You’ve probably tried meditating. If you’re like many people you felt discouraged when you couldn’t quieten your mind and shut down random thoughts. Restlessness takes over and you fidget your way through the meditation process. This is really common and causes many to give up even before they’ve really begun. If this sounds like you a Labyrinth Walk may be the answer to your meditation problem.
Thoughts are just a part of mind activity and unless you’ve perfected your meditation technique over decades, a normal part of the meditation. The key to managing thoughts during meditating is to stop trying to banish them. Let them rise and then release them gently.
After you’ve been busy it takes the body time to unwind and settle. Because your body is driven to keep up the momentum it continues to move. While you’ll eventually calm and settle as you continue with the process, if you find you’re somewhat impatient and can’t stick to the process it’s worth trying other forms of meditation.
Active Meditation In The Labyrinth
Establishing connection to Source energy takes practice and it’s easy to get discouraged in the early stages. While meditation is commonly seen as “sitting in the stillness” some find it easier to connect and stay connected during slow measured movement.
Walking the path of the Labyrinth has stood the test of time. It’s a wonderful way to connect to Source energy through focused movement, and many people find it much easier than sitting quietly to meditate.
The Walking Meditation taught by Thich Nhat Hanh, and certain forms of dance are other ways to meditate actively.
Throughout history walking Labyrinths was a practice favoured by organised religions, so labyrinths were often found in churches or cathedrals. But recently many full-size labyrinths have being built in public places and parklands for everyone to access.
Many people use the labyrinth walk to create a calm mind, and to find inner balance and connection to Source energy or their Higher Self. Labyrinth walks allow one’s mind to quieten and invite insight through meditation. Walking the labyrinth is a wonderful way to develop mindfulness and connect with inner knowing.
Ancient Sacred Symbols
Labyrinths are an ancient sacred symbol. The sacred spiral design is a very powerful self-alignment tool to bring perspective into our lives.
Although labyrinths may seem like mazes they are very different. Mazes require you to use the logical left brain to navigate them. But the geometric form of the labyrinth speaks to the imaginative, intuitive, spatial and visual dominant right brain.
Mazes are puzzles with dead ends and many twists and turns in different directions. Labyrinths have only one path that leads right into the centre with no deceptive turns or blind alleys.
It takes logic and planned thought to solve a maze. But the labyrinth requires a more passive, yin approach. The only decision is whether to start or not. Your consciousness moves into a more receptive state by shifting from left to right brain bringing holistic perception, balance and allowing insights.
How To Walk The Labyrinth
There are three stages to every labyrinth walk. Each is equally important to the whole process.
To begin, pause at the entrance to focus and set an intention for your walk. Take slow, deliberate steps as you move towards the centre of the labyrinth. This is an opportunity to clear and centre your mind. Release any worries or obligations and surrender to the process of being fully present in your body, in the moment.
When you reach the centre again pause and spend time in reflection, meditation, prayer or simple stillness. In the stillness you can realise your own sacred inner space and allow the divine into your life. Clear all thoughts and allow the connection to Source Energy. If you find your thoughts wandering use deep breathing to refocus.
The return walk from the centre allows you time to integrate your insights. It prepares you for a return to your life prepared to make transformational changes, and ready to take action.
Each walk is unique and you can expect to receive something different every time you walk the labyrinth. While it may at times just be a pleasant walk, on other occasions it may reveal deep insight and understanding. The labyrinth walk may even provide the answer to your question, or release of a worry or grief you’ve been holding.
The Journey Of Life Within The Labyrinth
Our life pathway is reflected in the walk through the labyrinth.
Life is a journey, but at times it can seem the path has disappeared so we feel we are lost in the undergrowth. We’re all on a path, even if sometimes it seems pretty overgrown, and at other times we have no idea where it may be leading us.
In some ways the labyrinth is a metaphor for our own journey. It takes us far into our deepest self then returns us back into the world.
In many ancient myths and legends the hero or heroine had to descend into the darkness before they could overcome their adversary or fear, and return back up into the light. Only after passing through the depths could they emerge triumphant with a deeper understanding of themselves. Similarly we can use the labyrinth walk to go deep within to broaden our understanding and acceptance of who we are.
Labyrinths can be transformational spiritual tools. If you choose to use this form of meditation make the labyrinth walk a regular practice which you integrate as part of your life.
As an ancient symbol of wholeness labyrinths allow you to pursue personal growth.
Find a Labyrinth
There are a growing number of labyrinths to walk If you’d like to experience their power. Some are privately owned and require prior arrangement for their use, but many are open for public use. Search for a local labyrinth in Australia on this comprehensive labyrinth list.
The beautiful labyrinth in the image at the top of this post is in Carrajung, Australia. I recently walked it and was moved by the power of the strong indigenous presence.
Have you walked the labyrinth?
What do you find the greatest benefit and power of taking the labyrinth walk?
Work With Me On Retreat
Would you love to develop deep Self-Care practices to keep you grounded and energised, and your heart singing?
Join me on the Indochine Queen Women’s Retreat in Vietnam in March 2019, where we will Walk a Labyrinth on the magnificent beach at Hoi An.
Find all the details here
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© Catherine Bullard 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Catherine Bullard with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.