simply have an intention. Today when I walk the labyrinth my intention is to open myself, my heart, my mind to thinking about a health problem I have. Today I walk the labyrinth with the intention to get my life more in balance. I walk with the intention of praying about a conflicted relationship I am in. I walk seeking guidance. I walk to practice being thankful. I walk to be released from the power of depression. Will you still be depressed? Maybe. But what if a labyrinth walk empowered you to say, I will not be defeated by my depression. ------ Or perhaps you just walk and see where you mind goes. My intention today for this walk is to be wide open to whatever happens during the walk.
QUESTIONS TO ASK WHILE WALKING LABYRINTH
Entrance To The Labyrinth Questions
1. What were the early years of my life like?
2. What new beginning do I need in my life?
3. What new beginnings have I had in my life?
4. Am I a self-starter or do I have trouble "getting the ball rolling"? (What might I be afraid of? What are the various dynamics of my ambivalence and inability to act?)
5. What doors have been closed to you? (Why have those doors been closed?)
6. Who are the people and what are the events that have opened up a whole new world to you, a new way of understanding yourself and the world?
7. Think of when you became a Christian. How do you feel God has changed you since that first step of following Jesus?
8. Are you a parent of a young child? What are your hopes and dreams for the beginning of their life?
9. Are you in the beginning stages of a relationship? What thoughts and emotions are swimming in you as you are thinking about this relationship?
10. What is something I started but did not finish? What can my not finishing something tell me about myself? Am I ambivalent about what I started? What can I learn about myself from my ambivalence? Do I fear failure because of.....past failures, experience of a very critical parent or partner/spouse, or because I am too critical of myself? Do I tend to be passive agressive?
11. What new thing could I do to make the world a better place?
12. Is the current pace of my life too fast? [Walk the labyrinth slowly as a way of saying to yourself that you need to slow down.]
13. [For Wedgewoodians] What can I do to make Wedgewood the church it needs to be?
14. [For Wedgewoodians] What do I have to give to Wedgewood? What do I need to receive from Wedgewood?
15. How has church or spirituality been a problem for me in the past? How might church, personal involvement in mission activitity, and/or spirituality transform me?
Center of the Labyrinth Questions
1. Who or what is the center of your existence?
2. Who or what holds you together?
3. Are you distracted? Do you need to be more centered?
4. Do you find yourself getting caught in the middle of other people's conflicts? How can you keep loving each of the people in the conflict while not getting caught in the middle and taking on the stress of their relationship?
5. How long do you think you will live? Are you at the middle of your life? What do you want to do with the time you have left?
6. Are you a young person headed toward adulthood? What new responsibilities and opportunities are you seeking?
7. In some of our relationships a good bit of time may have passed and a lot of water has gone under the bridge. What have been the joys and hurts of such a relationship? What aspects of the relationship have been swept under the rug? What needs to be forgiven? What are times you've had together that remind you of how blessed you have been? What are your hopes for the future of the relationship?
Exit Questions For Labyrinth Walking
1. What are some of the endings you have experienced?
2. What deaths have you mourned?
3. What are some exits you need to take in life?
4. What are some things you need to end in your life?
5. Where do you go next in your life?
6. What friends and communities do you have to help you live in the world?
7. What do you want to do before your life ends?
8. What fears do you have about the future?
LABYRINTH READING RESOURCES
Lauren Artress, The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform
Lauren Artress, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
Gernot Candolini, Labyrinths: Walking Toward the Center
Helen Curry, The Way of the Labyrinth: A Powerful Meditation for Everyday Life
Penelope Reed Doob, The Idea of the Labyrinth from Classical Antiquity through the Middle Ages
Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion, Praying the Labyrinth: A Journal for Spiritual Exploration
Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion, Pondering the Labyrinth: Questions to Pray on the Path
Richard Kautz, A Labyrinth Year: Walking the Seasons of the Church
Hermann Kern, Through the Labyrinth
Sig Lonegren, Labyrinths: Ancient Myths and Modern Uses
W.H. Matthews, Mazes and Labyrinths: Their History and Development
Helen Raphael Sands, The Labyrinth: Pathway to Meditation and Healing
Helen Raphael Sands, The Healing Labyrinth: Finding Your Path to Inner Peace
Jeff Saward, Labyrinths and Mazes - A Complete Guide to Magical Paths of the World
Jeff Saward, Magical Paths - Labyrinths & Mazes in the 21st Century
Donna Schaper, and Carole Ann Camp, Labyrinths from the Outside In: Walking to Spiritual Insight - A Beginner's Guide
Melissa Gayle West, Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth
Virginia Westbury, Labyrinths: Ancient Paths of Wisdom and Peace