I laid out a labyrinth behind our house, traced into a thick layer of bark mulch, currently outlined with stakes and little white plant tags. It’s a classic 7-circuit design that goes back centuries. A labyrinth is used for walking meditation, GREAT for someone who doesn’t easily sit still.
The first time I ever walked a labyrinth, I began with an enormous amount of skepticism. How could walking back and forth do anything for my spiritual life??? But there was something about the rhythm of footsteps, the simplicity of the path, and a minimal openness to God that brought me to my own center as I reached the center of the pattern and simply stood quietly for a while. It was as if I had left behind the distractions of daily life and found a calm within the center of God’s heart. Walking back out by the same path I felt a steadily building joy stayed with me for the rest of the day.
Every time I walk a labyrinth, the experience is different. I come with different questions, and I receive different insights. The invitation of the labyrinth in my backyard is like a friendly beckoning from the Spirit to come and spend time with God, even to start my day with walking prayer.
Today for the first time I actually took a wrong turn, and had to laugh as I realized that some industrious critter had dug a tunnel right through the pattern, and it looked every bit like the actual pathway! Maybe sometimes God just messes with us to mess with us! I think Jesus was sitting over on the terrace, chuckling with the chipmunk as I laughed at their clever joke.
When I get the pathway lined with stones, it will be harder for them to pull that stunt again! Then, who knows what they’ll cook up! It’s a delight to connect in this way. If you haven’t tried it before, there’s a larger one next to the Methodist Church and the Senior Center in Anacortes, always available to you. Or give me a holler and come over to see what you experience in your own walking meditation.