Walking the Labyrinth in Times of Sickness, Stress & Grief

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Mysteries of the Labyrinth

Even before I knew the historical mysteries of the labyrinth, I was drawn to its fascinating designs, and particularly in times of grief, sorrow and trouble, felt compelled to walk them. Doing so gave me a sense of peace and comfort and due to my personal experience, I believe labyrinths can be an effective and powerful tool in working through grief, depression or through concerns about one's health or the health of loved ones.

In preparing to write this article, I searched through the medical and other literature looking for hard facts and scientific research about the emotional healing qualities of labyrinths. I discovered many anecdotal stories similar to my own, but only a few articles contained research to back up those claims.

However, the wonderful thing about walking the labyrinth is that one doesn't need scientific knowledge or hard facts to reap the healing benefits of taking a personal journey through its winding paths, and unlike using prescription medications or trying to self-medicate with drugs or alcohol in order to ease the pain of grief, sorrow or depression, there are no harmful side effects from walking a labyrinth.

There is also no right, or wrong way to walk it, though this article will discuss methods that others have found useful in their own healing.

In her book, "Lessons in Loss and Loving: Hope and Guidance for Confronting Serious Illness and Grief," Michelle A. Reiss, PH.D, wrote: "The goals of grief, whether anticipated or not, are to survive, to accept, to remember and to find a way to move forward into whatever your new life has to offer you."

It is my belief that walking the labyrinth is a metaphor for life and for the journey of grief. It can be a path to peace that's open to all who enter its mysterious circles.

This article will discuss a brief history of the labyrinth, provide suggestions for its use as an emotional healing tool, and information about where to find a labyrinth near you.

History of Labyrinths

Labyrinths have been found in all cultures from the Amerindian tribes to the ancient Egyptians, Celts and Chinese. Labyrinth patterns have also been carved all over the world, usually in significant ritual sites such as those associated with death and burial.

Some interesting facts:

  • A paleolithic etching was found in a tomb in Siberia.
  • A drawing on a block of granite in Ireland is thought to be 4,000 years old.
  • Hopi tribes in North America have drawn labyrinth patterns on Mesa stones.
  • In Egypt, the layout of pathways in Pharaohs' tombs are similar to patterns found in labyrinths. These tombs date back to 1200 and 2000 BC.
  • In pagan labyrinths, the journey was likened to the journey that the soul took after death.
  • In Kabbalistic tradition the labyrinth had a magical function that was thought to originate from the secrets of Solomon and those secrets were revealed only to the initiated few.
  • Though labyrinths were first associated with pagan myths, European Christians imbued them with new symbolism and installed them in many church buildings throughout Europe. Christians likened the circular path to the soul's journey through life and during the Middle Ages nearly 25% of cathedrals had them. The most famous was the French, Chartres Labyrinth, which was built between 1194 and 1220. The Chartres is still considered the finest labyrinth left in existence.
  • By the 18th century, labyrinths fell out of favor and were no longer being used in a Christian context. Though the reason for this isn't certain, some historians have attributed it to the Renaissance Era, which changed people's attitudes from a myth and mysitical approach to one based on scientific fact.
  • During the middle of the 20th century labyrinths started making a come-back when people in the New Age Movement began using them as a means to explore spirituality without direct affiliation with churches.
  • More recently, churches and people of all faiths have also begun using them as an aid to promote the spiritual development of followers and books such as, "Walking the Labyrinth: A Spiritual and Practical Guide," by Sally Welch, explore the different ways individuals and groups can use a labyrinth for prayer and reflection.

Today, you can find labyrinths in many sites, including churches, medical centers, spas, parks, schools, prisons, playgrounds, retreat centers and even people's backyards. Some modern day structures are permanent but they can also be drawn on portable canvas, or can be temporary outlines drawn in sand, in parking lots or on floors.

Current day uses can involve spiritual, religious, healing, meditative, entertaining, or ceremonial purposes.

Stone and Brick Labyrinth

Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Rehoboth is in a peaceful setting with beautiful flowers.
Lutheran Church of Our Savior in Rehoboth is in a peaceful setting with beautiful flowers. | Source

What is a Labyrinth?

Author Sally Welch, defines a labyrinth as "A single pathway, turning and twisting upon itself in a complex pattern to a single central point. If one uses the entrance point and faithfully follows the path, the center will always be reached. Thus, a labyrinth differs from a maze in that it has no "dead-ends" and no points where a decision to go one way or another must be made. The only choice one faces in a labyrinth is the choice to begin and complete it."

Though contemporary labyrinths fit the above definition, some historical ones were more akin to mazes, but for purposes of this article, I will be referring to contemporary styles.

Classical Labyrinth

St. Mark's Episcopal Church Labyrinth in Millsboro, DE is a classical labyrinth surrounded by 4 sacred gardens each representing the white, yellow, red and black of the Native American Medicine Wheel.
St. Mark's Episcopal Church Labyrinth in Millsboro, DE is a classical labyrinth surrounded by 4 sacred gardens each representing the white, yellow, red and black of the Native American Medicine Wheel. | Source

Using the Labyrinth as Path of Peace & Healing

No special training is needed to walk through a labyrinth. You can simply locate the entrance, keep putting one foot in front of the other until you reach the center, then pause and retrace your steps to exit.

