This week you are in for a treat! My friend and Walking with Divine Feminine partner, Nancy Herlin, has written a beautiful personal piece about what the practice of labyrinth walking is and and what it means to her. Please enjoy, and join us April 9.
When people find out that I have a labyrinth and walk it regularly as one of my spiritual practices, I find most don’t know what to say. Many confuse it with a maze, but unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path in and out, and isn’t designed to get you lost. Some excitedly recount their own stories of time spent in a labyrinth. Others are curious about how a walking meditation tool can help them access their own inner knowing and enhance their relationship with God.
What is a labyrinth? It is an ancient symbol and usually outdoor space used as a metaphor for our own spiritual journey. There are many uses for a labyrinth. Some use a labyrinth as a walking meditation tool to pause and slow themselves down. Others use it to connect with their soul and interior life, and still others just enjoy being in nature able to think about a problem or relationship. Many use it for rituals or celebrations. For me the labyrinth is a sacred space where any of these things can happen. It is a space that welcomes both the religious and spiritual, and those who have yet to connect with the depths of their spiritual lives.
I find that if one is open, the labyrinth walk has a way of excavating the soul, for the deeper feelings, thoughts and whispers from God that want to emerge. It is when the body is engaged in the walking of a path that is already laid out, that the soul’s desires and longings can emerge. That results in feelings of joy, fear, sadness and many times “aha” moments of clarity inspired from our own deep wisdom within. This wisdom is often difficult to access in the busyness of daily life and the labyrinth allows us to slow down enough to reconnect with this wisdom.
My interest in labyrinths began almost 30 years ago when I walked my first one and heard God speak to me about trusting and leaning on the Spirit instead of myself. This ignited a searching to understand and experience a deeper connection with the Divine and a spiritual journey that continues today. Since that initial walk, I have been intrigued by how each labyrinth experience comes to greet me and gives me just the gift that I need about who God is, who I am and how to be in the world.
Just this past week, as I paused at the labyrinth entrance, I imagined the faces of those Ukrainians suffering in another part of the world from me. I held them in my heart and asked “what more can I do?” and entered. I walked the windy path and had an image come to mind of others walking their own path, displace in that war torn part of the world. “Feel with them”, I heard. “Imagine this conflict has already ended, send them hopeful energy.” And so I did.
In my own labyrinth, the path twists and turns around the center (representing God/the Divine) seven times before it reaches its destination. In The Interior Castle, Teresa of Avila describes the inner spiritual life and the seven mansions she entered to reach the interior castle – oneness with our Creator. Sometimes I imagine that I am walking through those mansions in order to receive the clarity from and closeness to the Spirit. You’re invited to join me in walking the labyrinth on April 9th in the second workshop in our series “The Divine Feminine: A Yoga and Labyrinth Experience to try it out.
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