One of the greatest things I have learned in this near year of my own happiness project is remembering my priorities. That maybe it really isn’t all that important to go to that meeting this week, or answering all my email, or whatever it is. Two of those priorities are sleep and “rest” even if my rest is mowing a labyrinth into our meadow or running a 15k trail race–rest for me often means somehow pushing my body physically to a particular limit. (Maybe that’s why I am such a champion sleeper.)
I will forever be grateful to Hew in New Brunswick, Canada for posting how he mowed a labyrinth into his lawn. I followed his directions and pretty much had a Chartes pattern labyrinth mowed in my meadow in less than five hours.
So what is a labyrinth? In this context, it is like a maze, but with one way in and out only. There are no dead ends, or wrong turns, but a single path that turns and twists back and forth within a circle eventually ending in the center. The only way out is back the way you came. Over the past couple hundred years or so, labyrinths have been incorporated into many different religious denomination’s practices, as well as secular practices as well. The first labyrinths appear in churches earlier than that, but documented practice of walking the labyrinth as a form of meditation is a more recent development.
The labyrinth that I mowed is quite large, it easily takes 15 minutes to walk it one way. I enjoy the path in and the path out listening to morning sounds as the meadow awakens, as I awaken. I often walk with a particular intention, although sometimes I walk with the goal of being as utterly and completely present as I possibly can be. This walking meditation slows down my heart, connects my body to the earth and quiets my mind.
One of my goals for June is to walk the labyrinth everyday. Maybe you would like to come and join me?