Who knew that walking in circles could be a form of meditation/prayer?

I didn’t until I recently read about labyrinths (not to be confused with mazes).

I discovered this worldwide directory of labyrinths. Even places like John Hopkins provide labyrinths for their patients and medical staff, so I figured there must be something to it.

I’m not all that good at the sitting and standing versions of meditation/prayer so I was curious to try this.

To my surprise there are a number of  labyrinths here in Madison so this morning I went to the one closest to my house, about six miles away on the grounds of a church.

It’s in the middle of countryside and my inner country mouse was able to come out and play. That right away put me in a more meditative state of mind.

I was amused that a church with a “Way Cool” service listed on its sign would have a labyrinth. I guess you can’t always judge a church by its sign.

It’s an outdoor labyrinth made of gravel and pavers and surrounded by trees, which gives it a nice secluded feeling. There’s also a view of the distant farmland. It uses the medieval Chartres design.

When I first entered the labyrinth I was very analytical about it and tried to assess what I was supposed to do.  Eventually it became clear that I was to just stay on the path and follow it to the center. I didn’t need to be heads up about anything. The path would guide me.

There were times it felt like I was going over the same path twice and I started getting too analytical again, wondering if I messed up.

I’d be on one side of the circle and then in a flash, it seemed, I’d be on the other side, and I wondered how that happened so fast.

While walking the path closest to the center I logically assumed it would open up into the center but that didn’t happen and I was a bit frustrated.

Then while on a middle path, to my surprise, it suddenly opened up onto a path that led straight to the center.

Of course I couldn’t help but notice how all of this parallels our journey through life.

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Filed under: Cool Ideas

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