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LABYRINTH

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"Labyrinths seem to have developed around the twelfth century as a substitute for making a pilgrimage to a holy site. Labyrinths are not mazes, nor are they something magical. Walking the labyrinth is not a newfangled technique to jump-start your spiritual life. It is a slow, quiet, meditative practice that has historically attended to the desire to make a journey toward God." 

 

Adele Calhoun, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook

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Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice 

While each labyrinth experience is highly personal, the following suggestions might be helpful to you:

  • As you prepare for your labyrinth walk, you might consider a question for discernment or simply be present to the experience and your awareness of the Spirit of God. Another option is to dedicate your time to intercession for a particular person or situation.

  • The walk into the labyrinth is a time of releasing the details of your life and your concerns for the day, entrusting them to God.

  • The center is a receptive place, one of meditation and awareness as you listen for the still, small voice of God.

  • As you leave the center and retrace the labyrinth path, focus on integrating any insights revealed to you and how you might integrate them into your spiritual journey.

 

Distractions might become acute as you walk the labyrinth. At such times, a sacred word or phrase might help return your awareness to your journey. There is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth. Go at your own pace, linger when it feels right, notice the connection in your mind, body and spirit.

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Our Labyrinth Story

A few of years ago, Diann was introduced to labyrinth prayer on a spiritual formation retreat. She loved the practice so much that she asked her family to collect stones from the woods to create a backyard labyrinth. While it seemed like a great DIY project to her, Dave immediately knew that he would end up bearing most of that load solo. (he'd been down that road before!)

 

He called on their friends, Maripat Neff and Mark Sullivan, of Fieldstone Nursery to share their thoughts and see whether they had any experience with labyrinths. And wouldn’t you know, they did! They had built an entire labyrinth in nearby Hanover, PA, and were enthusiastic about the idea.

 

After an exciting brainstorming session, they identified a relatively flat clearing and Mark mapped out the design. To his surprise, when he began clearing and leveling the site, he hit solid rock. A farmer friend came to the rescue with his heavy equipment and when the space was finally leveled, he had excavated large piles fieldstone. Ever resourceful, Mark used the stone to create the labyrinth’s perimeter, benches, and several standing stones inspired by Diann and Dave's recent trip to Scotland. Maripat added landscaping touches that complemented the sacred feel of the labyrinth. One of the trees that is the focal point at the back of the labyrinth garden is a variegated dogwood called Samaritan and the purple beech that welcomes friend into the labyrinth garden has been named the Tree of Life. 

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"The labyrinth is a beautiful, serene quiet place that is also a gently active practice, where I feel totally alone while totally connected. The circular paths help to contain my busy feet and mind, winding deep into my heart."

- Marcia

"This labyrinth  is the most beautiful I’ve seen. It combines the benefit of walking slowly with intention and enjoying God’s gift of nature."

- Gina

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