Labyrinths appear on every continent, transcending culture, language,and geographic boundaries. They are as ancient as the Greek myths, yet are growing in popularity today. Unlike a maze, labyrinths have only one way in to the center, and one way out.
During the Middle Ages, labyrinths were built in churches and cathedrals as part of the sacred space used by worshipers. It was a common spiritual practice for Christians to walk church or cathedral labyrinths instead of making a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
The Labyrinth at Zion is patterned after the most famous of cathedral labyrinths – the Chartres Cathedral – built around 1200 A.D. in Chartres, France.
Approaching the Labyrinth Being in the Labyrinth is like:
- Taking a thoughtful walk.
- Going on a sacred journey.
- Taking part in a spiritual dance.
There are many ways to walk the Labyrinth:
- With one prayer or mantra in mind.
- Asking one question repeatedly.
- Preparing to just listen.
It may be helpful to think of the walk as having three “movements”:
- Moving Inward – a time to cast off, let go, or unwind.
- Centering – a time to be open, expectant, receptive, as to a gift.
- Moving Outward – a time to gain direction, comfort, new energy.
Some like to stop at various points of the labyrinth for prayer or reflection. Others walk as slowly as possible, concentrating on their breathing.
There is no singular “right” way to walk the Labyrinth. Just do what feels comfortable to you.