Walking the Labyrinth

A drawing of the original Chartres Labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France.

A drawing of the original Chartres Labyrinth at the Chartres Cathedral in France.

I am not a particularly religious person, but I am extremely spiritual. Mo Ranch is a Presbyterian Retreat deep in the Texas Hill Country situated along the beautiful Guadalupe River and a particularly favorite place for me to visit to recharge my soul. One of the features that holds deep reverence in my heart is their duplication of the Chartres Labyrinth located across the river in a very serene spot that induces meditation and has an ancient sacred feel.

There are many ways to walk a labyrinth. The walker should choose a purpose and a focus to receive results from the experience.

My first experience walking the Labyrinth at Mo was nothing short of amazing. Their duplicate of the original Chartres Labyrinth from the Cathedral in France is a bit larger, so the walk takes some time. The path turns back on itself many times in the four quadrants that are walked to reach the center. This extension giving the walker time to meditate, reflect, and open themself to the universe during their journey.

When I began my walk, no one else was in the area. I cleared my mind, focused on my meditation of the morning and began my journey. This labyrinth has red gravel chips under foot and makes a distinctive crunching sound with each step. The sound with each step begins to match your heart beat as the walk continues.

My focus was on this journey, the meditation, and the sounds underfoot had my attention so I didn’t realize anyone else had entered my space. A couple began their journey to the center and at first their steps were distinctive and individual. Within seconds, all three of use were walking in sync…one sound, one heartbeat, one meditation…journey to the center.

Since my journey had begun about five minutes before the couple, I reached the center first. Tradition at this point is for you to reflect on your thoughts and meditation that brought you there and either pray if that is your choice or internalize the results of the journey. For me, I had peace in my heart for the first time in months and felt uplifted by my walking the labyrinth.

To exit the labyrinth, again there is a choice. Retrace your steps through the four quadrants, reviewing your journey and continue the meditation until you reach the beginning or simply stand and walk a straight line to the exit. Had I been alone that morning for my journey, I would have retraced my steps, lingering in the peace created by the walk, the sounds under foot and the beating of my heart. My choice was the latter. I stood, walked to the exit and began my day with a renewed spirit.

Mo Ranch's replication of the original Chartres Labyrinth overlooking the beautiful Guadalupe River.

Mo Ranch’s replication of the original Chartres Labyrinth overlooking the beautiful Guadalupe River.

Always with each posting, I wish you peace, joy, and happiness, but most of all I wish you LOVE.

As Ever, Annie

First Published 1/25/2013

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