Labyrinth Walk: Peaceful Steps, Magical Friends
Sorry that I've been so quiet, friends. I am busy working on another revision of my novel. Hoping to finish it soon! I can't wait to share awesome news with you!
But today, I took a break after writing to do a meditation walk. Today is World Labyrinth Day!
If you've never heard of a labyrinth, it's a great way to quiet your brain and take a break. Labyrinths come in many different styles, but no matter what they look like, you follow a path. You can't get lost--you follow one way into the center and the same way back out. (Cool word: unicursal--means one way in and one way out). While you're walking, you're letting go of things that might bother you or that yo might be thinking about. When you get to the middle of the labyrinth, you stop and spend some quiet time in the center. And, when you walk out, hopefully that quiet peace you found in the center, follows you!
Labyrinths are great ways to meditate if you have a hard time sitting still, like me. You still use principles of meditation like attention, focus, and paying attention to your breath. But, you do it while you're walking.
Today, I walked 2 different labyrinths in 2 different ways. The first walk I did was by myself. I walked a gravel labyrinth that was welcoming spring. As I took each step, I could hear the crunch of gravel beneath my feet. There were signs of new life everywhere: the pinks and purples and yellows of flowering trees. Along the path, I could hear the buzz of bees and the chirps, song, and whistling of birds.
As I turned one corner, I saw a family of deer observing my progress. I stopped and we stared at one another for a while. It was a magical moment: they didn't run and I didn't startle. We just stared at one another, sharing time and space. It felt magical: so at peace, that I was able to be quieter than usual. That quiet led to an extended moment with a beautiful deer family I might otherwise have scared away by walking too loudly or too quickly.
The point of the labyrinth is to learn to still your mind. I'm not sure I could have met that goal better than I did today. I loved seeing the deer, hearing the birds and the bees, feeling the sun against my face, and feeling the gravel beneath my feet. I felt at peace with my world.
Later, I walked a labyrinth with a group of people. Because it was World Labyrinth Day, people all around the world were invited to walk together at 1 p.m. This second walk with lots of people was interesting. It was like walking through a stream: you had to make sure to walk without running into anyone, taking your time. I felt honored to join them as a stranger and grateful that they welcomed me so warmly.
How do you practice quieting your mind?