In recent times, patients, medical professionals and clergy have searched for complementary forms of healing. One such method is walking a labyrinth. Walking this path can be a personal pilgrimage to spiritual wholeness and healing of the mind, body and spirit.
Labyrinths can be found in almost every religion and every culture. They are an ancient work of art, a spiritual tool to bring together a community of people of many faiths and traditions.
A labyrinth is not a maze. The path of a labryinth guides you to its center. Mazes have many paths and are about choice and strategy. Labyrinths have one path and are about guidance, trust and reflection.
Trust the Path
The labyrinth is a place to walk and meditate, to solve problems, to simply commune and to pray to your God. The labyrinth is an archetypal geometric pattern, a symbol of wholeness, a path for a walking meditation, inviting you into a spiritual and transformational experience. It has a calming effect on participants, giving hope and a sense of well-being.
Labyrinths have an ancient history dating back at least 4,000 years. The Boone Hospital labyrinth is modeled after the one laid into the floor of the cathedral at Chartres, France, in 1201. The mystical tradition of labyrinths has been revived in recent years, thanks particularly to the work of Dr. Lauren Artress, author of Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool. People around the world are once again walking the path and engaging in its powerful process of transformation. Just like the many turns in the labyrinth, we can change and turn directions, thus discovering a new self within. A labyrinth walk helps us take time to find harmony and balance.
Keep in mind that walking the labyrinth is a sacred activity and is not to be rushed or forced. It is a time of reflection, a time to quiet one's self, a time to release anxiety and tension.
Walking the path is a personal experience, an opportunity to clear the mind and give insight to one's personal journey, deepen self knowledge and empower creativity.
Boone Hospital center and the Boone County Hospital Board of Trustees wish to thank Nancy Mertzlufft for her generosity and assistance with the development and construction of the labyrinth. Our goal is to maintain the labyrinth as a healing resource for the patients and staff of Boone Hospital Center and for the mid-Missouri community.
Pause at the entrance, open the heart and clear the mind. Be aware that you are entering a sacred symbol, a sacred path.
You may wish to say a prayer, as a specific question or choose a particular intention for walking (such as physical healing, inner peace, regaining balance, etc).
Begin walking slowly, following the winding path towards the center. Walk at your own pace. The path is two ways; those going in will meet those coming out. If you meet another on the path going or coming, simply step aside and pass with reverence—this is easiest at the turns.
In the center, pause and stay as long as you like. Let it be a time of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive. Then exit by the same path you entered.
Upon leaving the labyrinth, give thanks for the experience and notice how you feel. each time you walk the labyrinth, step by step, you become more receptive to insight a illumination, solace and peace. The benefits and effects vary from person to person. Feel free to walk the labyrinth often.