However, many have found it helpful to use the labyrinth as an intentional path of peace and healing by using it as a walking meditation or prayer. The following is a suggestion for using it in this manner:

  • Locate the entrance.
  • Pause to focus on your breathing, the path ahead, and to reflect on something that's troubling you.
  • Start walking toward the center with the intention of releasing your fears, troubles, grief. At this point, some people may experience the release of strong emotions, may openly weep or they may experience a feeling of peace and love. There is no right or wrong way to feel. The most important thing is to simply remain open to whatever feelings you may have.
  • Pause at the center, using it as a place of meditation or prayer. Some people recite specific mantras or prayers but it is not necessary to do so. Others feel like they receive intuitive answers to their problems or, they may experience a feeling of closeness to a higher power or God, sensing that their concerns have been heard.
  • Use the walk back out as an intention to shed your grief, fears or anxiety. Expect to take what you have learned back into the world with you when you step out of the labyrinth. Before stepping out pause to give thanks for whatever insight, reflection or wisdom you received during your walk.
  • For a deeper and more meaningful experience, take time afterwards to reflect on events, write or draw your thoughts and meditate on them. Be kind to yourself, and if you need to, find someone you trust to share your experience with.

Helpful tip: Particularly when grief is fresh, consider walking the labyrinth with someone you know and trust so that if you have an unexpectedly strong emotional response they can quietly support you by simply standing close by and/or offering a loving touch or embrace.

In her book, "Walking a Sacred Path," author Lauren Artress identified 3 stages of walking the labyrinth:

  • Stage 1: Releasing, occurs as you journey toward the center and you begin to release your thoughts and concerns.
  • Stage 2: Receiving, occurs when you pause at the center to meditate or pray.
  • Stage 3: Returning, occurs when you are ready to integrate back into everyday life with heightened spiritual awareness.

Finding a Labyrinth

A very helpful online resource for locating a labyrinth near you is the World Wide Labyrinth Locator at http://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth. I entered my hometown into the locator and found half a dozen labyrinths within a 20 mile radius, only two of which I was previously aware of. The locator also lists other helpful information such as the name, phone number and email address of a contact person, whether the labyrinth is open to the public, and whether it's indoors or outdoors.

The Labyrinth Society at www.labyrinthsociety.org offers a huge selection of resources and links including articles on the history and current day uses of labyrinths.

Christians interested in using the labyrinth for religious purposes will find much useful information at the place where the Christian labyrinth revival began- with Lauren Artress and her Veriditas company at www.veriditas.org.

Labyrinth at Edgar Cayce Institute in VA Beach

Remember That Grief is a Journey

If you are grieving and considering using a labyrinth remember that grief is a journey that takes time. Be kind and patient with yourself. Reach out for supportive loved ones and friends and remember that walking a labyrinth is only one way of coming to terms with your loss.

Also, not everyone will experience healing when they walk the labyrinth. However, if you find that doing so brings you peace and relief, consider repeated visits as it's very possible that you may glean repeated insights with each new walk.

No matter what you decide to do, I wish you love and healing on your journey through grief.

Have you ever walked a labyrinth?

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Comments 118 comments

writer20 profile image

writer20 4 years ago from Southern Nevada

Wow! I loved listening to the video and found it very helpful.

Voted up and interesting, Joyce.


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Voting this up and across the board but funny HBN. Remarkable job as always! After reading many of your articles, I never knew there was so much to do in Delaware. Of course, I am not familiar with the state, other then what I have learned from you. Even so, it is great to live in an area that has many things to do. This is just an absolutelty beautiful place. Just the view alone could help someone. This is great information, such a useful article. Grief is never easy to deal with. It is great to know that others can find such a helpful article. It it was available, I would walk the labyrinth. Such an awesome article and I commend you on your research as well as your hard work my dear friend.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Joyce,

So glad that you enjoyed it. I'm blessed to have several labyrinths close by and I also had the opportunity to visit the one featured in the video (Edgar Cayce Center in VA) and walk the labyrinth there a few months after one of my dear friends died.

Thanks for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Aw Lyricwriter,

Your kind and loving words warm my heart.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the article and appreciate your supportive and insightful comment.

In all likelihood there is a publicly available labyrinth near where you live. Fortunately the World Wide Labyrinth Locator at http://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth makes finding one easy. Your sweet wife may well find walking one with you quite comforting after the recent loss of her beloved father.

Sending Hub Hugs,

Gail


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Gail, this is an incredibly interesting hub! The answer is yes, I have walked one, literally and figuratively. The part of your definition about a path that turns on itself is particularly meaningful to me.

Bravo for an excellent and thought-provoking hub!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Billy,

So thrilled that you enjoyed it. Not surprised that you've walked one, both literally and figuratively as you always seek to find meaning in your life experiences and also love being outdoors.

Thanks so much for the kind words. They're greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


josh3418 profile image

josh3418 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

HBN,

I have never walked one before, but found this very interesting and fascinating! Thanks for sharing!


