Our outdoor labyrinth (in the Circle of Peace design) is located at the northeast corner of the parking lot. The labyrinth is open to all during daylight hours.
Labyrinths are ancient symbols found across many cultures around the world. Some of the earliest known labyrinths are at least 3500 years old. The earliest known Christian labyrinth dates back to 324 CE.
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, labyrinths are not the same as mazes. In a labyrinth there is only one way in and one way out. There are no dead ends. The path is not meant to confuse, frustrate, or trick those who walk it. Instead it is meant to be a path of peace, a tool for enhancing the spiritual lives and practices of those who walk it.
The modern revival of labyrinth use in the Christian tradition began with the rediscovery of a medieval labyrinth built into the stone floor of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Chartes, outside of Paris. Since then labyrinths have been built in a variety of spiritual and secular settings where they are used for prayer, meditation, relaxation, or other spiritual practices.
Walking the Labyrinth
The journey toward the center of the labyrinth is a time to shed the distractions that are cluttering your mind or heart. Before embarking on your journey, offer a silent prayer or breathe deeply as you still your mind. Release your thoughts and prepare to walk with God. As you walk, you might frame your thoughts in the form of a question or choose a word or phrase to ponder.
The center is a place to pause and dwell with God. You may receive from God’s Spirit or simply rest in the divine presence.
The journey out of the labyrinth prepares you for “re-entry.” Walk out to empower yourself and to integrate what you have learned or received.
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Walk as you feel led. This may be slowly and meditatively, or playfully and energetically.
Respect the needs and mindsets of others who may be praying on the path at the same time. If you meet others while walking the labyrinth, simply step to the side and then back on your path.