Tomorrow I am going to walk a labyrinth with other folks attending Lessons from a Labyrinth, a program sponsored by Inspiration House in Weston, MA. I’ve walked labyrinths before and I’m looking forward to it.
That labyrinth is a pilgrim journey taken in one location. It is also a pilgrimage to the deep center of ourselves. The winding path of the labyrinth seems to take you to the center, but it detours along the way. And yet, it is not a maze. There are no dead ends. The labyrinth is a metaphor for life in that life teaches you what you need to know when you need to know it and the path to where you’re going is not always a direct route or straight line. It is an exercise in centering , yet when you arrive at the center, you are only half-way there, you need to walk back out. When we learn to enter the center of ourselves, we must also re-enter the world, and take what we’ve learned back out into our lives. This is the age-old balancing act between the active and the contemplative in the spiritual life.
Encountering the labyrinth reminds me of my favorite saying of Jesus, which comes from the Gospel of Thomas:
Jesus said, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you.”
– Gospel of Thomas, saying 70
Each walk of the labyrinth is different. Every day of our journey is different. I don’t know what tomorrow will hold (I hope the weather will cooperate), but I know it will leave me with much material for reflection. Here’s a good introductory video to the labyrinth I found for those of you who may be less familiar with them: