Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church has two labyrinths: One outside on the north end of our campus and one indoors, off the first-floor hallway in the Chapel.
WHAT IS A LABYRINTH?
Labyrinths, unlike mazes, have only one pathway into the center and back out. There are no wrong turns, blind alleys or opportunities for you to make choices. It is this very lack of the need for choices that allows you to settle into a natural state of meditation, knowing that the path will inevitably lead to the center if you will only put one foot in front of the other.
Labyrinths have a 5000-year history around the globe. Hudson’s outdoor labyrinth is called a classical labyrinth with seven-circuits to the center. It is the oldest labyrinth design. In the middle ages the labyrinth was adopted into Christian tradition and used to symbolize pilgrimage when it was to dangerous to travel to the Jerusalem or Rome. Labyrinths were placed in some of the great gothic cathedrals of Europe. Our five-circuit indoor labyrinth is inspired by the Chartes Cathedral’s 12th century labyrinth in France.
Today there has been a revival of their use to provide space for prayer, meditation and rest.
Here are some thoughts you might consider before you begin your walk:
Take some deep breaths and release any tension or anxiety you might have. Breath in God’s gift of life.
During your walk you might:
Listen to your life.
Listen for thoughts and memories
that rise up in you.
Listen for metaphors.
Listen for God/Speak with God
Take in nature.
Ask for wisdom.
Rest, relax and quiet yourself.
FOLLOW THE 3 R’S
(from Lauren Artress):
Release (Release those things you need to on the walk into the center)
Receive (Receive what God might need to give you around the center of the labyrinth)
Return (Prepare to return to the activities of the day with a fresh perspective)
Remember that sometimes a walk on a labyrinth gives deep insights that can be very moving and other times it is simply a nice walk outside. Peace be with you.