Steps for Walking the Labyrinth at Saint Stephen’s Church
First, remember… there is no wrong way or right way to walk a labyrinth at any time. Before starting to walk, spend a little time while still standing still. Allow your awareness to be with your body. Take some deep breaths, inhaling deep into the belly. Put your full attention on the sensation of breathing. Then allow the breath to return to normal and notice it going on its own for a little while.
Now bring your awareness to your body, noticing how your body feels as you are standing, and becoming aware of all the sensations going on in your body. Be aware of what is inside, possibly reflect on where you are in your life… bringing anything that may be burdensome to you or something you wish to receive an answer for into your conscious mind before beginning your walk… requesting spiritual guidance. Another option is to just be open to whatever comes, having faith that God will provide what is needed.
Begin walking. The entrance to the labyrinth is opposite the library courtyard doors. Walk at a relaxed, fairly slow but normal pace. When you walk a labyrinth, you meander back and forth, turning 180 degrees each time you enter a different circuit. As you shift your direction you also shift your awareness from right brain to left brain. This is one of the reasons the labyrinth can induce receptive states of consciousness.
The walk to the center is a quieting of the mind… calming yourself, releasing all tension and conscious thoughts… opening yourself to receiving an answer or releasing whatever you need to… trusting and having faith that the labyrinth will assist you in this process.
Stop along the way if you wish and proceed again when you are ready.
After you reach the center, you may allow your attention to stay there for awhile, becoming aware of what is inside you… whatever you are feeling in your heart… remaining in the center for as long as you wish.
The walk back out from the center can be seen as returning to one’s life… with a new approach toward whatever question or issue you brought into the labyrinth… or new guidance received… feeling a sense of empowerment from the experience.
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