Thursday, 23 September 2010

Walking Meditation


There are many ways to walk a labyrinth. You can meditate on a specific topic or issue as you walk, asking for clarity or guidance. Or you can walk with nothing in mind and just see where your thoughts take you. Sometimes it's nice just to practice mindfulness and use all five senses to notice what surrounds you.

Some walk the labyrinth quickly, some slowly. I've even seen one young woman walk with her eyes closed, feeling her way with a bare foot. Some people stop to pray at certain points in the labyrinth. When you meet someone on the path, you just briefly step aside for them and then resume your place on the circuit.

Walking a labyrinth is always an introverted activity. You turn and look inward. No one can walk a labyrinth for you, just as no one can make your spiritual journey for you. Silence is the norm, although some labyrinth spaces may feature soft instrumental music in the background.


A labyrinth is, of course, a beautiful metaphor for our relationship with the Divine and for our spiritual journey through life. At times, you find yourself walking close to the centre, to the source. Then the next thing you know, you are far away from the centre on the outskirts of the labyrinth. You turn and turn on the unicursal path, wandering but never lost. And then, when you least expect it, you suddenly arrive at the centre. After a few minutes of prayer or contemplation, you're back on the path, spiraling outwards this time, assimilating what you have learned or experienced.

I like to walk a labyrinth at least three times per visit. I find that it takes a couple of completed walks just for my mind and pace to slow down in order to achieve a more leisurely, contemplative stroll. So I usually plan to spend at least an hour or so for each labyrinth visit. And I always like to finish my visit with a final "gratitude walk" to express my thanks to the Divine for all the good things in my life.

17 comments:

Sarah said...

I walk often...it is meditation to me...just breathing and walking and taking it in. But this is something I have wanted to do..but have not tried yet. I will have to look for one near me..hmmmmmm.
I love your analogy..beautifully put..and perfectly offered hon!
Wonderful post!
Hugs, Sarah

Aunt Amelia's Attic said...

I still need one, with a railing. ,-) Honest!

Happy Mabon, Autumn Equinox, and Full Harvest Moon!

Lyn said...

I'm glad your back! Loved the post :-) x

Jeanne said...

Beautiful post!

Mabon Blessings! ♥

mxtodis123 said...

You don't know how badly I want to walk the labyrinth. Thanks for the post.
Mary

Wendy said...

SO good to have you back, Debra! The Goddess is definitely afoot..After your first post about labyrinths I wend to the local drugstore and there was an announcement for the opening of a labyrinth of a park 5 mins. away from me based on the one in Chartres! I went two days ago and did exactly what you talk about the walking meditation...Hmmm, maybe you whispered something in HER ear and voila!

My Grama's Soul said...

I love this post today about walking meditation......being totally present and going inward to grow spiritually is what is missing in many lives....thanks for sharing this with us today.

Xo

Jo

My Farmhouse Kitchen said...

happy you're back too...enjoyed the post...

pumpkins and caramel apples...and i just worte jaz and told her we are about 1000 degrees here...hot at her house too....

:-{

kary and teddy

K(Banterings of a Basketcase) said...

looks wonderful. I can't find many- if any- here in southern california. we have no wide open space in which to make a labrynth. But a nice walk on the beach is just as good.

sophie... said...

Thanks for this...now to find one!

City Wiccan said...

Oh, I never thought to do something as simple as walking more than once. Good idea! I find as I'm finishing it that I'm just getting into it. My problem is that every time I start one, someone who doesn't know anything about it comes with friends and walks all over it talking loudly. I figure it must be the Goddess sending me a message and teaching me patience.

Laura said...

"...wandering but never lost" I love this phrase Debra...and the living reality of nearness to center and the inevitable distance but always returning again to center. The return toward our center, the indwelling Presence of the Divine as near as our next breath.

Alice in Wonderland said...

Found you through Mother Moon's site.
Yes, I have a special place where I like to walk and contemplate on life and the changing seasons.
Unfortunately, we do not have any labyrinth or maze near by, but I would dearly love to walk in one!

Many blessings!

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

my brain can't be serious..If I meditate or walk a maze..within seconds I'm thinking of something funny...It is totally impossible for me to take anything serious enough to get any benefit from it...I think that's a good thing and a bad thing..I'd like to see some benefits from yoga or tai chi, but my brain is thinking weird shit like 'wonder what this would look like if we were all nekkid and had on clown feet?' or some weird shit like that..I'm hopeless.

Jabacue said...

Yes, I am looking forward to my first visit to a labyrinth. Thanks Deb for this...nicely done.
Jim

Cinner said...

I will one day walk a labyrinth. don't know if there are any near me. loved this post, glad you are back. have a great weekend.

miss*R said...

lovely. we don't have labyrinths here.. but I wonder what our ancient indigenous people did... they are such a spiritual race, they must have had similar. maybe just walking in the bush in this ancient land of ours, along cliff tops -
I would love to walk a labyrinth.
Your labyrinth design is the same as the one Sr.K put on our clay discs for earth healing.