Walking a Labyrinth

A Few Notes on Walking a Labyrinth
  • Remember that a labyrinth is not a maze. It is a path to follow, not a puzzle to solve.Because only one path leads to the center and back out again, a labyrinth invites us to follow, discover, receive.
  • Many consider the path of a labyrinth a pilgrimage, a journey taken to a site deemed holy primarily for the sake of the journey.
  • There are many preferences for walking the labyrinth.
    • Some prefer to quiet the mind, receiving and releasing whatever thoughts arise.
    • Some prefer to focus on a question
    • Some prefer to repeat a phrase, verse of scripture, or song
    • Some prefer the three-fold approach outlined below.
  • Travel as you choose. A labyrinth is a path, not a contest.
  • Move at the pace that works for you. Slow and deliberate usually is best. If a thought arises and you prefer, stand or sit for a while. Try to “receive,” not “set” a pace.
  • If you move aside to let someone pass and lose your way, don’t worry. You will end at either the center or the entrance. Perhaps that was part of the journey.
  • Just as there is no one correct way to pray, there is no one way to walk a labyrinth. Be imaginative. Don’t worry about making sense. No one must walk a labyrinth, but many have found it meaningful. It is a spiritual tool, nothing less and nothing more.
One Way to Walk A Labyrinth
  1. Before Walking: Reflect on where you are in life. What is driving, nagging, or calling you? What question will not leave you alone? [You may want to walk around the labyrinth while pondering this.]
  2. Walking to the Center: Listen for God’s voice addressing where you are in your life. Try to release anything that is blocking your communication with God. Let go of daily concerns for a while.If you feel frustrated with the process, ponder the breadth of God’s grace and/or recall a time grace has found you. Ask God for that grace.
  3. In the Center: Give thanks for any insight or illumination you have received on your walk. Accept with gratitude whatever comes in a few moments of quiet reflection.
  4. Walking from the Center: As you leave the center, ponder what replenishment, direction, or insights you are taking back to your life. Reflect on what God is calling you to be or to do. Identify any next steps you feel called to take.
  5. At the Entrance: Pause and give thanks for whatever you experienced.

NOTE:  Comments above are largely taken from a document provided by Rev. Dr. L.P. Jones during a presentation at the MWPC Men’s Retreat in the 2000s

NOTE:  Most of these same steps apply if you use a “pocket labyrinth” instead of walking a full-scale labyrinth

DON’T HAVE A POCKET LABYRINTH? You can walk a virtual labyrinth HERE

Here’s a Guideposts article about spiritual benefits of labyrinths

You can find an outdoor labyrinth in your area HERE

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