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is wonderful in how you combine a first person healing experience with the labyrinth history, Gail. Your belief in its essential purposes are mine as well. As your great list of interesting facts show, labyrinths have been very important, for a very long time all over the world. Anyone grieving that follows your suggestions on a walk through one will most certainly be comforted and renewed. Remarkable friend Gail, bless you.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Josh,

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. I appreciate it and am glad you found the article interesting.


Deborah Brooks profile image

Deborah Brooks 4 years ago from Brownsville,TX

very interesting.. this is amazing.. thank you for sharing.. the video was very helpful

blessings

Debbie


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Alastar,

Thanks so much for your heartfelt and insightful comment.

I was taking one of my regular walks the other day, thinking about the recent death of my mother and "remembered" that there was a labyrinth behind one of the churches that I pass by on a regular basis.

I felt compelled to walk the labyrinth and found great comfort in doing so and knew I should write a hub about the healing power of labyrinths in times of grief.

There have been several other times in which I've lost someone I loved and found healing and comfort in walking a labyrinth.

Thanks so much for your kind words and support. They are greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Debbie,

So glad that you enjoyed it and that you found the video helpful.

Thanks for the blessings and for your lovely comment. They're greatly appreciated.


girishpuri profile image

girishpuri 4 years ago from NCR , INDIA

Very interesting and amazing share, voted up.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Girishpuri,

So glad you enjoyed it and thank you for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

This brings back some wonderful memories. Thanks! Labyrinths are great avenues for meditation.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

Hi Gail, I haven't walked a labyrinth but have been to the Edgar Cayce center. I was living in VA at the time and my sister, mom and oldest brother were in town for a visit. We drove out there. It's a very interesting and peaceful place. I don't know if they had the labyrinth at the time (this was in the early 80s) but I did enjoy the center. Voted up and across except funny.


denise.w.anderson profile image

denise.w.anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

I did not know that the labyrinth had this kind if significance. Thanks for sharing this information. It was very interesting.


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

Hello Happyboomernurse, this is a little different for you. Though the same high quality that I always find when I visit is also visible here. This was a very peaceful and meditative read that made me take pause.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 4 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is a beautiful article. We have a labyrinth close. I have walked it several times. Thank you for sharing..


Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 4 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

Who knew? You did! Some friends recently moved to Virginia Beach. Now when I visit them, I can go to the labyrinth. The information in your article is superb and fascinating. Thanks so much.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Green Lotus,

I wholeheartedly agree that labyrinths are great avenues for meditation.

So glad this brought back happy memories for you.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Danette,

It must have been wonderful going there with your siblings and mother.

Yes, the center itself is very interesting and the ARE grounds probably look different now than when you visited.

The stone labyrinth is relatively new and is set before the health spa. There is also a lovely meditation garden which is shielded by tall trees.

Thanks so much for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Denise Anderson,

Glad you found the information interesting and useful and thank you for taking time to leave a comment.

The feedback is greatly appreciated.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mike,

You are always so perceptive and specific with your feedback and I always look forward to your comments.

Yes, this is different from my usual hubs and the topic was very meaningful & tender for me because I'd just finished walking a labyrinth near my home and found it very comforting and healing in coping with my Mom's recent death.

Though my own walk was very personal, I wanted to share factual information about labyrinths so others might consider finding one near their own homes. Labyrinths are becoming quite common in America, but I think that there are still many people who aren't aware of their potential healing qualities.

Thanks for your friendship and support,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Always Exploring,

Am so glad you are already familiar with the benefits of walking the labyrinth and that you have one close to your home.

Thanks for sharing your own experience with labyrinths.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Hyphenbird,

So glad you enjoyed the article and hope you do get to walk the labyrinth at the Edgar Cayce Institute at VA Beach with your friends. There is also a beautiful meditation garden on the grounds and the institute itself is a fascinating place that I think you will enjoy.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


mckbirdbks profile image

mckbirdbks 4 years ago from Emerald Wells, Just off the crossroads,Texas

While reading I wondered who you had lost. I am so sorry for your loss.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mike,

Thanks for coming back and giving your condolences.

I appreciate your kind and tender words.


tammyswallow profile image

tammyswallow 4 years ago from North Carolina

This is such beautiful advice. Grief is such a personal experience and there are no shortcuts to this process. This is very comforting and I have a friend who could really use this right now. Very inspiring!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Tammy,

Thanks for your insightful comment.

I am glad you feel this may be a comfort one of your friends and appreciate your feedback.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 4 years ago from New York

I doubt anyone can reach the age of thirty or so and not experience this. Great hub.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi BobbiRant,

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving an insightful comment. It's greatly appreciated.


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Hello Gail, I have never walked a labyrinth - I found your article not only interesting but your words comforting....

Thank you, best wishes Lesley


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Lesley,

So glad you found the information about labyrinths interesting and got a feeling of peace and comfort from the hub.

Your comment made me remember something else I read while doing research, but didn't add to the article. Some people use a photo or printout of a labyrinth design, such as the one based on the Chartres Labyrinth in France, and "finger walk" it.

