Walking the Labyrinth

There are several Chartres style (12 circuit) labyrinths in our area. On this page, I will take you on a picture tour of the one at First Community Church (north campus). As you walk up this path, the bushes and trees block your view of the labyrinth, so if you weren't intentionally looking for it, you probably wouldn't discover it.

Locally, there are also outdoor permanent labyrinths at The Ohio State University's Chadwick Arboretum, and St. Alban's Episcopal Church.

To find a labyrinth in your area, visit the World-Wide Labyrinth Locator.

Here is a full view of the labyrinth. From the Lessons 4 Living web site, an explanation of what the labyrinth is, and what it is not:

A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life's journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to "That Which Is Within."

Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.


Here is the stone plaque that greets you at the entrance to the labyrinth. It reads:

Hear the voices of the day and night
Know thyself
Find the secret...
the Truth that sets your Spirit free.

The entrance to the labyrinth. At the web site of the Andover Newton Theological School, the following guidelines are suggested. (The release, receive, return pattern is a common suggestion.)

1. Find your own pace: Allow your body, and not your mind to determine your own natural rhythm. You may pass others, you may stop along the way at any point, you may allow others to pass you.

2. Be intentional: Ask yourself: What do I need? What do I seek? May I be open to experience the experience?

WALKING IN: Purgation
RELEASE: allow for letting go, quieting the mind, surrender, opening. Be attentive to whatever may come up for you.

IN CENTER: Illumination
RECEIVE: Stay in center until you are satisfied. You may stand, sit, kneel, lie down (as space permits.) Be open to receive what is there for you: peace, clarity, awakening, insight, guidance.

RETURN: A time for communion, reunion, remembering. Being granted the power to act. Allow yourself to take back into the world whatever experience this labyrinth walk held for you.

Soon after you begin your walk, you approach and circle the center, yet at this point you have quite a long way to go until you actually arrive at the center...

...but at a point when it looks like you are as far as you can be from your destination, the truth is that you have only a couple more turns, and you're there.

I'm almost positive that says something really deep about life, and our journeys therein.

Sitting on the stone in the center--looking down. The rocks are prettier and more varied up close. I noticed a few ants on the ground, and could hear birds and airplanes above me. Out of sight, but not out of earshot, were cars on the freeway. It occurred to me that I really was "in the middle of everything" in more ways than one as I sat here.

The view out. The way out is the same way you came in...hopefully carrying with you something you found on your journey. For some people, on some visits, that might be inspiration, revelations, or new important insights. Or you might just feel that you had a relaxing little walk. It's all good.

Labyrinths of Human Development/Around the World
Labyrinth Online (virtual animated labyrinth walk)
Veriditas: The Voice of the Labyrinth Movement

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