Labyrinths: Walking Meditations

Worship outside of a church comes in many forms.  For the service, several members shared their ways of being mindful and growing spiritually. These included listening to music, engaging in specific meditation times, and singing. My contribution was this short talk on how walking a labyrinth daily has been an important part of 2018.  Since late December 2017, I have walked either the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth or when traveling found a labyrinth to walk, or used a small cloth lap labyrinth and as a last resort, used my palm to mindfully walk a labyrinth.

“Carry On” Lyrics from the American Indie Pop group, FUN.

“If you’re lost and alone

Or you’re sinking like a stone

Carry on.

May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground

Carry on.

Carry on, carry on.”

The lyrics of this song often scroll through my mind as I walk a labyrinth daily. Walking a labyrinth is my meditation.

The song reminds us that none of us is perfect.  We can chew on our faults, making them who we are.  Or we can acknowledge the negatives things like wrong doings, surliness, inconsideration, not listening and then we can choose,

Yes, we have a choice, to acknowledge positives in our lives and work towards them. To make them part of who we really are.

We are Holy Spirits Bound in Human Bodies. Frailly Divine you might say.

Walking a labyrinth daily provides me with this time and space. For me to pause…Ground…Center in the moment…and Mindfully walk with a Grateful Heart.

I give thanks: to the day and the season regardless of the weather; the plants and animals; our home; Rich and our families; our bounty.

I ask for blessings on those in need, trauma, who are far away, with whom I have had disagreements and whose actions I disagree with.

I ask Divine Love that is within me to help me remember to open my heart and mind to grace and compassion.

Walking the labyrinth helps me catch and dispel the grumpiness that sometimes overwhelms me.

Speaking scientifically, by choosing to center in gratitude I change the brainwaves by allowing neurotransmitters to reinforce certain pathways.  Positive pathways. I allow time for resolution of matters as I form habits of gratefulness and positivity.

Spiritually, this allows time and opens space to choose to walk mindfully; to invite in peacefulness that I work to carry through the day.

As I carry on, I remind myself that peace begins with me with the sound of my feet upon the ground.

From Abraham Maslow: “The most fortunate are those who have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and even ecstasy.”

From Linda Mikell, Veriditas Council member and skilled labyrinth facilitator, “People tell me time and again that the labyrinth has an aspect of awe and wonder about it.”

Sunnylands Labyrinth, Rancho Mirage

A Guest Blog by
Teri Petrzalek

Background Information:

Sunnylands is the 200-acre estate outside Palm Springs of Walter and Lenore Annenberg. In 2001 they created a trust fund to “address serious issues facing the nation and the world community.”  A 25,000 square foot, Mid-Century marvel, this peaceful oasis is set in the center of a 9-hole golf course. The property is now used for retreats as well as high-level summits. Former President Obama met Chinese President Xi Jinping.  Other dignitaries include the Reagans, Prince Charles and Margaret Thatcher. The work of the Foundation is committed to sustainability, Global Cooperation, Democratic Institutions and Global Health and Food Security.

Teri in Sunnyland Labyrinth

A hint of Thyme.

A visitor center was constructed at the entry and with it several breath-taking garden vignettes. As we toured the gardens, the tree-lined path around the great lawn opened to a clearing which contained a labyrinth. The 7-circuit path was wide and separated by low plantings.

To finish reading this guest blog, go to 1080 Labyrinth of Recovery and Laughter. 

Lake Labyrinth Metaphor

Flooded labyrinth

The challenge of obstacles in a labyrinth walk.

 

The lyrics to Enya’s song, “Pilgrim” often roamed through my mind this winter as I walked the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth in cold and warmth, snow and rain, trudged through deepening snow and slid over the icy path all in a quest to reach Center. Center – a physical, emotional, spiritual goal.

In particular the line: “The road that leads to nowhere, the road that leads to you.”

 

2017 Labyrinths

Finding Center

Nelda, Teri, and Wahneta constructing the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth.

Midwest by West by Southwest, I walked several labyrinths and with the help of several stellar friends re-created the labyrinth in our front yard. With the help of wonderful friends, the five-circuit Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth replaced the seven-circuit Classical labyrinth.  The magnolia that was dying came down and a small bur oak took its place. New circuits were measured and established. And, a lovely cross-quarter day dedication ceremony welcomed the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth. All summer, fall and early winter pilgrims walked in groups and individually helping to settle in the labyrinth in our front yard.

We traveled north into Minnesota, East to New York, West to Washington State, and Southwest to Arizona enjoying labyrinths and solitude along with communing with friends and family.

The 1080 Labyrinth blog picture gallery documents the travels, the travails, and the joys.

 

High Summer Labyrinth Walks

What fun hosting  Bankers Trust staff and clients and welcoming an out of town visitor to the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth.  Tuesday, July 11 was steamy and threatening storms.  But, the hardy crew engaged in lively discussions and asked probing questions about the more simple lifestyle we embrace at Winding Pathways.  Now, simple does not mean easy.  Tending a large yard and five circuit labyrinth are work.  Rewarding work. And, people are curious about chickens, managing small gardens, maximizing space, retaining water on our property, heating with wood, and creating diversity that welcomes wildlife. Topics like ways to save energy which saves money to be invested or used caught their attention. And questions on managing pests like ground hogs and deer. We touched on a lot and had a great time.

Go to 1080 Labyrinth for a photo album of the afternoon and evening.

Then, with storms obviously to the south showing off cumulus and anvil clouds but no threat, all walked the Phoenix Harmony Labyrinth.  Mike T’s comment summed it all up.  As he and Terri entered the center a cool breeze touched their faces.  Mike paused and said, “I never want to leave.”

Thanks Terri Doyle for organizing and promoting!