To do this, you would follow the suggestions I wrote for using the labyrinth as a path of peace and healing while using your forefinger to symbolically "walk through" the labyrinth, pause at the center, and "walk" back out.

That sounds strange, but many people have reported doing so brings a feeling of peace and comfort.

Thanks so much for leaving a comment.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Movie Master profile image

Movie Master 4 years ago from United Kingdom

Thank you Gail, I will try it. x


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

You're welcome.

I just finished reading your featured profile hub about Lydney Estates. Wow! Talk about achieving a feeling of peace, comfort and beauty- the movie you made about those grounds is absolutely stunning and mood altering.

Thanks so much for sharing another way of achieving peace.


Rosemay50 profile image

Rosemay50 4 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

Gail this is a fascinating article. I had no idea that labyrinths had such significance even though I have walked through a few.. The historic information is interesting and your guide to walking through a labyrinth is superb. I can understand how comforting the walk would be

Thank you for sharing this.

Voting up and more


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Rosemay,

So glad you enjoyed the article and that you've also walked through labyrinths before.

I didn't know this historic information before I started doing research for this article, but I did know I enjoyed walking through them and also found them comforting in times of stress and grief.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.

It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

First, I really like the layout of this hub, with all the flower dividers.

This is very interesting as I didn't know the history of labyrinths. I've walked labyrinths a few times and my daughters also enjoyed the experience when they were younger though they maybe didn't do a huge lot of contemplation. (If I remember correctly they were quiet though.)

I hadn't thought of labyrinths as being soothing for grief, but I'm glad that you have so many nearby in your time of grieving. Sending loving thoughts your way.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Melovy,

Kids often like walking through labyrinths especially if they can do so at their own pace (usually fast) or even skip through it, which is okay if there aren't any other visitors present. Allowing them to just do their own thing is a good way of introducing them to this activity.

Obviously, if others are present they do need to be taught to be respectful and quiet.

Thanks so much for your loving and compassionate comment. It means a lot to me, as does your specific feedback.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Gail,

I appreciate that the nurse in you wanted to find empiric evidence of the healing aspects of walking the labyrinth. I find that much valid holistic research is more qualitative in nature, with case examples and writing such as yours. I'm sold anyway...

I don't know that I have ever heard the goals of grief summed up as beautifully as by Michelle Reiss: To survive, accept, remember and find a way to move on.

I used the website. Like you I am amazed at how many labyrinths (25) are within a reasonable driving distance. I literally pass two all the time and had no idea... now I will certainly be stopping in.

At this time, I believe I have unwittingly been using Mom's cemetary as my labyrinth. Her stone is my center and I have never been able to release as much healthy grief as when I feel the safety of this serene setting. I believe the designer had this concept somehow in his/ her mind.

Gail, as you help yourself, you help so many others. My heart and my thanks to you. Voted UP and UABI. Love, Maria


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Maria,

So thrilled to get your specific feedback. One thing that may be of interest to you as a nursing instructor and to any of your students who may want to do research in the area of labyrinths is that the Labyrinth Society has an open call for researchers and discovers and also has an extensive listing of research that has already been done, albeit mostly qualitative and anectdotal. The website page is http://labyrinthsociety.org/research .

I too, loved Michelle Reiss's goals of grief. In my own experiences of grief, I've found doing something to honor my loved ones' memory is the most helpful way of moving forward. In that sense, I take comfort in your words that as I am helping myself through the grief after my Mom's recent passing, I am hopefully helping others through writing articles like this one.

I know you've certainly been doing that in your tribute hubs to your mother.

I was amazed to hear that you may have unwittingly been using your Mom's cemetary as your labyrinth, but that does make perfect sense and the designer may indeed have had a labyrinth concept in his/her mind.

Thank you so much for the vote up, and most of all for your love, friendship and support during my own time of grief.

Hub Hugs and Love,

Gail


klarawieck 4 years ago

Well, this article has made me want to go out and find a labyrinth. I've never been in one and there is none around here. :-( Beautiful and informative article.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Klarawieck,

So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment.

They are becoming more common and it's very possible you'll find one in your travels one day.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I'm also fascinated by labyrinth but did not know about the history. Thanks for sharing this fascinating article. Your explanation about managing stress with labyrinth is very enlightening.

Regards


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Vinaya,

So glad that you enjoyed learning about the history of labyrinths and about how some people use them as a means of managing stress.

Thanks for leaving specific feedback and for your ongoing support. It means a lot to me.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Gail,

I found this to be so interesting. I knew little to nothing about this. If I would have seen one I would just have thought them to be decorative in nature. So very sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Mine has been gone over 2 years now and I still miss her every day. The video was very informative. Up votes and sharing! Going to check into a nearby labyrinth.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Peggy,

Glad to hear that you learned something new from reading this hub. Yes, it would be easy to mistake labyrinths, especially those made out of stone and grass as just decorative in nature.

Glad you also enjoyed the video and thanks so much for the vote up and sharing.

Thanks also for your condolences, which are greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 4 years ago from South Africa

What a very interesting hub about labyrinths, Happyboomernurse! Today you were all of a sudden in the front of my mind and I was wondering how you were, coping with your loss. And here I came to find this awesome hub! So true, grief is a journey like walking through a labyrinth. Excellent metaphor!

