Our new labyrinth is 78 feet in diameter. It is a modified version of the famous stone tile labyrinth built in the early 1200s in the floor of the Chartres Cathedral located in Chartres, France. The design is comprised of 11-circuits (paths) with a 12-foot diameter center circle to accommodate group activities. It was designed and installed by William Grace Frost with a little help from the staff here at Touchstone Ranch in February 2012. It is dedicated to Touchstone’s many courageous clients who come seeking a transformed life of sobriety, serenity and spiritual renewal.
Our Serenity Labyrinth contains an abundance of native rock that makes up the ‘walls’ that separate the wood mulch paths. The rock is pure carbonate sediment that formed in layers on the vast inland sea that covered this area approximately 100 million years ago. Rock is believed by some to enhance people’s sense of well-being by absorbing, storing, amplifying, balancing, focusing and transmitting energy. The five trees within the labyrinth are ‘Pink Dawn’ Chitalpa, a cultivated hybrid of Desert Willow and Southern Catalpa. The large pink blossoms typically bloom from early spring to late fall, and the leaves provide blessed shade during our hot, dry summers.
Wait… What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a walking meditation ~ a tool that enables us , in the midst of the business and stress of modern life, to let go of our challenges and to allow the deeper courage, serenity and wisdom within us to emerge. Unlike a maze, with which labyrinths are often confused, labyrinths have only one path which leads into the center and back out again. Labyrinths are for quieting the mind while looking inward for clarity, renewal, peace and balance. In a maze you can get lost; in a labyrinth you can find yourself. Labyrinths can be walked by individuals or groups for the purposes of contemplation, insight, healing, creative inspiration, meditation or ceremonies.
Tips for walking the Labyrinth of Serenity
There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. It’s OK to simply walk through and enjoy. The following tips, however, may help deepen your experience:
- Start by holding an intention, question, prayer or feeling in your mind or heart.
- Be willing to suspend judgement & open to receive whatever ‘messages’ arise.
- Walk slowly, breathe consciously, take all the time you need. Like life, wandering to the center and back out again is a journey, not a race or destination.
- Pay attention with all your senses; simply notice, in a neutral way, whatever attracts your attention; thoughts, feelings, sounds, smells, other labyrinth walkers, etc.
- Take time afterwards to reflect on your experience to see how it might apply to your life situation, problem or opportunity; writing in a journal is highly recommended.