A labyrinth is a single geometrical winding pathway, usually acorn shaped, varying in size and used for personal, psychological and spiritual renovation. It is a sacred space with healing powers that can assist in meditation, prayer, self-awareness and connection with the Divine. Labyrinths have existed for more than 4000 years and have been an integral part of many ancient cultures and religions. During the time of the Crusades, people created and used labyrinths to symbolize the physical pilgrimage to the Holy Land. They have also been depicted on pottery and in woven fabric patterns. Some labyrinths are carved out in gardens or simply made of stones or gravel. If you do not have room to create your own walking labyrinth, you can use a drawing and trace its path with your finger. (See image below.) You can achieve the same benefits as walking through one. You might also try tracing the path using your non-dominant hand for an additional challenge.
A labyrinth is a unicursal maze — one path that begins at the entrance or mouth, which leads to its center and goes back out the same way. In contrast, a conventional maze is a left-brain exercise that requires the use of logic to find your way out. It is designed to stimulate the right brain, which unleashes creativity and intuition, and to give you the ability to enter a form of walking meditative state. There are no walls on the path to block site of the center goal or to block your way out.
Labyrinths represent a metaphor for your life path and the journey you are making. While walking the path of the labyrinth, either alone or with a group, focus on your feelings and emotions to allow you to connect with yourself. You may also want to choose a meditation that you are comfortable with in order to clear and quiet your mind. The uses of a labyrinth are many — relief from stress and anxiety, healing, meditation, problem solving, enhancing intuition, expanding thought processes, communicating with the Divine, balancing mind, body and spirit, letting go of unwanted energies, obtaining goals, celebrating and remembering others, building trust in yourself or others, and coping with grief, sorrow and loss.
When walking a labyrinth, leave yourself open to the different emotions that may overcome you. You may experience feelings of euphoria or feelings of despair. Whatever feelings rise to the surface, accept them as a healing experience and an opportunity for growth on your path in life.
Click on the chalkboard below to enlarge image for use as a Finger Labyrinth.
To learn more about other types of healing modalities, visit the Healing Room.