Also, congratulations with your 100 score. Again! Still?

Sometimes I feel so guilty because I just can't manage to keep up with reading and commenting, but somehow I always catch up with friends writing excellent hub like this. Take care, Gail!

BTW - this one goes straight to my personal library :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Martie,

I so appreciate your kind and compassionate words and it really touched my heart to know that you were thinking about me even before you saw the link to this hub. You are a dear friend in this place called Hub Land and I agree that although it's sometimes hard to keep up with reading hubs, we always find time to catch up with those who touch, enlighten, entertain or educate us. Your writing does all of those things and I'm so proud to be one of your friends and followers.

Thanks for your support and encouragement. It means the world to me.

Sending Hub Hugs and Love Across the Miles,

Gail


thelyricwriter profile image

thelyricwriter 4 years ago from West Virginia

Gail, thanks so much for the link. I can really see the benefits of such a place. I will be sure to check it out:) Hope all is well. The big 100 I see, congrats! You really deserve it. Each hub you put out is gold! Above that, your a great gal HBN!! I am always thankful:)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Lyricwriter,

You're welcome and thanks for the congrats! You brightened my day today.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Gail-excellent information here about labyrinths. I have walked them on several occasions and I love how you've commented about the process of grief with walking them. It really is a journey, isn't it. It's been a meloncholy month of August for me again-snuck up on me this year...

I remember the visit to the ARE that Danette mentioned. I recently visited her in IL and we talked about the ARE center. It is very close to where I live now and I've been there several times since the 80's.

Thanks for sharing this great informational and enlightening piece. Rated up and U/B/I/A


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Denise,

I only got to spend an afternoon at ARE but loved it.

Seems like the kind of place where you could explore and/or learn something new on every visit, especially if it was co-ordinated with their daily or special events/seminars.

I feel like this summer has gone by in a whir.

Hope September is filled with beauty and peace for both of us.

Thanks for your feedback and for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

A brilliant hub Gail and again I am sharing onto my FB Pages.

Here's to so many more to come.

Eddy.


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Boomer,

I was truly fascinated with this read, and I'm curious to know what prompted you to write it ...

I've had an interest in labrynths since childhood, but until now, the interest never included the history behind them. I've just loved looking at them, and even wandering through a favorite one every time I have the chance to be near it.

The interest was likely sparked by visits to New Harmony, Indiana on the Wabash River, a place very close to where I grew up in the same river valley. It's a fascinating village, rich in history and culture that is largely unknown in the rest of the nation. Many of the structures and gardens there, date back to the 1700s and are associated with the Harmonites and Rappites. There are also several labrynths to explore.

The one that is my favorite is made of hedges, with a small round building in the center, made of stone. The interior is painted with scripture, and has a mural in the ceiling of the domed roof.

This labrynth is built like a maze, and when I was small, my great-grandfather, who was well over 6' tall, was my "guide post". I knew, if I got stuck trying to find my way out, I could always see him, call him to me, and he would lift me up and carry me out, lol.

There are other labrynths in the village as well. Some are small and set into gardens, and others are very large. They're all beautiful and unique, but my favorite is still the one on the village outskirts, that my great-grandfather spent time with me in. It has wonderful memories for me, that are always clouding my vision, when I visit it as an adult.

The village history says that this one was built in honor of an angel who visited there, two centuries ago, and stood at the center, where the stone building was erected.

femme


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Eddy,

So glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for sharing it on your beautiful and inspiring Facebook pages!

Again, it's so great to see you back on HubPages. You've been sorely missed by so many.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Wow Femme,

What an interesting comment. I especially loved how you used your tall great-grandfather as a guidepost and rescuer when you were a small child!

Sounds like you could write a great hub about the history and culture of New Harmony, Indiana and I truly hope you do one day.

How I'd love to walk the village labyrinths and take photos of the historic structures!

Like you, I've always been fascinated by labyrinths and walked them whenever I came across one but it wasn't until more recently that I learned how to walk them in a spiritual sense.

Since there's several close to my Delaware home and they are along routes I frequently walk I've found myself walking them after the death of 2 dear friends within the last few years, and, more recently, after the death of my mother in June of this year.

I found those "grief release" walks very comforting and knew I needed to write about using a labyrinth in times of sickness, stress and grief.

Glad you enjoyed the hub and thank you for adding such a wonderful comment that adds so much to the content of this hub.

Sending You a Hub Bouquet of Love,

Gail


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 4 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Thanks for sharing this absolutely interesting and fascinating hub. Love labyrinth but didn't know a lot about them. Have to check and see if we have any here in Latvia. Super hub and passing it on.


femmeflashpoint 4 years ago

Boomer,

I'm so sorry to hear about your mom. It's a loss I'm familiar with and I will certainly be remembering you and your family in my prayers.

femme


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Gypsy Rose Lee,

So thrilled that you found the hub fascinating and interesting.

Hopefully, you'll be able to find a labyrinth near you by using the World Wide Labyrinth Locator at http://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth .

