The Labyrinth at St. Bernard's Catholic Community - (found behind the Church).
Essentially the labyrinth is a prayer walk, a tool used in walking meditation and a symbolic reminder of the spiritual journey. The idea and design of the labyrinth is ancient and found in cultures all over the world. There are many forms of labyrinths, but most are a series of circular paths moving toward a center. Unlike a maze, which places obstacles in the path, the labyrinth draws you toward the center.' St. Bernard's labyrinth is patterned after the labyrinth found in the floor in Charles Cathedral, France and mites to the 12th century AD.
The meaning of the labyrinth has evolved over time, as has the design. The circular shape of the labyrinth is a mandala, circle drawing, or as Carl Jung called it a "magic circle." The circle is one of the oldest symbols in all cultures and represents the center, wholeness, God, renewal and eternity. Centuries ago the labyrinth was representative of a journey to the center of the world. In medieval times labyrinths were found in churches and used as a destination for pilgrimages for those who could not afford travel to the Holy Land or other spiritual sites. In pre-Christian traditions the labyrinth was a metaphor for the hero's journey, where the hero heroine goes into the wilderness or the unknown, finds wisdom, and returns to share it with the community.
For those who regularly walk the labyrinth it can become an integral part of prayer life, taking one to the core of their being, finding the Holy and returning refreshed.
There is not one correct way of walking the. Labyrinth. Since humans have been using this prayer form for 3000-4000 years it has been walked in many forms and styles. You may feel like dancing the labyrinth, or using creative movement as you walk. Go as you feel the Spirit leading you!
Some suggest coming to the labyrinth with a specific question or prayer concern, meditating on the issue on the inward walk, resting with it in the center, letting go, and experiencing a sense of relief on the outward wall People often walk the labyrinth for the first time out of curiosity, and then find it to be a settling experience they want to repeat often. Each time you walk the labyrinth, it is a new and unique experience.
Here are some guidelines as you begin your labyrinth journey:
* Enter into the experience with openness to whatever comes to you.
* Before beginning acknowledge your journey with 'a simple bow; some" acknowledge the four
directions; some may make the sign of the cross. Do what feels comfortable for you.
* As you walk, allow your soul to set the pace.
* You may meet others. Pass or be passed as necessary. It's OK to acknowledge their presence.
* Rest in the center a long as you choose.