St Barts Labyrinth
Welcome to our Labyrinth
Outside our parish hall is a beautiful labyrinth. Surrounded by gardens, it is a peaceful place where one can rest on the memorial benches or simply just be still. The labyrinth is also a spiritual tool. It is not a maze; you cannot get lost or confused. You begin at the beginning and follow the path to the centre. This ancient symbol has become a way of meditation for many who have found a personal calm and purpose in walking its pattern.
What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a patterned walking path. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has just one path to its centre, and the same path leads back out. This single path requires the walker to watch where the path leads and slow down, both physically and mentally. Such a slow deliberate pace creates time for our minds and hearts to think more clearly and pray with our whole body.
Walking the Labyrinth
There is no single way to walk a labyrinth. However like most Christian prayer forms, traditions have developed throughout the centuries which many people have found helpful to this form of “walking prayer.” Traditionally there are three moves as we walk. (over)
1. Entering—Your Journey Inward
Pause and wait at the entrance. Become quiet and centered. Give acknowledgement through a bow, nod, or other gesture and then enter.
Walk the labyrinth purposefully at your own pace. As you walk, you may find it easier to observe what is on your mind and heart. Let these concerns be your prayer, or simply observe them and let them go.
2. Illumination—Your Time at the Centre
At the centre of the labyrinth is a circular space. Remain there for a time. Feel free to remain standing or to sit.
Close your eyes and relax into the peacefulness of the centre. What are you experiencing as you quiet yourself and listen? Is there some idea, experience, prayer image that comes to you? Do you experience the presence of God right now? How?
3. Union—Your Journey Outward
You choose when to leave the centre and at what pace you will walk.
Reflect on your labyrinth walk. How will you take your journey back out into the world? Is there something you want to do, say, take up, give away? How will this experience influence the remaining hours of your day, your week?