From their website:
The Labyrinth, located adjacent to the Mental Health Center to the north, is a circuitous path that leads to the center and out again. Its various twists and turns provide a metaphor for life and its challenges. Labyrinths are designed to help us find our way. There is no right or wrong way to use a labyrinth, but most believe the labyrinth provides the opportunity to clear ones mind, find peace, manage stress, and make decisions. Some believe that the labyrinth can also help a person heal physically, emotionally, and spiritually.We learned some of the history behind labyrinths, going all the way back to the island of Crete and the myth of the Minotaur. It has been used in numerous cultures for about five thousand years and is present in modern-day Christianity. According to the speaker, many churches house labyrinths, the most famous being the one in the Chartres Cathedral in France.
The Labyrinth of the Mental Health Center is available to the public during daylight hours, 7 days a week including weekends. It's use is free of charge but donations are accepted.
The Mental Health Center's labyrinth is patterned after the one in Chartres, which is illustrated above. The eleven circuits are a half mile long and depending on your pace, it can take from fifteen to forty-five minutes to walk. Constructed of grass with stones outlining each circuit, it's best experienced by walking it barefooted. And the instructor noted there is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth or no right or wrong reason for walking it. After you've reached the center with its six petals (which represent the six days of creation), it's customary to spend some time there. Some folks carry in a pebble to represent a burden and then leave it in the center so they can shed the burden. Some folks walk accompanied by music from an iPod. Some blow bubbles even. The labyrinths in churches will often have candles or holy water in the center.
In 2010, the local Labyrinth Keepers are planning to have someone walk the local labyrinth every single day and they're currently looking for volunteers for not only that project, but others such as upkeep and public relations as well.
Labyrinths are often used in grief therapy and the instructor said they use the one here with children who have ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome.
As I listened to her presentation, I came to the conclusion that the labyrinth might have some applications for writing. I can't count how many times I've been unable to focus on the task at hand and could use something to help me gather my thoughts and center myself. Or what about being stuck on a plot point and needing time to sort it out? Walking a labyrinth could be helpful (and a lot cheaper than retail therapy).
For labyrinth enthusiasts who want to find them wherever they travel (and there was a woman attending the workshop who'd walked labyrinths all over the United States) the Labyrinth Society has a locator feature on their website at http://www.labyrinthsociety.org/ .
Have you ever walked a labyrinth? If so, tell us about it. If not, would you try it if there was one near you? Check the locator on the website posted above and tell us if there's a labyrinth near you.
P.S. Our very own Problem Child is guest blogging today at I Heart Presents. Please hop over and tell her hello.