Walking the Labyrinth

Our 36-foot, 14-foot round, expertly painted, canvas labyrinths and our finger labyrinths are copied from the 13th century design found in the Chartres Cathedral, France. Both canvas labyrinths are available, indoors or outdoors. It can be candlelit. Dr. Brown facilitates with a short introduction and instructions for new walkers.  Finger labyriths are available to those who are unable to walk.  

E-mail pdbrown@spiritworks.org with your questions and inquiries. To reserve your date to use the canvas labyrinths and Tricia's interpretive gifts, call Tricia at 412-999-1912 or email pdbrown@spiritworks.org.  To read more about the labyrinth and how it is used for prayer and walking meditation continue reading.  A donation for Spiritwork's work in Rwanda, Africa is requested

Meditation in Motion

The path is a metaphor for our journey. There is nothing “magical” about the labyrinth. There are no tricks the walker must figure out to walk it. There is only one path. The walker sees the design laid out before them throughout their walk.

History of the Labyrinth

People have always had a fascination with circular constructions, and varying forms of the labyrinth have been used in many ancient cultures and civilizations throughout human history. Christian churches used the labyrinth for prayer and meditation as early as 350. The oldest example in Algeria, North Africa, is inscribed with “Sancta Eclesia” (holy church) at the center, confirming its sacred use. The labyrinth design we are using first appeared in the Middles Ages. This design, built in the early thirteenth century, is the most famous and is in the inlaid floor of Chartres Cathedral, France. This archetypal design has been found all over the world: in classical Rome and Greece, Western Europe, the Near East, Africa, New Zealand, North America, and Southeast Asia.

In the famous thirteenth-century French cathedral, the labyrinth was used by pilgrims to complete their “holy obligation” to travel to the Holy Land sometime during their lives. This once-in-a-life-time journey was their opportunity to walk the path that Jesus walked while on earth. Today, the religious tour the Middle East to experience first hand the land of the Bible. These pilgrims walked on their knees while reciting prayers.

The Journey Today

There are three stages of the walk:

Entering the Path/Shedding Cares

Walking toward the center, we release cares and concerns and empty and quiet ourselves. As we surrender to the winding path, we find wholeness and healing.

The Center/Illumination

We meditate within the circle, finding clarity for our lives. We remain as long as we wish, receiving whatever is there for us.

Returning/Union

As we walk back out to the edge, on the same path, we are empowered to be more authentic with ourselves, in our relationships, and in our service to the world.

The labyrinth is not sacred in itself, but only something used as a tool. To set aside twenty to thirty minutes in a walking meditation may be a new experience for many. The labyrinth helps you take time apart to be presence in a conscious way.

The Spiritworks Labyrinth Guide

Some people may become anxious at the prospect of their first labyrinth walk. Be assured that there are no wrong ways to walk the labyrinth, no ways to get lost, no ways to make a mistake. Your way is the right way to walk the labyrinth. The following ideas have been suggested by other walkers. Please remember, they are only possibilities…feel free to walk the prayer labyrinth your way.

Finger Prayer Labyrinth

The labyrinth is an ancient tool used for prayer; the winding path a metaphor for our journey. To begin, place your index finger on the outside opening. Using your finger, slowly and thoughtfully trace the path from the outside opening into the center. As you “travel” toward the Rose (center) release your cares and concerns. Shed the confusion and busyness of your heart. Empty and quiet yourself.

When you reach the center, place your three middle fingers into the rose petals and close your eyes. Say what is on your heart. Say a special blessing for healing for yourself or loved ones. Seek clarity and direction. What are your hopes and dreams? Remain in the center for as long as your like.

When you finish, again use your index finger and trace the same path from the center back out to where you began. As you move at your own pace to the edge, be empowered to be more authentic in yourself and in your service to your family, community, and the world.