Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Walking inwards


Labyrinth (p6291017), originally uploaded by uzvards.

My godmother recently walked a labyrinth at The Edge, Hogsback. She found it really transformative, and shared these interesting tidbits with me:


Symbolism:

The path

Life’s journey, unfolding creation

Circle:

Unity, surrender to wholeness

Concentric circles:

Time and space and often the seeker’s place in either

Inward turning spiral:

Creating the vortex of power, generative force, leaving behind, relinquishing and forgiving.

The Centre (also called the Rosette)

The Mother of all things; love; timelessness; the point where reason meets imagination, the empirical meets the mystical, dogmatic suffocation is transformed into spiritual liberation

Outward turning spiral

Integration and empowerment; manifestation; finding, healing, discovery and renewal

Braided edges

Ariadne’s Thread of love that encompasses the seeker and keeps him/her safe

Turns

Change; discovery; spiritual evolution



History:


For many centuries the labyrinth has been used as a pathway to spiritual discovery and fulfillment. The labyrinth is used as a means to enhance prayerful attitudes, intimacy, meditative states and spiritual focus. It can be used by anyone of any belief system.

The labyrinth has been part of human consciousness for about 5000 years with the oldest recorded labyrinth being a stone-carved relief in Sardinia dating back to about 2500BC. A labyrinth patterned building dated about 1800 BC can be found near the pyramid of Pharaoh Amenemhet III in Fayum, Egypt. A coin unearthed in Syria and dating back to 1300BC has a labyrinth pattern pressed into it.

The labyrinth has a protecting and nurturing nature. Homes, seafaring ships and Cathedrals often had a labyrinth carving or painting, usually on the mast head or over the front door to keep all within safe. Through history, the labyrinth has been used for marriage and commitment ceremonies. Couples recite vows in the centre of the labyrinth then emerge together to mark their new life.



I love the idea of a labyrinth as a form of walking meditation. Sometimes the sitting quietly kind just isn't what you want! I am also going to try to learn to knit (!) My long-suffering mom is going to teach me. Same results, different method, because sometimes, after teaching yoga all day, a girl just wants to drink tea and knit.

On another note, I love the internet: it gives me access to info I would never even be aware of otherwise: check out this class from the late, great Indra Devi that I found on - wait for it - emusic!

By the way, I have noticed several typos and mistakes in my recent entries. Sorry! I promise to check more carefully from now on.

7 comments:

Regina Clare Jane said...

I loved this post because I have recently discovered the labyrinth as well! There is one just down the street from me at the Episcopal church! It has given me such peace...

Danura said...

i have a new found passion in scrapping. I find delight in making layouts for friends and families and i cant stop :)

Drink tea and knit is an oh so perfect combination!

Nadine Fawell said...

Thanks girls! I think anything that makes us feel better is yoga. Scrapping, knitting, labyrinths...

Mary said...

I was considering getting the labyrinth tattooed recently. Thanks for this post, it's got me thinking more about meditation.

No worries about checking your posts too carefully either. We all make typos and blogs are not written to be marked! :-)

I live with a writer and I think he now knows not to correct me anymore after one too many anal comments LOL.

Nadine Fawell said...

Oooh, Mary
You live with a writer, eeek! I drive myself nuts picking up mistakes in everything I ever read, and I am barely literate in the fancy writer sense. Glad he has realised the error of his ways.

Lisa said...

I love the labyrinth. As a counselor AND a yogi, I recommend it all the time. The first time I ever walked it was at the Grace Cathedral one in San Francisco, and it was wonderful!! If you ever have a chance to come this way, don't miss it!!!

krista said...

Aah, those pictures melt me. Beautiful.