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World Labyrinth Day May 6
In today’s uncertain times, the labyrinth is receiving a resurgence in popularity and can now be found in public spaces, parks, hospitals, and schools all over the world.
Labyrinth at Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat, Blue Mountains
“It’s been observed that labyrinths emerge in the world at times when they’re needed; they're flourishing now,” writes Donna Mulhearn, a trained labyrinth facilitator, pilgrim and activist who runs the Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat in the Blue Mountains and will be celebrating World Labyrinth Day on Saturday 6 May.
A labyrinth is a simple contemplative pathway used for walking meditation. Its ancient design is circular, with one path from the outside to the centre. It represents the spiritual journey, inward to our inner and sacred self.
Labyrinths are often confused with mazes. The Labyrinth is the opposite of a maze, which is designed to get you lost and confused with dead ends and choices on which way to go. A labyrinth is a single path; if you just follow the path you will always reach the centre. The path meanders and sometimes you’re close to the centre, other times you’re out on the rim, so there’s the sense you’re on a journey. The walk is meditative; it allows you to calm distractions, to de-stress and move to a place of reflection.
The most famous labyrinth design is the medieval Chartres Labyrinth. Laid in early 13th century (1200-1220 CE), the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth has been walked for centuries by pilgrims from all over the world. However, the most ancient of labyrinths is the classical labyrinth which has been found in many different places including as petroglyphs in Spain (dating from around 2000BCE), on silver coins in Crete, laid out with rocks in northern Europe, painted on bark in Indonesia and carved on rocks in the deserts of the American southwest.
Donna continues “I’m drawn to walk Labyrinths, no doubt because of the strong symbolism the Labyrinth provides of being on a journey to the centre. I’ve created three Labyrinths at my small retreat centre in the Blue Mountains, so while I can’t head off on a whim to walk the Camino, I can head outside and slowly follow the meandering path to the centre of the Labyrinth’s mysterious ancient design.
Focused on the path, trusting it, the mind is free to open up to metaphor – the language of the soul.”
On Saturday 6 May, why not take part in that rolling wave of a labyrinth? This gentle meditative walk will bring people together from all corners of the earth to
celebrate the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace. The Blue Labyrinth and Bush Retreat will be officially launched on this day with a smoking
ceremony by local Dharug elder followed by a Labyrinth Walk at 1pm (“walk as one at 1pm”).
More details on bluelabyrinth.com.au where some of the above information was sourced.
The above quotes by Donna are excerpts from an article written in The Good Oil: http://www.goodsams.org.au/good-oil/pilgrimage- in-everyday- life/
You might also enjoy this articles by Annalise Thomas “Walking the Labyrinth: A Personal Journey,” first printed in Eremos Magazine, 2012 – download as a PDF
Check out these sites for other celebrations and information:
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