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How to do a Labyrinth Walking?
How to do a Labyrinth Walking
Labyrinth walking is one of the world’s oldest spiritual and metaphysical rituals. It’s when a person literally walks through a labyrinth, or a maze that is specially constructed along spiritual or metaphysical guidelines in order to represent a transformational journey.
Labyrinth walking has been used for meditation, contemplation, relaxation, religious practice, and numerous other purposes for centuries. The practice has roots in the ancient Greek myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, a legend that told of a Greek hero who successfully navigated a labyrinth and slew a terrible, man-eating beast. These days, it is becoming more and more popular as a part of the growing New Age movement and culture of the last two decades focusing on spirituality.
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Have you ever walked a labyrinth?
Finding a Labyrinth
To walk a labyrinth, you have to first have a labyrinth.
These mazes are constructed out of anything from hedges, bushes, and other natural materials – like corn or wheat – to plywood, stone, and other materials. The mazes can be simple, complex, or something in between.
Usually, they are associated with a spiritual organization that has a labyrinth on site, but you can also use non-spiritual, secular mazes. You’ll often find ‘corn maze’ attractions in the autumn season when the grain is high, or you may find botanic gardens that feature these beautiful mazes made with hedges as walls, or stone patterns laid into the floor.
Note that these are not true labyrinths in the sense that it is possible to get lost. A labyrinth made specifically for prayer or meditation is created in such a way that starting at a point will take you through the entire maze in a certain order, including through the center – which often has symbolic meaning to represent enlightenment, success, or fulfillment.
Making Your Own Labyrinth
When no labyrinths are locally available for you, consider making your own!
You can build a temporary labyrinth in your own back yard if you want. All you need to do is get a labyrinth pattern, and a lot of rocks, shells, sand, long rope or some other substance to mark out the trail on the ground.
Sometimes you don't even need markers-- in muddy fields, or snow-covered yards, on sandy beaches you can etch out a labyrinth to walk by making a trail through the mud, snow or sand. Live on concrete? No problem-- just get some sidewalk chalk and you're all set.
For something permanent, you can always lay flag stones, mark the way with a brick path, or plant some of your favorite flowers and herbs to act as path walls. If you're pouring concrete you can etch the design right into the substance. The options for making a permanent labyrinth on your property are endless.
If you want to take a labyrinth on the go for when you attend a camp out or spiritual nature retreat, get the biggest tarp that you can find, and draw the labyrinth pattern on it with a permanent marker. You can then simply roll it up and stick it in the trunk, spread it out for everyone to use (put some rocks on the edges to weigh it down and have people take off their shoes) and then fold it back up to save it for next time.
Labyrinth Walking: The Process
So, how exactly do you do a walking? What are the steps and details involved in the process? The process is actually fairly simple for most people, although adherents of certain religions may have additional requirements. For example, while walking, some Christians also pray with a rosary. Buddhists frequently chant while navigating the labyrinth, Wiccans may chant a spiral dance song, and so on.
But, at the most basic, a labyrinth walking merely involves contemplating an issue, focusing on a particular topic or theme, or just clearing your mind and allowing yourself to relax as you walk through the maze. It is a form of meditation, and you should be mindful of the journey (both the literal one you're taking and the figurative one you're thinking about).
Again, in a prayer labyrinth it is not possible to get lost; indeed, many labyrinths, as explained above. It's not something you need to fear, though it can be fun getting lost in one of those Halloween harvest corn field mazes! But that's entirely your choice. Most spiritual labyrinths are simply patterns on the floor, and you can see the entire layout from start to finish.
In short, labyrinth walking is a way to experience peace and relaxation while meditating and enjoying yourself in tranquility.