Why do a labyrinth walk?
I am continuing to explore nontraditional ways of healing and meditative practices to help myself move forward in this life journey. One spiritual guide who has arrived to walk with me on this part of my path is Reverend Maria Teresa Larson. She was a chiropractor in her past life and has now embraced a Native American shamanic philosophy and training.
So I found myself coming to a winter solstice labyrinth walk ceremony hosted by both Maria Teresa and Blue Sky Ranch, which is a metaphysical organization that focuses on healing. There is an outdoor labyrinth and they had set up a group labyrinth walk for the solstice morning.
I have read about labyrinth walks, have actually walked the labyrinth outside the Grace Cathedral church in San Francisco. I didn’t “get” any mystical feeling on that walk so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a group walk. If anything a group walk sounded busy and anything but meditative. However I have learned that what I don’t understand I need to do, so I got myself to El Cajon by 9 am on Saturday December 21st.
When I arrived Maria Teresa was inside the labyrinth conducting her pre-ceremony ritual. I am not sure what she was doing but from previous experience I think she was clearing the space and asking for blessings from her spiritual guides. When she was done she spoke about the importance of the solstice and what it means to the changing seasons and the upcoming year. She then asked us to quietly decide on an affirmation or prayer before entering the labyrinth and began to play her quartz crystal bowls.
I sat quietly and decided on what intentions I wanted to set for 2014. My goals are to find the acceptance within me to fully forgive my parents and let them go once and for all, and to fully accept and claim myself as an artist with no qualifiers (i.e., I’m an insurance agent first and an amateur artist). I took a deep breath, put my lapis lazuli heart (for my throat chakra, to help me speak my truth) in my hand and entered the labyrinth.
There were over 50 of us, and instead of noise or chaos there was a peace-filled silence. I listened to the crunch of gravel underfoot, sensed the breathing patterns around me, and walked slowly into the maze. There was no rush and Mari Teresa had said that if we needed to stop during the labyrinth walk that those behind us would either wait or walk around us. I found myself stopping a few times at turns in the labyrinth. I thought about my intentions with every step I took. About half way into the labyrinth I started to cry. Not deep or painful sobs; rather a peaceful, cathartic cleansing release. I felt myself fully open up to my intentions.
When I got to the inner circle of the labyrinth I closed my eyes and thanked the universe for hearing my request. I stayed inside the inner circle until I felt emotionally rooted to the ground. I then turned to repeat the process, but realized that I didn’t want to walk around the others coming into the circle and stepped into another part of the labyrinth that was mostly empty. I knew in my heart that the labyrinth had done what I needed and I did not need to complete the remaining circle. This is also important as it shows I wasn’t concerned about what I “should” do. —reference blog post
I sat down to gather myself and heard Maria Teresa playing the crystal bowls. She had been playing them the entire time I was in the labyrinth, but I had heard nothing. Now I could hear them but they belonged to the ceremony. They were not affecting me the way they do when I go to Hillcrest community acupuncture where she plays indoors. (Recent blog post) But I knew that even if I didn’t hear the bowls it didn’t mean they didn’t work. In this labyrinth solstice ceremony they were in the background performing their magic.
I left the labyrinth solstice walk energized but calm at the same time. The best way to describe it was the peace was from an inner knowing and acceptance of my intentions, and the energy was from the expectation of the manifestation of my intentions.
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