Solvitur Ambulando “It is solved by walking”. This quote is attributed to St. Augustine. Walking prayer. Walking meditation. Peace in every step. I’ve experienced the peace of walking a labyrinth and after attending a Verditas https://www.veriditas.org/ facilitator training workshop in January, 2020, I knew I had to build one in our backyard.
If you’ve attended a workshop or retreat, you’ve probably experienced that burst of energy which follows where you are ready to make changes in lifestyle or begin creating from what you’ve learned. I’m no different. Even though it was still winter, I was ready to start building! Gung ho! Here we go! Let’s do it!
Wait . . . how do I do this? What will I need? Where will I put it? Can I persuade my husband to not only agree to tear up the backyard but to help with the heavy lifting? Should I contract with a landscaper to do it and what will that cost? What kind of materials should I use? So many questions!
In many ways I feel like I birthed this into existence. I carried the intention in my heart for months. It started with a seed of an idea – I knew I was going to bring a labyrinth into existence this year but I wasn’t sure it was going to be in my backyard. Yet, here it is August 11th, the Feast of St. Clare of Assisi and there is a new baby labyrinth blessing my space. Along the way, I participated in an online workshop through Veriditas. Lars Howlett facilitated a 3 day workshop for building temporary labyrinths for labyrinth facilitators. We had “class” online for a couple hours and then we were given “homework”. I learned a great deal about constructing labyrinths and even more about myself.
I learned that sometimes I need to remove my “thinking cap” and trust the process. Relax, I heard that small voice. Just breathe. I also learned that you will eventually use geometry some time in your life and you should remember the difference between radius and circumference!
Giving life to this labyrinth involved quite a bit of labor – back breaking, labored breathing, sweaty labor. At each stage, I documented creating it’s creation by taking photos. We started with a patch of grass and several steps and weeks later, we had the labyrinth in the above photo.
I’ve walked my baby labyrinth a couple times. Because it is a 5 circuit heart of Chartres labyrinth, I’ve quickly learned I need to SLOW DOWN to navigate the turns which is an excellent lesson for my life. Slow down. Breathe. If I don’t take the turns slowly, I become a little dizzy and disoriented. I’ve learned I must navigate what appears to be an abrupt turn with deliberate patience and intentionally or I will become disoriented.
I’ve written elsewhere https://listening-heart.com/labyrinth/ providing some background and information about labyrinths. In a nutshell it is a tool for a sacred experience. It is a container for the Unknowable. As we walk inward, we release and let go of whatever – stress, worry, fear, anger. We enter the center and receive from Source all that is good and holy. We may hear a word or get a feeling. We allow ourselves to relax and just be. We take the same path back out of the center, returning and bringing with us what we received.
When I walk my labyrinth, I know I am not alone. Hundreds of thousands of fellow pilgrims throughout history and currently throughout the world have walked this path. One step at a time.
On evening of August 20th, my ladies group will meet for the first time face to face since the big lock down. We will meet on the back deck, engaging in social distancing and wearing masks. Please join us between 6 PM and 7 PM EST from wherever you are as we bless the labyrinth. Send your healing thoughts, prayers, and energy of Light and Grace.
Now, more than ever, we should walk the labyrinth. We should walk for peace and compassion. We should walk to slow down and breathe. We walk to let go, to receive and to return to a wounded and confusing world. One step at a time. Walk. Release. Receive. Return.
Be well. Be safe. Blessings.
P.S. For all who embrace Catholic Christian feast days, be blessed on this feast of St. Clare of Assisi. St. Clare wrote to her dear friend Lady Agnus of Prague to gaze upon Jesus, consider him, contemplate him and as one desires, imitate him. What this means to me is to look and see Jesus’ love which surrounds us and consider the events of his short life and what that means for persons of faith. Contemplate and remember the unconditional compassion he had for others, for those on the margins, for the lost and lonely and for those who made mistakes. Remember his great Love and Compassion and keep it in your heart. And if you desire, as you feel called, imitate Jesus in all that you do. Be just and kind and loving. Forgive. Love others. Love yourself and love the Creator by whatever name you call Him/Her.
This blog is not intended to serve as individual spiritual direction. Spiritual direction and spiritual companioning is typically done face to face in a confidential setting or can be done via Zoom or other virtual platform. If you would like to explore one on one spiritual companioning, group companioning, SoulCollage©, the Labyrinth or Reiki, please contact me. If you, your faith group, your church or your book club would like to know more about spiritual companioning, please contact me to schedule an informational workshop. In the meantime, my hope is that the photos and this blog serve as a pause in your day, food for thought, or just a reminder to breathe in and breathe out all that is holy and good. The Divine Milieu is all around us. Thank you all for prayers, vibes, positive energy and support.)