• 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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Labyrinth at the Marais Church

We created a wonderful 2 day labyrinth experience in a 16th century church near the Bastille in Paris. It was part of the Protestant church celebration known as Protestants en fête.

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Temple du Marais Labyinth

Temple du Marais ParisToday I will be about creating a labyrinth in this magnificent 17th century church in Paris – The Temple du Marais. It will be an octagon-shaped labyrinth with 4 different pause points, where the spiritual adventurer can stop and follow a suggested interactive experience based on hope, release and rest. While the labyrinth will fill the entire floor, choral music by Arvo Pärt will fill the rest of the rotonda.

Labyrinths provide for people a different kind of prayer experience – one that is more active, interactive, physical, spacial, visceral, silent and open-sourced.

So if you happen to be in Paris, drop by the Temple du Marais on Friday 10am – 10pm or Saturday 10am – 6pm at 17 rue St. Antoine, Paris 75004.

New Labyrinth Design

Temple du Marais ParisThis week I designed a new labyrinth to fit this magnificent space: The Temple de Marais Church in Paris (see location). In September, as part of the Protestants en Fête Celebration, we’ll be able to create for the first time ever, a labyrinth under the dome for 2 full days.

The design is octagonal which allow us to use tape in straight pieces yet flowing well with the round room. It will have a large center of a metre and a half in diametre, allowing a place for a few people at a time to sit on pillows and chill. Around the outside, there will be three installations where the explorers will be invited to pause and interact in a specific way if they choose. On the tape we will draw rather abstractly with oil pastels to match the beautiful cloth painting already installed in the church.

Another aspect I like about this design is its lack of symmetry. I made some manipulations to the basic design to avoid reaching the three outer installations one after the other. An unsymmetrical labyrinth is less predictable and gives the explorer a greater sense of being lost.

So, voilà, here’s the initial design which is sure to undergo a few more changes. It is quite big and complex….and will take a lot of work. Anyone want to help?


In need of a labyrinth…

Don’t ya think that this grassy circle behind Les Invalides in Paris is in need of a guerrilla labyrinth? I do!