Thanks for leaving a lovely comment and sharing the hub. It's greatly appreciated.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Femme,

Thanks so much. You're a sweetheart, and I appreciate being remembered in your prayers.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

This hub is fascinating, Gail. I was not aware of the labyrinth and it's healing powers. I would image it would be useful to simple relieve stress and give yourself some time along to go inside and redirect.

Now, I'm curious. I'm going to see if any are located near me.

Thank you for this very insightful hub!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Bravewarrior,

Yes, I definitely believe walking the labyrinth is useful to relieve simple stress, or for quiet reflection and inner peace, even when times are good.

Hope you find a labyrinth near you by using the World Wide Locator, and that you're able to actually walk through one. If so, please come back and let me know if you do indeed, experience a sense of heightened peace after your walk. Since you love nature, it would be especially good if you find one that's outdoors, although there can also be many positive benefits from indoor labyrinths.

Thanks for leaving such an insightful comment. It's greatly appreciated.

Hope You Have a Beautiful & Peaceful Day,

Gail


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

An excellent introduction to walking the labyrinth, with good suggestions for reasons. I've walked the labyrinth a few times, just for the experience, and liked it. It calmed and centered my mind, kind of like when I gaze across one of the Great Lakes or an ocean or when I stroll in a conifer forest.

A Lutheran church in Moscow, Idaho has a labyrinth. Several years ago, when I was living in Moscow and knew the pastor at that church through a peace group, I got invited to a group walk. At the entrance someone gave me a scrap of paper and a pencil, with instructions to write down some negative thought or feeling that was bothersome to me and that I wanted to release. I don't recall what I wrote. At the center was a fire, and I added my note to it. The experience from entrance to exit seemed helpful.

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi B. Leekley,

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

I found your comment very interesting and insightful and thank you for sharing your personal experiences with walking through labyrinths.

I particularly liked the idea of a group walk and the symbolic releasing of a negative thought or feeling by writing it down and throwing it into the fire at the center of the labyrinth.

Appreciate your sharing that with us, and also the vote up and sharing the hub with others.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 4 years ago from United States

Gail, This is a very interesting and excellent hub. I believe that walking the labyrinth would be very healing and insightful. Unfortunately, I checked the site and there is not one within 300 miles of my home. I will have to look for one when I travel as I would like to have this experience. Rated up, awesome and interesting, plus I am sharing this hub.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Pamela,

Thrilled that you liked the article, but sad that there's no labyrinths anywhere near your home.

Hope you do get to walk one sometime when you're on vacation.

Thanks for the rate up and for sharing this hub. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


B. Leekley profile image

B. Leekley 4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

Correction to my comment of earlier today: My wife tells me I was remembering wrong, that as best she know Moscow, Idaho does not yet have a labyrinth, and that the one we walked at a Lutheran church was at Trinity Lutheran Church in Pullman, Washington. It is included in the labyrinth locator to which you gave the link. Here is the church's labyrinth web page: http://www.trinitypullman.org/labyrinth/


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi B. Leekley,

So many times my husband and I have conversations like that. Amazing how our memories can get blurred through time, especially in terms of different places we've been.

Thanks so much for coming back with the corrected information and the link which may be helpful to others.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 4 years ago from Central Florida

I checked the locator site. Nothing near me. I guess the Orlando area doesn't want to be relieved of stress and grief!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Bravewarrior,

Sorry you weren't able to locate one near the Orlando area.

Seems like labyrinths in Florida are scarce as Pamela99 from Jacksonville commented that there were none within 300 miles of her home!

Thanks for letting me know that you tried to find one.

I appreciate the feedback.


Alastar Packer profile image

Alastar Packer 4 years ago from North Carolina

A most beautiful, interesting and helpful one to share. Labyrinths are one thing we need more of and everywhere at that.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Alastar,

Thanks so much for your kind words.

I agree that labyrinths are one thing we need more of and everywhere. From some of the comments in this hub, it seems like too many people don't live anywhere near a labyrinth.

Sending Hub Hugs,

Gail


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

I am intrigued by this article about labyrinths. I have read of them, but have never actually seen one.

You really taught me something new today with this Hub.

I voted it UP, etc. and will share.


FreezeFrame34 profile image

FreezeFrame34 4 years ago from Charleston SC

Very interesting! I've heard of labyrinths but haven't experience one yet! This makes me want to locate one quickly!


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

Enjoyed your hub very interesting. I didn't know all of this until I read your hub. Voted uP!


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Mary,

Am glad that you learned something new and intriguing.

Thanks so much for the vote up and for sharing.

I was reading one of your hubs yesterday when the HP site stopped working and will be going back to finish my reading in a little while.

Hope you have a blessed day,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi FreezeFrame34,

I took the liberty of using the labyrinth locator and found 3 labyrinths within 25 miles of Charleston, SC. You can view them at: http://labyrinthlocator.com/locate-a-labyrinth?lab...

Hope that helps you visit one soon!

So glad you enjoyed the hub.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Moonlake,

So glad that you found it interesting and learned something new.

I had fun writing it because I was also unaware of the fascinating history of labyrinths or their current resurgence until I did the research for this hub.

Thanks so much for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.

