Self-Guided Labyrinth Walking for Peace

by the Labyrinth Sub-Committee of MILC (Manitou Intentional Learning Community

You may choose to walk a labyrinth near you or create a finger labyrinth to use at home.

If you don’t have a finger labyrinth, here’s instructions on how to make one:

You could use the same design concept on your lawn and use spray paint to draw it for a temporary labyrinth.

This guided walk includes readings and songs about peace and the natural world. We hope that you can access the links to these before or during your walk. There are three original pieces that are printed here. Enjoy, and may you embody the peace we all want to see in the world.

Spirals and Labyrinths – Rev. Dawn Vaneyk

A labyrinth is designed to work the way a spiral works – there is one path and one path only. It leads you to the centre. If you watch someone prepare a soft serve ice cream cone, you will notice at the end, they do a swirl with the ice cream, like a spiral, round and round, one round on top of the other till it makes a little peak. Some labyrinths are complex spirals. You seem to be on the outside, and getting closer to the centre and then you are on the outside again. But even a complex spiral is a spiral and you will not find a dead end or get lost. That very path will take you to the centre and also out again where you began.

When we walk the labyrinth spiral, we can feel a connection to other spirals in the universe. Our universe itself is called a spiral universe.

You can see other spirals in nature: In the spring, the ferns aren’t big broad leaves. They begin their journey to BE big broad leaves by first being a “fiddlehead” – a small plant all curled into a spiral shape. You can look for those at this time of year.

Look at the house of a snail, the cross section of an ammonite fossil from 66 million years ago – there are spirals!

We carry spirals inside our bodies: our fingerprint is like a spiral, the cochlea in our ear is a spiral. Our DNA is a spiral. Even our bones, especially when young, grow in a spiral form.

When we walk the labyrinth, we are connected, not only to ancestors who, long ago built labyrinths for walking, but we are connected to the earth and her creatures, to our own bodies, and so, because we are human, to all the other people walking the labyrinth with us, the people we may be thinking of or praying for, and the people walking labyrinths all throughout the world today.

Before walking the labyrinth with your feet or your fingers today, find a picture of DNA. Find a picture of a fiddlehead, a snail, an ammonite, a spiral galaxy.
Marvel at how connected we are to creation and one another, past and present.

Directions For Labyrinth Walking – Rev. Dawn Vaneyk

At the entrance: Perhaps invite the guidance of the Spirit in your walk; Some people like to offer a concrete prayer for guidance or help; some simply ‘set their intention’ – to intend to be open to whatever gift the walk will give.

The walk in: don’t “force” anything ; walk with awareness – of your feet, of sounds and sights, of feelings – you don’t need to follow those things and get involved with them, or lost in the story they might tell ; just notice and let go. Be here.

At the Centre: Rest for a time in God’s Presence/ in the gift of having reached the Centre; you may wish to face the four directions; to be still; to be grateful; to listen. When the time is right, begin the path out.

On the way out: again, enjoy the walk; if a thought or guidance comes to you, be grateful. If this is just the first time this week you have slowed down to do nothing but be and walk – just be, and walk. It’s a sacred gift.

At the end: take a moment to give thanks for the walk, for the gift of it, for the fruit of it that may not come today, but at some moment when you need it.

If peace comes by Hakim Karwan, 21. Afghanistan.

The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Barry

Peace on Earth by Marilyn Boileau

As we have gathered here at the labyrinth, in this natural setting, hearing the birds, surrounded by evergreen trees and feeling the wind, sun or rain on our faces. I’m reminded we are all part of something so much greater than ourselves. It is heartwarming to realize we are gathered together with others around the world in our desire for peace in the world.

I’m going to set my intention for my walk with the words from the song “Let there be Peace on Earth” written by Sy Miller and Jill Jackson Miller.

Prayer for Peace

Song: Salaam Alaikum