O R I G I N S
After St. Helena, the mother of the emperor Constantine, journeyed to the Holy Land in the 4th century. Europeans who could afford to do so made such a pilgrimage their goal. For those who remained at home, walking a Labyrinth emulated a holy journey by leading them, symbolically, through a maze-like network of foreign lands, finally reaching Jerusalem at the center, and returning home again. The Great Labyrinth on the floor of Chartres Cathedral, replicated here, is a wonderful symbol of the journey of life. From the 13th century it was used by pilgrims who followed its twists and turns to symbolize their search for Christ at the center of their being.
John Main, author, considered meditation not merely a method of prayer, but a pilgrimage and way of life. The Labyrinth can illuminate the journey of life as we realize that all the loops and backtracks help put our daily emotions and experiences in the perspective of the overall design of the journey - God's way of untying the knots of our heart. The Labyrinth shows us the wisdom of not trying to measure our progress: the journey is not linear and mental, but cyclical and spiritual.
God bless you in walking the pilgrim's path.
Feel free to walk the Labyrinth during daylight hours.
More than one person may walk the Labyrinth at any given time. Please be mindful of the experience of others; those on the outward journey are encouraged to step aside for those traveling inward.
After entering the Labyrinth area, walk to the far side, and enter the path to the left of center facing West and follow it, using one of the methods outlined here or however God leads. In the center, feel free to spend an extended time in meditation. Stand or sit. Exit the Labyrinth by re-tracing your steps along the path: the journey out is as important as the journey in!
The Way of the Labyrinth by Helen Curry
(New York: Penguin Compass 2000)
Walking a Sacred Path by Lauren Artress
(New York: Riverhead Books 1995)
600 S. La Canada Dr.
Green Valley, AZ 85614