St. Barnabas Episcopal Church has created a labyrinth for public use.
“Between the north side of the church building and the senior center is a nook that will soon be landscaped,” the Rev. Leigh Waggoner said in a news release. “A bench will be added, and everyone is invited to come walk this medieval seven-circuit labyrinth.”
A labyrinth is a meandering path in which, unlike a maze, there are no dead ends – the path leads to the center and back out again.
It is an ancient archetype found in religious traditions in various forms throughout much of the world, some dating 4,000 years or more.
Labyrinth have been used as tools for a walking meditation that can lead to personal, psychological or spiritual transformation.
There are traditionally three stages to walking a labyrinth. The first happens as the walker steps onto the path and moves through its twists and turns, letting go of thoughts and distractions. This is a time of releasing, Waggoner said.
The second stage occurs when the walker reaches the center, a place of meditation and prayer. This is a time of receiving what is there to be received.
The third stage happens as the walker returns, following the same path that led to the center. “This is a time of union, intentionally joining to God, a higher power, or the creative and healing forces of the world.
“Three stages or no stages, there is no wrong way to walk a labyrinth,” Waggoner said.