Guide to Walking the Labyrinth

labyrinth_traced_for-web_245x279Walking is one of several practices used by seekers of the transcendental experience. The labyrinth represents a pilgrimage and conscious taking of time to seek God. By taking the first step, we risk discovering the mystery at the very center of our being. It is an intentional choice to embark on a spiritual journey.

Because there is only one path to the center, there are no wrong turns in the labyrinth. Prepare to walk the labyrinth by consciously putting aside those things that may distract you from the full experience – your worries, daily errands, and so forth. Many people find it helpful to choose a word or image to focus their attention as they walk. Some suggestions are: Light, Love, Holy One, Wisdom, Almighty God, Lead me O Lord, Spirit of God, descend upon my heart, O God, or make haste to help me. Alternatively, you may choose to simply lift up to your need for healing to God, or put your problems into God’s hands.

Walk the labyrinth at a pace which is comfortable for you. If others are walking at the same time, you may need to step around someone who is walking more slowly than you, or approaching from an opposite direction. When arriving at the center, stand or sit still for a while, try to relax and empty your mind of thoughts. This is when you might hear God’s answer to your prayers. When you are ready to go on, you may choose to walk directly out of the labyrinth using the short exit, or you may retrace the full path back to the entrance. You may become aware of a new direction you’ve been given, an increased level of energy, a gift or insight to share with others.

Resources for further study are available in the Saint Thomas library:

  • Labyrinths from the Inside Out: Walking to Spiritual Insight by Donna Schaper and Carole Ann Camp, 2001, Skylight Paths Publishing
  • Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth by Melissa West, 2000, Random House
  • Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering The Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool by Lauren Artress, 1995, Riverhead Books
  • “Rediscovering the Labyrinth: A Walking Meditation” video, produced by Lauren Artress
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