Labyrinths are walking meditations that go way, way back in time. Archeologists can date them all the way back to 1500 BC but they are probably much older than that. We can find them all over the world, in churches, cathedrals, old ruins, and now many spiritual retreat centers have them. Perhaps the most famous labyrinth is Chartres Cathedral just south of Paris. It’s a beautiful labyrinth that dates to over 800 years ago. I suggest anyone that goes to Europe visit Chartres Cathedral. It’s beautiful and the labyrinth is right inside the cathedral.
Some people confuse labyrinths with mazes, but it’s not a maze. It is more of a meditation that is in walking form. Let me explain. The labyrinth has a pathway that you walk in order to reach the center but it goes round and round, back and forth, until you reach the center. The key is to take slow steps and just walk towards the center; taking your time and following your breath. I recommend with each step taking a breath. Continue to walk all the way to the center until you get to there. Once you get to the center, stop, be, listen. I don’t want to necessarily tell you what will happen but I do want to encourage you to get on the internet and find a labyrinth near you. Go to the labyrinth and walk the labyrinth. See what happens when you get to the center. The experience is different for different people.
I love labyrinths and have been to many of them around the world. I encourage you to try a labyrinth. They are a walking meditation in a beautiful, winding course. Many people, including myself, see it as a metaphor. At one point you’re born, you enter life, life has twists and turns but then when you reach the center all is well. All is well. All has always been well, because there’s a path, a journey that each of us is on. This path has a direct, exact way for each of us to go and we really can’t veer from it even though it has twists and turns in it. It is leading us exactly where we are supposed to go. Our goal throughout the journey is to stay present, stay focused, and just take one step, one breath, or metaphorically one day at a time. As we enjoy the journey, even with the twists and turns, we get to the center and all is well.
People around the world use labyrinths as a way to enter a contemplative state; a state of mental coy essence, where our minds are still and we just be. Taking one day at a time, one moment at a time in life. Life truly has a course for each one of us. All will be well; we just need to keep going. All will be well, all is well.
Throughout history people with time and money limitations have traveled labyrinths in lieu of traveling to actual holy sites. They see the labyrinth as a substitute to these travels and create the same experience as visiting one of these holy sites around the world. I encourage you to find a labyrinth and experience it. Experience something that has been around the millenniums.