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Walking an Unclear Path – A Labyrinth Experience

labyrinth

Have you ever walked a labyrinth?

Walking a labyrinth is a spiritual practice that I seek on retreats and to be honest, whenever I see one inviting me closer.

Based on the form of a circle and the spiral, this practice is an ancient and powerful symbol of wholeness and transformation. It is found in cultures throughout the world and has been added to many retreat centers as a form of walking prayer. Some of the earliest ones were found in Greece dating back to 2500-2000 BC.

The Path becomes a metaphor for the spiritual journey and for life, itself.

The labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes have many paths and dead ends and they evoke a very different feeling than when we walk a labyrinth. A labyrinth is a unicursal with only one path in and the same path out.

Its path meanders its way to the center. Walking this path enables you to experience peace, listen deeply, and reflect on where are you in your life. Some find healing or new ways to celebrate. Occasionally nothing is experienced.

I wrote about my experience walking the seaweed labyrinth in Scotland on the island of Iona. You can read about it here on the post titled Iona: A Thin Place.

I find entering the circle is like stepping into the sacred. My mind is slowly quieted, I let go of concerns, fears and attachments, and deeper insights emerge. Once in the center, I pause as long as needed to hear God in new ways. The return trip out refocuses me outward to my next step and how to serve others.

I have learned there is not a right or wrong way to experience a labyrinth. I let the Spirit be my guide. I seek out this form of spiritual practice when on retreat or going through a time of disquiet or confusion.

Walking an Unclear Path on a Grassy Labyrinth

A few weeks ago, two friends and I traveled to a new labyrinth to discover and experience its spirit. One never knows where God will lead you during this practice and once again God surprised me.

I have seen labyrinths built like rocky paths and upon paver stones, but this was the first one entirely designed in the grass.  With the wet year Ohio has had, seeing the path to follow blurred and it was hard to distinguish the route from overgrown edges.

I concentrated instead of relaxed.

I focused ahead, slowly step by step instead of just easing into the path and allowing my mind to wonder.

The ambiguous path reminded me about life – not always clear, full of doubt and uncertainties and hazy at best. Unpredictable.

I let go.

I trusted God.

I smiled when I realized when I needed to turn, God would show me. Sometimes I looked ahead and saw only a slight difference between the grassy path and the little higher boundaries. Slowly the next turn emerged, and I knew it was time to turn.

Slow.

Step by step.

Keep going. Don’t quit.

God leading. I am to listen and follow.

God in charge, not me.

I thought about the importance of the boundaries in guiding my journey. Sometimes difficult to see but there for protection, direction, and assurance.

During several of the long meandering ways, the uncertainty of the messy middle and impatience in waiting for next bend encircled my spirit. Was I lost? Did I miss a turn? Had I failed?

Slow.

Step by step.

Keep going. Don’t quit.

God leading. I am to listen and follow.

God in charge, not me.

Finally, I emerged into the peaceful center and soaked in God’s warm sun. We celebrated and danced and giggled that even with most of the journey not clear, with God’s help, we made it.

Unexpected lessons from the unclear path of life. A good reminder to trust God even in uncertainty and unclear times. A valuable nudge to keep boundaries visible and distinct.

Slow.

Step by step.

Keep going. Don’t quit.

God leading. I am to listen and follow.

God in charge, not me.

Lessons from the grassy labyrinth.

If you have walked a labyrinth, what did God teach you in this experience?

The post Walking an Unclear Path – A Labyrinth Experience appeared first on Healthy Spirituality.



This post first appeared on Healthy Spirituality | Nurturing Hearts Closer To, please read the originial post: here

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Walking an Unclear Path – A Labyrinth Experience

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