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What is a labyrinth? A labyrinth is an ancient and mystical tool. It usually takes the form of a circle, repeating sacred geometry and emphasizing the concept of unity. It is used for walking meditation, reflection, and prayer. A labyrinth is not a maze. Rather, it has a single, circuitous path; there are no dead ends or cul de sacs. You cannot get lost if you trust the path.

There is no one right way to use the labyrinth, except to approach it with an open heart, free of expectation, and to surrender to the path that lies before you. Follow it deliberately, all the way in to the center, and back out again. Don’t rush. Plan to spend 20-30 minutes – or more. It may be helpful to think of the path in as an opportunity to release a burden. In the center, open yourself to receive wisdom and guidance. As you follow the path out, prepare to return to your life with new insight, resolve, or simply grace to face the future.

Life is full of stresses and strains, ups and downs, twists and turns. Often it feels like we live in a rat race, and it doesn’t take much for the race to be disrupted: job loss, foreclosure, divorce, illness, death of a loved one, any setback. Then what? A prayer labyrinth offers the opportunity to step away, to both experience and reflect on our lives, come what may, through a healing, life-giving metaphor: not a rat race, but a purposeful journey. We don’t live our lives in straight lines. The labyrinth reminds us of that and lends us perspective.

The Labyrinth and Prayer Garden at Holy Cross is for you. It is always open. You don’t have to sign up or be a member of the church to use it. You don’t need a password or a key. There are no access fees. It represents a labor of love, an expression of who we are as God’s people doing God’s work.

[For more information on the Labyrinth as a spiritual practice, visit veriditas]

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