On Sunday 25 November we had an opportunity to experience a Labyrinth walk in our hall led by Annalise.
While in Greek mythology the Labyrinth was a maze that could trap the Minotaur, since around 430 BC Labyrinths have referred to designs with a single path. For over a thousand years Labyrinths have been incorporated in cathedrals, most famously in Chartres Cathedral in France, and more recently there has been renewed interest in their link to meditation. Emily Simpson, who first walked a labyrinth in May 2009 at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and who has been instrumental in the recently accepted proposal to build a Labyrinth in Centennial Park, says “Labyrinth walking is a really easy way to meditate – its simple winding path helps to quiet the mind and open the heart.”
The cover of the 19th December 2012 issue of the Wentworth Courier featured an interfaith walk at the sit of the proposed Sydney Labyrinth.
Back Row: Rev Ben Gilmour, Paddington Uniting Church; Rabbi Jeffrey Kamins, Emanuel Synagogue; Fr Martin Davies, St James Church, King St; Venerable Boan Sunim, Korean Pori Temple, Gordon; Monsignor Tony Doherty, Church of Mary Magdalene, Rose Bay; Emily Simpson, Centennial Park Labyrinth Project. Front Row:Subhana Barzaghi Roshi, Zen BUddhist Centre; Aunty Ali Golding, Aboriginal Elder; Imam Amid Hady, Zetland Mosque.
To learn more: the Sydney Labyrinth site has more information on building “a Spiritual Path for Centennial Park” and lots of links to further information.
Artists Impression of the Centennial Park Labyrinth
According to the New York Times “The modern-day bloom of labyrinths in this country can be traced to a restless Episcopal priest in California, the Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, a psychotherapist with a divinity degree, who had already been pushing the envelope of traditional practice as a canon at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.” Reverend Artress says “A maze is designed to confuse you. It is a cognitive puzzle and mazes only entered the world culture about 600 years ago. A labyrinth has only one path that leads in a cuituitious way to center. It is designed to find your way. This is what makes it a path for meditation.” You can hear more of her ideas on the use of the labyrinth as a spiritual practice on the following video.
There have also been two interesting Encounter programs on ABC Radio National for which there are transcripts and MP3 downloads to listen to: