When my grandson Nate was about six years old he was walking the labyrinth at the monastery. He walked along the circular pathway winding around toward the center and back out again. At one point he asked me: “Is this like the path of life?” I couldn’t have said it better myself.
A labyrinth walk can represent a life journey, a pilgrimage to a sacred place, or a prayer bringing us to God. It is a spiritual and personal journey, and therefore a sacred path. Taken with intention, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool serving as a walking meditation for the human heart, mind and soul.
The thing about labyrinths is that even though you may feel at times you are heading away from the center, if you just keep following the path, eventually you arrive at the center. Thus it resembles the indirect path of our lives, which leads us sometimes into the center of the human condition, sometimes into the heart and mind of God, sometimes into the very core of our struggle, and sometimes into the focal point of enlightenment or a new way of understanding.
The labyrinth is not a maze. It is a pathway inviting you into a journey of solitude and contemplation. The way in is the way out. It is best to pause for a moment before entering the journey. Then let the inner quiet of awareness unfold as you stand at the center before turning and winding your way outward again, arriving where you began, carrying with you the stabilizing quiet of the labyrinth with you as you pause, ready to step into the world once again.