Walk About: The Labyrinth: Circling Toward the Center

Wisdom House Retreat and Conference Center in Litchfield, Connecticut, celebrated the tenth anniversary of its labyrinth last Saturday. Both the celebration and the labyrinth itself reflect the deep spiritual connection between each of us and the wisdom that is our faith.

There is one way into a labyrinth and one way out; it is the same way. Be faithful to the path, open your soul to the way, and you will find yourself in a right and meaningful place each stop of the way. The path is life, and it is the labyrinth, a walking circuit that combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral in a meaningful journey to the center. Just as life is sacred, so is the journey.

You enter a labyrinth and you walk it. The circuits keep you on course. In this way, it is unlike a maze with its choices and dead ends. You enter, you focus, you walk purposefully, meditating on the nature of your every step. Walking the labyrinth is an exercise intended to create a heightened spiritual awareness in a sacred space. In this way, it becomes a symbol and tool of transformation. The power of a labyrinth resides in the spirit the seeker brings to it.

The classical labyrinth is a design that is about 4,000 years old that is found in most cultures. Seven circuits refers the seven paths that lead to the center or goal. The classical labyrinth has an association with Christianity. A cross is the starting point used to construct this labyrinth. The cross at the center can become the focus for meditation and the experience of the labyrinth.