Hub Hugs,

Gail


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 4 years ago

Excellent hub. You motivated me to walk once again, since it has been a while. But now I will do it with a new sense of knowledge and a greater awareness. Thanks so much for putting this info together.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Toknowinfo,

So glad this got you motivated to start walking the labyrinth again and that you felt like you learned something from the hub.

Thanks for the specific feedback. It's greatly appreciated.


RNMSN profile image

RNMSN 4 years ago from Tucson, Az

walking towards the center with the intention of releasing fears...now if that isn't the best thing Ive read in a long time :) what a great hub Gail!! peace to you


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Barbara,

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. I appreciate your feedback and home all is well with you.

Sending a Bouquet of Hub Hugs & Love,

Gail


carol7777 profile image

carol7777 4 years ago from Arizona

I am hubbing today and trying to find hubs from those I follow. This was a fascinating read and can see why it was so popular. Thanks for sharing all this.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Carol,

Thank you for making time to read it and leave thoughtful feedback. I'm glad you found it of value.


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 4 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Dear Gail ~ I am ecstatic to find this beautiful hub. The timing is perfect. How amazing that you would choose to write about this topic. I have longed to understand the purpose and meaning of walking the Labyrinth.

I felt as though your beautiful, loving self were right here with me, explaining it all so gently and clearly. You even supply a list of phone numbers for locating the nearest Labyrinth.

I have been meditating/praying for a way to help me through a new challenge. Even though it is a bit unnerving, it is a new way for me to grow and spread love and joy.

Dr. Dyer would be so proud of this hub. And I am interested in reading the books you have mentioned here in your most marvelous hub.

I voted across (not funny) and will share this everywhere. My love and admiration for you only continues to grow with every year and with each hub you create. Thank you, precious one and here's a hug!


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 4 years ago from California

Beautifully done! Our inward journey is the the most profound one we will ever embark on--and thank you Vocal Coarch for sharing this_


prasetio30 profile image

prasetio30 4 years ago from malang-indonesia

Very informative hub about the Labyrinth. Very well written and I really enjoy reading this hub. Thanks for writing and share with us. Voted up!

Best wishes, Prasetio


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Oh My, Audrey, your comment deeply touched my heart and I pray you do find a labyrinth near your home.

YOU, are an inspiration and teacher to me, and I admire your openess in sharing your own hardships and challenges and giving others hope along the way.

Few have gone through as much as you have and yet you are like a beacon of love and hope.

Thank you once again for sharing your thoughts and insights in such a lovely comment and for being my dear friend and supporter. It means the world to me and I see that your sharing of this hub has already brought other readers to it.

Sending a Bouquet of Hub Hugs & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Audrey Howitt,

Thanks so much for your insightful comment that adds to the content of this hub.

Am so glad you followed Vocalcoach's recommendation and read and enjoyed the hub.

I very much appreciate your feedback.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Prasetio,

So thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and found it informative.

I appreciate the lovely comment and vote up and thank you for being my friend and supporter.

Sending a Bouquet of Hugs & Love,

Gail


StephSev108 profile image

StephSev108 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Thanks for the info. I voted up.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi StephSev108,

Glad you found it valuable and thanks for the vote up. It's greatly appreciated.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thank you for this lovely and very interesting hub. I've never walked through a labyrinth but have wanted to for a long time. I appreciate all the information that you've shared. I know of one labyrinth in my area, but now that I've read your hub I'll search for others.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 4 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Alicia,

So glad this hub has inspired you to walk through a labyrinth. As said in the article, there's no right or wrong way to experience a labyrinth. Some, like myself find it peaceful, spiritual and soothing. You won't know until you try one what your own reaction will be.

Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment. It's greatly appreciated.

Wishing You Peace and Love,

Gail


Vickiw 2 years ago

Dear Gail - this is truly meaningful, and beautifully written. We have a labyrinth in our area here, and it is really special. I've walked on labyrinths at two convents, and it is a very deep experience. It's almost as if you enter a new realm of understanding within yourself, and as you say, the experience can be seen to have different levels and purposes within the journey.

Thank you so much for this. I feel your compassion and understanding.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Vicki,

Thanks for sharing your own experience with labyrinths. Seems like you find them as worthwhile as I do.

I was inspired to write this hub after my mother died because I found comfort in taking a meditative walks through a local labyrinth.

Thanks for your kind words. They are very much appreciated.

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Vicki,

Thanks for sharing your own experience with labyrinths. Seems like you find them as worthwhile as I do.

I was inspired to write this hub after my mother died because I found comfort in taking a meditative walks through a local labyrinth.

Thanks for your kind words. They are very much appreciated.

Sending Blessings & Love,

Gail


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Gail,

I came back to absorb even more of this comprehensive, meaningful and detailed post.

Thank you for your supportive and compassionate friendship to me. I know that the labyrinth will continue to help me through times of healing and stress.

