Sep 29, 2022

Come and walk a labyrinth!

written by Liz O'Ryan

Welcome to the Labyrinth at Holy Trinity!

It is one of the joys of being at Holy Trinity that I am aware of how many people use the grounds and building on a daily basis, especially as the church is open every day. Some come to find a quiet moment, some to eat their lunch in the sun trap which is the bench at the front and some to visit and learn about a building which is now 250 years old.

But there has recently been an addition. In the patch of grass at the front of the building there is now a labyrinth marked out. If you’ve never come across one before, a labyrinth is a geometric pattern used for walking to assist thinking. They have been around for thousands of years and no one knows for certain when or where they first originated.

A labyrinth is not a maze. There is only one way in and one way out. The path you follow twists and turns and eventually leads to the centre, where, in Holy Trinity you can pause and sit on the tree trunk. There are no dead ends and no decisions to be made. You simply follow the path.

People often walk a labyrinth to ‘unwind the mind’ and to let go of stress or worries or concerns. Many hospitals and churches have them to help people come to peace or a place of greater relaxation. Some walk a labyrinth as a kind of moving meditation. As you walk the labyrinth you can slow your steps… slow your mind and open your heart to whatever you wish. There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. You may follow the path as a kind of prayer or to receive inspiration for something that is bothering you. You may wish to let go of a burden or worry of some sort. You may wish to learn something more about yourself as you walk.

However you wish to walk the labyrinth we invite you to come and try. Allow your creativity to be present and walk it in the way you think will work best for you. Ultimately, I hope you enjoy the experience!

How to Walk the Labyrinth

Before entering: Consider in your mind a question or problem you might want to know the answer to… or a prayer, or a favourite image. Hold it gently in your mind before you step into the labyrinth and begin walking.

While walking: Just follow the path slowly. As you concentrate on your steps, everything else can melt away.

Upon reaching the centre: Sit on the tree stump or stand with your eyes closed or looking downward. Take three deep breaths, and in silence ask yourself: What am I feeling right now?

Walking back: Bring to mind again the contemplative question, prayer, or favourite image you began with.

 After walking: Reflect on your labyrinth experience. What did you discover? What changed in your thinking?