• Labyrinths…

    ...can be thought of as symbolic forms of pilgrimage; people can walk the path, ascending toward salvation or enlightenment. Many people could not afford to travel to holy sites and lands, so labyrinths and prayer substituted for such travel. Later, the religious significance of labyrinths faded, and they served primarily for entertainment, though recently their spiritual aspect has seen a resurgence. Many newly made labyrinths exist today, in churches and parks. Labyrinths are used by modern mystics to help achieve a contemplative state. Walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets his mind. The result is a relaxed mental attitude, free of internal dialog. This is a form of meditation. Many people believe that meditation has health benefits as well as spiritual benefits.
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A poem about what the labyrinth may provide…

Labyrinth Armidale

“Invitation to the Labyrinth” by Katharine Whitcomb

Let the heartsick, let the empty,
let the searching come. Let the hopeless,
let the blissful, let the forsaken come.

When the days unspool on dark reel after
another, come. When sorrow haunts
the corners of the house, when the hours stack
like dirty plates, when solitude
becomes loneliness, come to the labyrinth.

Do not wait, in joy or in misery for God
to descend. Do not wait to be found.
Bring the heavy freight of your life here
And set it down. Lay aside your regret.
Step to the gate, beloved, place your feet
on the path.

In the kaleidoscope,
inside the mandala, on the trails that lead
to the heart of the Rose, all are welcome.
Brother, sister, grandmother, friend,
all ages, all faiths and all people can
walk the path together, all can
allow the noise of the world to…

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