A Guide to Walking the Saint Peter Labyrinth
Movement Spiritual Practices are another way to love God and to be fully present with your heart, mind and body. In movement practices we experience kinesthetic experiences or bodily knowing. It allows us to connect our body to our mind and our heart as the brain gets feedback from our muscles and ligaments. It helps us let go of our usual ego driven way of thinking and doing things. There are a number of ways to enjoy Movement as a spiritual practice including hiking, yoga, dancing, chanting, drumming, or even holding prayer beads during prayer.
At Saint Peter, we encourage church members and the community to spend time on our courtyard labyrinth.
What Is a Labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a continuous path, not a maze or a puzzle. There are no false turns as there are in a maze, but by putting one foot in front of the other we arrive at the goal.
There is no “right” way to walk a labyrinth. The tradition is to walk the path to the center while meditating, reflecting or praying, to stay there a while and then to walk out again.
The challenge in walking a labyrinth is to let go of trying to see ahead and simply follow the path. It is a process of letting go - an element of most forms of meditation. When we relinquish control, we often feel open to new insights or new answers to questions.
How to Walk the Labryinth
Prepare: Close your eyes, breathe, clear your mind and ask God to enter into this time of prayer with you.
Remember: Before you walk, spend a moment in gratitude. If there is specific event or situation troubling you, bring it to mind and form a healing question if possible.
Release: As you walk, let go of mind chatter. Open your heart and become aware of your breathing. Relax and move at your own pace.
Receive: At the center, pause and stay as long as you like. Listen for the voice of God.
Return: While walking out, reflect on your experience and imagine new beginnings.
History of the Labyrinth
The history of the labyrinth goes back 5,000 years or more. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Christianity adopted the labyrinth as a symbol, changing the design to imbue it with a specific Christian meaning. For almost a thousand years there has been an identifiable Christian labyrinth tradition. This movement reaches its peak at Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral, in France, with the installation of an elegant labyrinth floor in 1201.
The labyrinth incorporates many levels of symbolism within its sacred geometry. Its circularity and concentric circles reflect the cosmos, atoms and DNA. The geometry comprises the very principles of the manifestation of God’s hand in the creation of the universe.
A Labyrinth Prayer
I call upon you, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
As I enter this sacred space today,
I carry reminders that you have created all things
and that you are present with me always.
I pray that I may walk the path, where you want me
to be in my spiritual journey.
May my vision expand to what is possible,
may my soul be stretched.
Help me to see clearly, to listen,
to take courageous risks,
To claim and embrace our gifts every step on my way.
Help me to know my life is a sacred journey
of transformation: of change, of growth,
in discovery, with movement and hope.
From here may I go forward in your peace,
with stories that are signs of healing,
walking in beauty, wisdom, dignity and love.