Introduction to the Labyrinth-part 2
Healing and the Labyrinth
Walking a Labyrinth promotes relaxation and de-stressing by focusing on the breath and stilling the mind. As the walker reconnects to her soul-spirit, she may be better able to see her illness as an ally and teacher. Inner healing can occur, regardless of whether or not physical recovery happens. The gently winding path guides the individual forward from one step to the next. The Labyrinth provides a safe space within which to dialogue with illness. By creating space for personal expression, the Labyrinth can promote stress reduction. This does not mean freedom from stress, but rather freedom to stress. Healing occurs when the walker is able to honour what she is feeling, openly and honestly, rather than suppress so-called “negative” emotions.
The Classical 7-circuit Labyrinth corresponds to the 7 Chakras and may be useful in bringing balance and wholeness to the walker. By focusing on a particular Chakra along each circuit, the individual may notice where there are blocked energies and clear them. Here is a link to a virtual Labyrinth Chakra Meditation created by the Lakeside Labyrinth. As you journey through each Chakra, you may wish to focus on where tensions and blocks arise. Breathe into those areas, with the intention to heal and bring about balance.
The winding path of the Labyrinth evokes images of the brain, and indeed, the back and forth movement can bring about balanced and enhanced connections between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The intuitive and rational minds come together, bringing that which is unconscious to light. Ideas and images that arise in the right-brain can be made manifest in the left-brain.
Select a challenging event from your life. Ask the following questions: What made it tough? What supportive elements were missing? Does it still have an impact today? Are there recurring patterns? Write down any other pertinent questions.
Prepare your sacred space, meditate on the challenging area and when you are ready enter the Labyrinth. Allow each step to ground you further into yourself, and to truly feel the experience. You may experience a variety of uncomfortable emotions, fear, rage, shame. Allow these emotions to rise to the surface, notice them without judgment, and release them. Be receptive to any images that arise, but do not interpret them.
When you reach the center, stay as long as you need to. The center may provide comfort and nurturing, insight and clarity, or simply a space to be. When you are ready, follow the path out. If deep healing has occurred, you are likely to be feeling vulnerable and raw. Take the time you need to integrate the experience. The return journey also provides an opportunity to gain strength prior to stepping out into the mundane world. When you are finished, write about any insights that came up on the walk, or make a collage of the images that arose.
Artress, Lauren Walking a Sacred Path
Artress, Lauren The Sacred Path Companion