Saturday, August 15, 2009

New Blog Look...More on the Labyrinth

Today at my church we had a day of silent meditation, music, fellowship and spiritual direction. The church's indoor Labyrinth was set up for participants to walk - see the picture here. While I will share in a different post the experiences of the day, at the end of the day, and before the Labyrinth was rolled up and stored, I managed to get a picture taken of myself walking the Labyrinth. (not something I would do during the actual meditation of the day, as it would be disruptive and disrespectful to others also walking the pattern.) The picture turned out perfect. I wasn't actually thinking of using it for my blog title picture, however, when I got home and down loaded the shot to the computer, I looked at it and went "Wait a minute, that would - oh COOL!" and began editing and playing with the picture and the blog settings.
So now my blog, titled "Walking the Labyrinth" is backed by a picture of me walking a Labyrinth! Happy blogger here! Hope everyone likes the new look!

There are two Labyrinths at my church - one is available as a permanent outside installation that is open to ANYONE to walk, any time. The indoor canvass one is rolled up and stored between use. Both are patterned on the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in Chartres, France. In the 1200's, the Chartres Labyrinth was used as a pilgrimage site, and as a form of walking prayer meditation. However, the concept of the unicursal (one path - in and out) as well as the multicursal Labyrinth is far, far older. The tale of the Minotaur imprisoned by a multicursal labyrinth or "maze" built by Daedalus on the Ilse of Crete is well known. There are also many other labyrinths in many, many cultures across the world and many of these sites still exist. The purposes of the ancient Labyrinths can be speculated on - traps for monsters (the Minotaur), ritual journeys and ceremonies, prayer, sacred space...

Today, the concept of the Labyrinth is on the rise in this culture as a ritual form of walking prayer and meditation in sacred space...perhaps not too unlike its use in centuries past. Today is mine and Dreamweaver's sixth anniversary together! We spent the day at the church in meditation and walking the Labyrinth, sitting together in the center. Coincidentally enough, today is also another anniversary - eleven years ago, on August 15, 1998, I was the very first time I ever walked a Labyrinth at this very church, seeking to explore the concept. At the time I was not a member of the church, nor of it's denomination. I never dreamed that a decade later that I would be a member of that church! I found the experience of walking the pattern of the Labyrinth to be transformative...the following day, I wrote the words and music for "The Labyrinth Song" that appears on my side bar. For me, the Labyrinth is prayer, sacred space, meditation, ritual, all of that...and also it has become a personal metaphor for the journey of my life.

So, it is with much joy that I get to share with everyone the pictures of the Labyrinth, and I am thrilled that I got to walk it again, eleven years later to the day.
Labyrinth Song
W/m by Cameron
Spiral in, the journey takes us
Larger, greater, deep within
Than it's outer boundary marking
The lines upon the hearts of men.

Further up and further in-
Hear Creator's voice, a roar
Of all that lives and breathes and rushes
The beating pulse forevermore
Hear Creator's voice, a whisper
Beyond the living wall of flame
Beyond the rumbling roll of earthquake
As rocks themselves cry out the name!


Hold your hand above the center
Feel the power throbbing there
As the spiral draws you outward
Away from all you long to share
See your steps next to the ending
Know how close forever is
Yet the spiral pulls you inward
Away from unimagined bliss


Every step a painful journey
A throb of sorrow, a laugh of pain
Every tear you shed of gladness
Cleans the heart in bitter rain
Surrender therefore to your living
Dying daily, born again
Walk the spiral to the ending
To the Heart where it began.
(repeat refrain twice)