Distinct from a maze, labyrinths have only one path to follow which allows the analytical thinking mind to slow and intuition to emerge. Called “walking meditation” and sometimes considered a “spiritual tool”, labyrinths have been found to cultivate peace, surrender and clarity on matters that weigh on us.
What is it about, and how can it help?
Labyrinths have been known for over 4000 years. They are found, in some form, in most religions and spiritual traditions across many cultures and societies. A resurgence of labyrinth interest began in the 1990s and, in the time since, the applications and audience of labyrinth users has continued to broaden, and many new labyrinths have been created—now numbering over 6,000 in 80 countries.
To enter a labyrinth is to engage in an age-old walking meditation practice which offers to calm the mind and open the soul. Labyrinth walking does entail focus but doesn’t require thinking and has been found helpful to promote mindfulness, healing, peace and insight. Contemporary books on labyrinths include applications exploring a range of dilemmas and issues including: life purpose & direction, grief/death, forgiveness, creativity, relationships, and shadow work.
What does it look like?
A labyrinth has no dead ends or alternate paths. There are turns, though the distance between them varies through the labyrinth, but the path always takes you to centre and (with a few exceptions) back out the same way. Walking a labyrinth requires no problem-solving or decision-making. The rational brain is relieved of responsibility, leaving the intuitive self freed up to express itself, and the senses opened up to the present moment.
Though there is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. The aim is simply to experience your experience, and it does not necessarily require any guidance. A Labyrinth Facilitator can enhance your experience by providing context beforehand, offering interpretation afterward, and can suggest particular methods, exercises, rituals or approaches to add meaning to your labyrinth walk.
Additional details & pictures can be found in experience descriptions.
Who provides it?
Neil travelled across America by train to San Francisco to be trained as a Labyrinth Facilitator by Veriditas, a non-profit organization dedicated to introducing people to the worldwide labyrinth movement. He has been a guest speaker at labyrinth gatherings, had articles about labyrinths published in print media, and regularly welcomes people to walk the unique forest labyrinth he built on his rural property near Owen Sound. Read full bio.
How is it accessed?
You can book a private labyrinth walk with a Labyrinth Facilitator for an individual, couple or small group. Themed public labyrinth walks are offered occasionally, sometimes in line with milestones in the natural world like solstice, equinox or full moon.