by Maria Alexandra Koropecky, Homespunspa Owner
“To travel a circle is to journey over the same ground time and time again. To travel a circle wisely is to journey over the same ground for the first time. In this way, the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and the circle, a path to where you wish to be. And when you notice at last that the path has circled back into itself, you realize that where you wish to be is where you have already been … and always were.” ~ Neal Donald Walsch
Walking a Labyrinth is an ancient spiritual practice that can work wonders for your soul.
Recently, I literally stumbled upon a Labyrinth that I previously didn’t know about. I was attending a friend’s funeral at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in North Saanich, BC, a lovely historic church that was consecrated in 1885, and I just happened to notice the markings of a Labyrinth in the church parking lot. I made a mental note to come back at a later date.
I first heard of Labyrinth walking after reading Daniel Pink’s book, “A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future” several years ago and have kept my eye out for them ever since. I didn’t think Labyrinths could possibly exist in Victoria but as it turns out, there’s more than one. There’s also one in a park in James Bay behind the Legislature, too.
Contrary to popular beliefs, Labyrinths are not mazes. A maze is a complicated and confusing network of paths with many forks and options. Maybe you have walked through a life-sized maze with high hedges in a garden park before and had a difficult time finding your way out.
Labyrinths, on the other hand, are not designed to bewilder or puzzle. Labyrinths are not difficult to navigate and have a single path that leads to the center. There’s only one way in and one way out and all you have to do is put one foot in front of the other and follow the yellow-brick road, so to speak.
It didn’t take long for me to make my way back to my newly discovered Labyrinth. I dusted off my copy of “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron and decided that the Labyrinth would be my first “Artist Date.” I picked a sunny and hot Saturday afternoon and headed off to North Saanich near the airport. When I got there, I made a point to visit my friend’s grave in the Church’s cemetary first.
I made an effort to walk the Labyrinth because I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and I’m trying to quiet my mind and tap into my intuition. To me, walking the Labyrinth is a kind of mini pilgrimage to a sacred place. To me, just following the meandering path helps me lose track of the outside world and get into a contemplative and meditative state and from there I get ideas and end up feeling better.
I decided to go through the Labyrinth twice that day. When I got back into my car, I decided to take the scenic road home. Out of the corner of my eye, across the street from the church, I noticed a beach. I quickly parked the car again and thought I’d explore a little further. I walked down the stone steps to sea level. The beach was covered with an abundance stones and rocks and pebbles and seashells. I thought to myself, “She sells seashells by the seashore” and then I thought “Sand Dollar.” I hopped from rock to rock, trying not to step on any seashells but that was not easy. There were just so many of them.
And then, there it was. Just sitting there plain as day. A Sand Dollar. The first one I’ve found in my life — ever. It made me smile and I thought, maybe this gift was something to do with the Labyrinth path I’d just walked minutes before. I like to think it is and although I can’t guarantee that you’ll find some kind of treasure after walking a Labyrinth, I invite you to try and to at least keep your eyes and ears open. Who knows what you’ll discover!
If you’d like to find a Labyrinth in your own city or in a city you’re planning to visit anywhere in the world, check out the Labyrinth’s Society’s web page. They have a world-wide Labyrinth locater tool that just may point you in the right direction.