Sharing ...voting UP and UABI. Love and hugs, Maria


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

I want to walk through a labyrinth...I did a quick search on the locator and results were "zero." I do remember seeing one somewhere...I'll find one again. I didn't know the purpose of them, until now. Thank you! :)


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

Well worth a second visit. Fascinating piece. Passing this on.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

My Dear Maria,

Thanks for being part of my own exploration of labyrinths. It was such a pleasure "discovering" the one at the Delaware Art Center" through the World Wide Web Finder and then meeting there to walk it together! A beautiful, fun, meditative, relaxing and healing day, for sure, and I loved the fact that it was half-way between our houses.

I am also looking forward to walking some of the Southern Delaware labyrinths together next time you visit me.

Thanks for sharing this hub and for the votes up. They're greatly appreciated and have helped revive interest.

Sending Love & Blessings Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

My Dear Maria,

Thanks for being part of my own exploration of labyrinths. It was such a pleasure "discovering" the one at the Delaware Art Center" through the World Wide Web Finder and then meeting there to walk it together! A beautiful, fun, meditative, relaxing and healing day, for sure, and I loved the fact that it was half-way between our houses.

I am also looking forward to walking some of the Southern Delaware labyrinths together next time you visit me.

Thanks for sharing this hub and for the votes up. They're greatly appreciated and have helped revive interest.

Sending Love & Blessings Your Way,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Sunshine,

I've had several others from your area say they couldn't find one on the World Wide Labyrinth Finder. However, it is still possible that there may be one near you because not every labyrinth is listed on the locator---only the ones whose owners register the information are listed, so keep your eyes and ears open. Most often, it is churches, hospitals or meditation centers which have them.

If you do find one nearby consider taking your grandkids. Many kids like to skip or fast walk through them and it is not necessary to try to make it a "sacred" solemn experience for them, especially if no one else is in the labyrinth at the time you are there. Just let them have fun and they may want to return when they're older.

Thanks for taking time to leave a comment. It's greatly appreciated.

Sending a Bouquet of Hugs & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Gypsy Rose Lee,

Thanks for the second visit and for passing info about the hub forward. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Hugs & Love,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Sunshine,

Did a more extensive online search and located a labyrinth at the First Unitarian Church of Orlando, 1901 E. Robinson St. Orlando, FL. Contact phone number 407-898-3621. (per church website).

If you do decide to visit, I would recommend calling first to confirm that it is open.

Hope the info helps.

Hugs, Gail


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I know i read this before and commented, but this means so much more to me today. I am still in the process of healing from losing my sister Eva. The labyrinth in New Harmony In. is only six miles from me. I have walked it several times but just for fun. I will now walk it again with a different perspective. Thank you Mar for the email concerning this and thank you Gail for writing this wonderful hub. Hugs...


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

I came back to read again. As i said before i've walked the labyrinth that's close. I walked it for fun, now i have a different perspective. Since losing my sister Eva, i need the healing power of walking much more. The labyrinth is located in New Harmony In. just six miles from my home. It was planted by the Harmonists many years ago. It symbolized the difficult path of life to reach true harmony and perfection. Admission is free. Thank you Mar for emailing me concerning this article and thank you Gail for a beautiful hub. Hugs.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 2 years ago from Orlando, FL

Thank you for researching a labyrinth for me! My friend does know of one in nearby Winter Park! :)


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Ruby,

Thank you for leaving such heart felt comments. I know you're still grieving the loss of your sister, Eva, and hope you'll find some relief if you do return to the New Harmony Labyrinth.

Like you, I first walked labyrinths for pleasure and fun. It was only after the death of a dear friend and also my mother within the last few years that I found that they could be very helpful in the healing process.

I recently interviewed a wonderful bereavement counselor who is also a certified labyrinth facilitator and she confirmed that many people do find it helpful to walk the labyrinth in times of stress, transition and grief.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. And please feel free to contact me privately if you want to share your experience of walking the labyrinth through email.

Hugs,

Gail


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Linda,

You are most welcome and I am delighted to learn that you found a labyrinth near your home and will be walking it with a friend.

Thanks for sharing the link to it with me via email.

Hugs,

Gail


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

What a fascinating hub! I have never walked the labyrinth, but would love to. This was fascinating and so well written.

I don't know if they have one here in Jacksonville, but I will try to find out. I am doing so traveling soon and may find one somewhere else.

The video was very helpful also. Voted up, awesome and shared,


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Pam,

So thrilled that you enjoyed the hub and that it has inspired you to walk a labyrinth.

The World Wide Labyrinth Finder lists several in the Jacksonville area. You can click on the link from this hub (under the section titled Finding a Labyrinth).

You can also use the locator to find labyrinths in places you travel to.

Glad you found the video helpful and I appreciate the vote up and share.

Hugs,

Gail


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Dear Gail, i'm hoping to walk this weekend. I will let you know my inner feelings. Thank you so much for your caring friendship.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Dear Ruby,

You are so welcome and I feel honored that you are willing to share your labyrinth experience. If you want to do so privately send me an email. If you feel comfortable enough to share it here you can leave another comment.

Good luck on your labyrinth journey.

Hugs,

Gail


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Very interesting. Another way of finding peace.


Happyboomernurse profile image

Happyboomernurse 2 years ago from South Carolina Author

Hi Manatita22,

Yes, it's a wonderful way of finding peace. Glad you found the article interesting and thanks for taking time to leave a comment.

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