One of my new favorite things to do is to walk the labyrinth at Rhodes College here in my hometown. I only recently discovered this treasure when a friend and I were exercising this summer. She mentioned how much she loved to exercise because it made her feel good. The act of exercising gave her a sense of clarity and refreshment. Her love of exercise inspired me to suggest that she try moving mediations. Moving meditations are a great way to move your body while stilling your mind. It is truly the best of both worlds for someone who cannot sit still to meditate. Something about the deliberateness of moving in a meditation helps to calm the run away mind. I mentioned that she might want to find a labyrinth. She looked at me and laughed! Her alma mater has one right down the street.
If you have never walked a labyrinth, I highly recommend it. It is a very simple process but extremely beneficial. Labyrinths are used around the world as a way to access quiet contemplation. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is a pattern designed for you to get lost. A labyrinth is designed with one way in and one way out. There is no getting lost. There is only the inward journey of tuning in to your own sense of balance and calm. A labyrinth helps you to return to yourself.
How do you walk a labyrinth? Slowly. Quietly. Focused inwardly. As you walk towards the center you will find your daily worries releasing away. When you reach the center of the labyrinth pause and allow yourself a moment to feel the inward shift that has taken place. Maybe say a short prayer or a bow to the four corners. While walking out use the time to focus on taking this renewed sense of peace with you.
The simple act of walking in a designated path with its twists and turns somehow mimics the same labyrinth in our brains. Walking the labyrinth naturally recalibrates our balance and sense of calm. Science and Spirit working together. I love when that happens!
Labyrinths in the Memphis area: Rhodes College, Second Baptist Church, First Congo Church, Calvary Episcopal Church, and Wings Cancer Foundation