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Walking the Labyrinth

Spiritual Practice - Walking the Labyrinth

Walking the labyrinth is a purposeful prayer walk. It is a catalyst for meditation and reflection. It is sacred walk to discover inner sacred space and be open to the Spirit’s movement. 

The Practice

Find a local church or organization that has a labyrinth you can visit. Alternatively, find one that you can borrow or rent for the experience. (Or build a simple labyrinth as a volunteer or group project.)

Accompanying meditative music can be helpful but is not necessary. 

Pause before you enter the labyrinth and center your thoughts and intention. Find a pace that is comfortable and simply walk the path to the center and back out.

As you walk, be aware of the possible purposes and patterns symbolized in your journey.

The walk from the entrance of the labyrinth to the center represents a time for releasing, emptying, and quieting. Let go of things that block communication with God. Relinquish things you attempt to control.

The second stage of the labyrinth walk is found in the center, the stage of illumination. Here is the place for meditation and prayer. Enter with an open heart and mind and receive whatever clarity and wisdom is available.

The stage of union begins as you leave the center. It allows for integration of the insight or clarity received. It is for communion with God, for gratitude, for empowerment in living out God’s call.

You may pause along the way or stay in the center as long as you like. More than one person may walk at a time and enter the center, standing, kneeling, or sitting, as they feel led. You may pass slower walkers by simply stepping around them. As you pass others going in or coming out, simply continue along your way.

Be mindful of thoughts and feelings; pay attention to all that happens along the way.

Once you have completed your labyrinth walk, you may continue a prayerful walk around the outside if you wish, or, if others are still walking, you may stand, sit, or kneel and hold them in prayer as they continue along the path.

Write in your journal about the experience.

Share with the group some of your feelings, insights, and observations.

Pray together a prayer of thanksgiving for your life journey and Spirit as the source that has guided, directed, upheld, and accompanied you along the way.

Note to Facilitator

For this deepening practice, you will need to either find or create a labyrinth for the group to walk. Check with local churches or retreat centers to locate a labyrinth to visit at a time that works for the group. Or use the resources listed at the end of this practice page to “build” a simple labyrinth (outdoor labyrinths of stone or cut grass are possibilities). Labyrinths are ancient circular designs that create a pathway to a center area and back out again. Labyrinth walking is a Christian form of meditation practiced as early as the fourth century. 

Scripture Reflections

He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? —Micah 6:8 NRSV

Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. —Jeremiah 6:16 NRSV

You have made known to me the paths of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence.— Acts 2:28 NIV

Additional Resources  

Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool by Lauren Artress

Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth by Melissa Gayle West