The Sacred Walk of the Labyrinth and where to find it.

This is an excerpt from the La Foret Conference and Retreat Center where I will be co-hosting the Shalom Yoga Retreat this summer. The Labyrinth walk is one of the activities I am most looking forward to!!

la foret labyrinth
Medieval Christians walked labyrinths as a form of pilgrimage. Today many people are finding the labyrinth offers a special enhancement to their prayer lives. A labyrinth has been created in the serene forest of La Foret for all who visit there.
The labyrinth is a feature of many medieval cathedrals, although their use in the Christian church dates to the fourth century or earlier. The labyrinth is a geometrical design portraying a winding path from a starting point to a goal. It is marked out on the floor and, unlike a maze, has only one path (so you cannot become lost!).
Many Christian versions, including the Chartres labyrinth, incorporate a cross shape. “The labyrinth is a spiritual tool meant to awaken us to the deep rhythm that unites us to ourselves and to the Light that calls from within. In surrendering to the winding path, the soul finds healing and wholeness.”
The tradition of pilgrimage is a part of the Christian tradition. It was an especially important part of Christian life in the Middle Ages, when a pilgrimage to Jerusalem was the one commitment essential to the spiritual life, surpassing even communion. With the crusades of the twelfth century, travel became dangerous and expensive, so the church designated seven pilgrimage cathedrals to become a symbolic Jerusalem. Aer spending days, even weeks traveling to one of these cathedrals, the pilgrims ended their physical journey with a walk into the labyrinth. Centuries later, the spiritual pilgrimage is recognized in the journey of faith. In place of a physical journey to Jerusalem, we are on an inner journey to God. A contemporary individual might walk the labyrinth as an aid to contemplative prayer and reflection. As you wind your way around approaching the center, you gradually let go of the concerns of the day. You can view it as a centering exercise to help you focus on God or nature. You can also view it as an allegory of your life—sometimes appearing to be close to your focus, only to be suddenly out to the edge. Or perhaps to find yourself walking sometimes in sympathy with others and other times far distant, and so on. At the center, you meet God, nature, or another focus, and sit and rest there for as long as you like. Then you walk the labyrinth outwards, carrying the Light with you out into the world.

I so hope that you will join me on this labyrinth walk this summer, but if not I hope you find your own!! For more info on the Shalom Retreat click the photo below, and as always I will see you over on the gram @beautifulandbeloved!

Love and Light,

Amber

Amber Newberry