About the Labyrinth

The Labyrinth is an ancient symbol that has been recently rediscovered and adapted for use in modern times. Walking the Labyrinth is a practice that is thousands of years old, and the Labyrinth crosses all faiths and cultures. Found in such varied countries as China, Crete, Ireland, India, Scandinavia, and others, the Labyrinth also shares similarities with the Native American medicine wheel, the Kabalistic symbol in Judaism, and Tibetan sand paintings.

The Labyrinth played an important role in the Christian tradition beginning in the 12th Century when pilgrimages to Jerusalem became too expensive and dangerous. Labyrinths were placed into the floors of many Gothic cathedrals throughout Europe to be walked as part of pilgrimages. One of the most well known of the remaining Labyrinths is inlaid at the cathedral in Chartres, France.

The Labyrinth is one circuitous path to the center and out again. The entrance is also the exit. Unlike a maze that it designed to confuse and have us lose our way, the Labyrinth has no dead-ends and is designed to help us find our way. A maze is a puzzle to be solved, a left-brain task that requires us to think logically, sequentially, and analytically. The Labyrinth, in contrast, is a right-brain task that involves intuition and creativity.

There is no right way to walk the Labyrinth path. There is one path in and out, and there are no decisions to be made as to which way to turn. The only decision is whether to enter and walk. The Labyrinth is flat on the ground, with no walls or tricks to confuse us.

Viewed as a metaphor for life's journey, the Labyrinth offers lessons as we walk the path. It can offer a mirror to reflect where we are in our lives. Walking the Labyrinth can assist us to address challenges, gain insights, make decisions, and find peace and serenity.

The Labyrinth may be permanent or portable, outdoor or indoor, and of various designs and sizes. Labyrinths are currently being used in hospitals, schools, prisons, wellness center, hospices, churches, corporations, public parks, and retreat centers.