All around the world you will find pathways to walk, that are specially designed to bring you to stillness. These Labyrinths, follow a single-direction path that winds and weaves its way into a centre point where you will observe a natural state of still-minded-ness. Sitting in that gentleness is like the reward for the walk, and while the nature of the stillness differs with each walk, the presence of it never ceases.
Most common design is the 13 circuit labyrinth named after the Chatres Cathedral in France. This design is underpinned by detailed sacred geometry, centred around a 13-pointed star. This is replicated with varying degrees of accuracy in Labyrinths around the world.
Other shapes and sizes exist, with varying numbers of circuits. There are even labyrinths for horse and rider – which offer profound opportunity for inter-species alignment.
Mazes vs Labyrinths
Do you know the difference?
A maze provides you with choice of direction that creates confusion, leads to lostness, and impairs the path of intention. The frustration is rewarded through successful escape.
A Labyrinth has only 1 silent, peri-conscious choice – namely do I take another step forward? When repeatedly answered “Yes” there is certainty that you will reach the intended centre where stillness awaits you. The persistence is rewarded through stillness, nicely packaged as a “take-home-gift”.
There is only one path to the centre, and you walk the same path on your return. The walk inwards is a purgation or letting go, that brings you to the centre and stillness – from which you return into the world (on the same path) bringing with you all that you’ve discovered.
To read more – click through to this article written by Dr Peter Frazer, builder and custodian of the Labyrinth at The Manger in Barrydale, South Africa.
To deepen your understanding of Labyrinths and your own enjoyment of them, consider seeking out a workshop in your area. You will be sure to find a facilitator who is passionate about Labyrinths – they do have a real ‘following’.
Finger Labyrinths have been developed as a take home tool for leading the self into stillness. They can be used as a meditation practice or by a professional counselor to support a client.
A list of South African Labyrinths is available at www.labyrinths.co.za
For a worldwide labyrinth locater click here
My favourites are :
– St Georges Cathedral,
– The Manger – Barrydale baboon rehab centre, http://www.baboons.co.za
– Edinburgh – St Andrew’s Square
– Grace Chapel in California.