I still vividly remember the first time I walked a labyrinth. It was in 2000, a time when my faith had been seriously shaken leaving me feeling disconnected from God. The church I was attending was offering the opportunity to explore and experience different prayer practices so I signed up hoping to find a way to reconnect with God.
One of the prayer practices we explored was walking a labyrinth. Learning about this ancient spiritual tool intrigued me. I couldn’t wait to go and experience it.
A labyrinth is a single path of prayer and meditation leading to the center of the (usually) circle and returning out again. The winding path symbolizes our spiritual journey, leading us close to the center only to take us back out to the edge again before heading back to the center. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is deliberate in its design with no dead ends, decisions or wrong turns.
The journey in the labyrinth quiets our minds from the daily distractions we have and moves the soul inward toward wholeness and renewal in God. Simple, yet mystical. There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth.
My first labyrinth walk had the intention of reconnecting with God. I had no idea that as I walked this winding path, I would become aware of a presence walking with me. As I made my way to the center, I realized the presence was God walking with me.
Not everyone who walks a labyrinth has this kind of experience and the hundreds of walks I have made over the past 23 years have not all been like this. Sometimes, any clarity or understanding may come hours or even days later, if at all. As with all spiritual practices, it is personal and different for everyone.
My experience with the labyrinth has led me to spend the past 23 years learning as much as I can about labyrinths, sharing with others and guiding them in their experience with the powerful spiritual tool.