The weekend following our first labyrinth hunt, we scooped up my good friend in North Salem and set out for the labyrinth at the Garden of Ideas in Ridgefield, Connecticut, not far from her house. Three fancy cars were parked in the driveway. The Worldwide Labyrinth Locator (WWLL) said the property was always open, so we left the car and followed a path around a storage shed that led into a beautiful garden.
We passed a couple of outbuildings, nicely maintained. On the left was a patch of graceful fiddlehead ferns. On the right a pond glittered in the afternoon light. We wandered further, finding no labyrinth, but a profusion of flowers and shrubs.
A voiced calling out stopped us. “Can I help you?”
“Yes!” we called back. “We’re looking for the labyrinth!”
“That was closed a year ago,” he said. “This is private property now.”
“Sorry,” we apologized, only slightly embarrassed about traipsing around on someone’s land. It was such a pretty place that I didn’t feel too badly for trespassing.
Our next effort was more rewarding. At least we found the labyrinth at the King Street United Church of Christ in Danbury. It took a while to locate the labyrinth on the opposite side of the parking lot.
Much of it was overgrown. As labyrinths go (in my limited experience) this one was disappointing, mostly because the stone-lined paths were obscured by grass.
I tried to follow the circuits but couldn’t see some of the turns.
It was again a half-successful hunt, but the tracking offered its own excitement.
Here are suggestions for walking a labyrinth from https://www.monroecc.edu/
Labyrinths are a walking meditation and are often seen as metaphors of our life. The walking meditation can be used for reflection and problem solving with the daily issues. When walking a labyrinth, we discuss the three R’s. Releasing, Receiving and Returning/or Reflection.
- Before you walk, pause and take a few moments to quiet your mind and become aware of your breath. Allow yourself to find the walking pace your body wants to go. Do what feels natural.
- Releasing- As you enter the labyrinth, you follow the path to the center and try to develop a relaxed, calm state that releases concerns and quiets the mind. This is the time to open the heart and quiet the mind.
- Receiving- Upon reaching the center of the labyrinth, on this labyrinth it is called the center rose. The rose symbolizes beauty, love and enlightenment. Each petal symbolizes the aspects of creation; mineral, vegetable, animal, human, the spirit world and the mystery of the unknown. The center of the rose is place of rest. This is a place for meditation and or prayer. This is a time of openness and peacefulness; you experience or receive what the moment offers you. Stay here as long as you feel the need.
- Returning/Reflection- You choose when to leave the center, following the same path. This is a time to review and consider the healing forces at work and how they may apply to your life.