A Labyrinth is the ultimate combination of landscaping beauty and meditative Sacred Space rolled into one.
A Labyrinth is an ancient symbol which has existed for at least 3500 years. The archetypal or most common Labyrinth design consists of a single pathway that loops back and forth to form seven circuits, bounded by eight walls, surrounding the central goal.
We are all on the path - exactly where we need to be. The Labyrinth is a model of that path that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world.
At its most basic level the Labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to "That Which Is Within."
Labyrinths can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage walking the path to enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands so Labyrinths and prayer were substituted.
Walking the path of a Labyrinth is a physical meditation that gently and subtly takes you in to a comforting, contemplative, fearless, safe space, where there is no time and space as we know it. With every turn, one loses track of direction, of the outside world, releasing tension, stress and depression, quieting the mind. With every step you relax ever deeper into an altered state, as if you were in a deep, meditative consciousness state in a stationary position. In a Labyrinth you are physically one with the altered state, each step taking you deeper - all of your "bodies," mental, spiritual, emotional AND physical, equally participating in the experience.
Upon your exit you know that every fiber, every cell of your body has participated in a ceremony that has left you with an incredible sense of peace, well being and knowing that all is well within you. This "feeling" will remain with you for a while. For some it may be up to 20 minutes, others as much as three or four hours. It will depend on how soon you become once again enmeshed in the outside world. The longer you walk around the grounds, the longer it will last. However, the memory of the Labyrinth is now coded into your cells, so any moment, any time that you need the replenishment of the energy of the Labyrinth, simply go back in time to the moment that you walked the path of the Labyrinth and you will once again feel its refreshing and energizing energy, gently caressing you with its healing essence.
Generally there are three stages to the walk: releasing on the way in, receiving in the center and returning to the mundane world refreshed and enlightened. Symbolically, and sometimes actually, you are taking back out into the world that which you have received.
This healing meditative journey can be enjoyed over and over. For most, with every walk your experience become more profound and lasts longer.
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