As part of the Center's meditation gardens, the labyrinth is intended to provide a sacred space where seekers may come for insight, healing, meditation, and celebration. If you have not walked a labyrinth before, you may find the following instructions helpful in enhancing your experience. Also, quite a bit of additional information on labyrinths is available at the Grace Cathedral Web site which you may find via our links page.
The Center's labyrinth is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week for individuals and small groups. Larger groups should schedule time by calling the Center during office hours.
A Brief History
The labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in many different cultures. It is an example of sacred geometry that can be traced to the natural patterns of tree cones and seashells. It may have originally been developed as an expression of relationship to nature, and evolved over time as a sort of cosmic map for spiritual seekers. The oldest known labyrinth was found in Crete and is believed to be nearly 5,000 years old. The same pattern has been discovered etched in stone in English and Celtic sites. Similar patterns may be found in Tibetan mandalas, Mayan ruins, Navajo sand paintings, the Hopi's Mother Earth symbol, and the Kabbala Tree of Life in the Jewish mystical tradition.The pattern of our labyrinth is based on the eleven circuit labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral in France. Built in the 12th century, the Chartres labyrinth was one of several locations designated as a pilgrimage site for those faithful who could not make the long trip to Jerusalem, the Holy City in Christianity. Out of this tradition, the labyrinth has become a symbol of the inner journey to the Holy City of the soul.
Walking The Labyrinth
The labyrinth is a universal meditation tool. Anyone from any tradition or spiritual path can walk into the labyrinth, and, through reflecting in the present moment, benefit from it. It appeals to children as well as adults. Labyrinths can be danced or skipped, or even crawled. The seeker is only asked to put one foot in front of the other. The labyrinth is a prayer path, a crucible of change, a meditation tool, a blueprint where psyche meets soul. By stepping into the labyrinth we are choosing- once again- to walk the spiritual path. (from Walking the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral)