Monday, June 1, 2009

todays journey...a finger labyrinth

Today’s challenge is to stop and take time to “walk” a finger labyrinth.

Labyrinths are found in many cultures dating back as much as 3,500 years. Unlike a maze, the labyrinth is unicursal, having a single path leading to the center with no loops, cul-de-sacs or forks. They all share the basic features of an entrance or mouth, a single circuitous path and a center or goal.
Today we journey through a classic Chartes labyrinth. The Chartres, 11-circuit Labyrinth was constructed around 1201 AD in the stone floor of Chartres Cathedral, France. Its distinguishing features are; 11 circuits, the turns arranged in four quadrants, lunations or teeth around the perimeter, and a 6-petal rosette in the center. Medieval Christians visited Chartres (and other cathedrals) and walked the labyrinth as an alternative to taking a hazardous pilgrimage to Jerusalem to walk in the "foot steps of Christ." Modern "pilgrims" walk the labyrinthine path as one of many tools to enhance prayer, contemplation, meditation, and/or personal growth.

Create the Environment: Begin by setting the environment for the experience. Download the picture above and print out a copy (as large as possible). Lower the lighting around you, select some calming music, turn off your cell phone.
Set your personal environment by dropping your 'physical baggage' such as key-chains, pocket change, cell-phones, watches and dangling jewelry. I suggest you take off your watch to remove the temptation to measure your progress chronologically.

The Walk: There is not a "required way" to walk the labyrinth. The beauty of the labyrinth is that people can approach the experience on their own terms. However, as a guideline, we can break the ‘walk’ down into these stages.
Entering: (also referred to as shedding or purgation.) During this stage you “walk” the path toward the center, and should try to acquire a relaxed, peaceful state, temporarily release concerns and quiet the mind.
Illumination: The time in the center. This is a time of openness, peacefulness and prayer; you experience, learn or receive what this unique moment offers. Take your time.
Union: The journey outward. You choose when to leave the center, following the same path. This is a time to review and consider what occurred in the center and how it may be applied in your life.
Implementation: This stage represents your life outside the labyrinth; the world where your experience or illumination is carried into and affects your everyday life.

Now with everything in place, start “walking” the labyrinth with your finger.

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