The butterfly garden at the entrance was created by George and Joanie Gutermuth
Why A Labyrinth?
The labyrinth looks very much like a maze; however it is not a maze. It has only one path to the center and back out again. It has no dead ends or false paths but instead twists and turns back on itself before reaching the center. Once in the center one can pause and meditate or reflect on the journey. There is only one way back out. One might think of it as a pilgrimage.
Walking the labyrinth is an ancient practice used by many different cultures and spiritual traditions. They have been used by ancient peoples in many places, going back over 5,000 years or more, most often for spiritual centering, contemplation and prayer; in order to “quiet the mind, open the heart”. The word labyrinth is of ancient Greek origin and the labyrinth in the palace of Knossos in Crete figures in Greek mythology. They are also found in many other faith traditions. The most well-known labyrinth was constructed in stone in the floor of Chartres Cathedral near Pairs around 1200 CE. There are many other sizes and types of labyrinths being used. No one form is the only or correct form.
1) Updating Spirituality with the Labyrinth
Churches are constantly in a state of transition as they attempt to remain relevant to Society.
The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress has stated:, “The movement
in the church to reclaim its lost spiritual tradition is enormously significant.”
The labyrinth is personal, generic, and meaningful. It also helps build community.
2) The Labyrinth is Traditional
The labyrinth goes back 5,000 years or more. Christianity adopted the labyrinth as a symbol, changing the design to imbue it with
specifically Christian meaning.
3) The Labyrinth is Contemporary
There is scant record of how the labyrinth was originally used, other than for rituals during Easter. Therefore, a new format has been
adopted, to serve our modern needs. It is available to anyone who would walk it.
4) Labyrinth Walking Is a Spiritual Practice
Spirituality requires attention, hence, a category of activities known as spiritual practices. Walking a labyrinth is such a practice. In this
way, the labyrinth makes spirituality accessible to everyone. It is a form of personal meditation and devotion.
5) The Labyrinth Is Physical
As a form of body prayer, the labyrinth embodies our experience, keeping it from being just theoretical or mental. Saint Augustine is
often quoted as having said, “It is solved by walking.” Labyrinth walking has been called the laying on of feet.
6) The Labyrinth Is a Form of Pilgrimage
Pilgrimage is an outer journey with an inner purpose. It takes us away from the routine of daily life to sacred places. The labyrinth does
this. It organizes our experience and engages us in spiritual travel.
Our Trinity Labyrinth in 2015 was created by Cameron Schuller and friends for a project Cameron worked on toward his
Eagle Scout status.
Likewise there is no “right” or “wrong” way to walk a labyrinth. One enters the labyrinth slowly, calming and clearing your mind, possibly praying an intention for the spiritual journey through the labyrinth. On our labyrinth one enters and walks on the grassy path between the stones. Moving toward the center is a time to “let go” of thoughts, worries, stress, grief, to be open to God’s guidance and presence. Possibly saying a prayer or reciting a mantra such as “lead me” or “be still and know that I am God” “bring peace into my heart” “Lord Jesus walk with me” or something meaningful to you. After pausing in the center one then walks out; back to our lives empowered by the Spirit to transform our lives. It is most definitely a tool for healing and bringing a sense of spiritual wholeness.
Our labyrinth is there on the open grounds – it is place of prayer and meditation that is always open and is free to anyone who wishes to use it. There is some money left from the project so that we can construct a sign explaining the labyrinth and inviting all to come and partake of the experience. It is a spiritual tool for all people, as it is personal, generic, and meaningful. It is a spiritual practice and is best done regularly. It is not magic. It is to be intentional and as a part of one’s spiritual life. All are welcome to walk.