The labyrinth at St. Mary's is Open to the Public for meditation, prayer, and spiritual formation. It is located on the Northeast corner of our property behind the Church Building and can be accessed through the Parish Hall, or through the side gate on the west side of our property. The tradition of the labyrinth goes back over 5,000 years. Beginning in the Middle Ages, Christianity adopted the labyrinth as a symbol, changing the design to imbue it with specifically Christian meaning. For almost a thousand years there has been an identifiable Christian labyrinth tradition. The labyrinth incorporates many levels of symbolism within its design. Its circularity and concentric circles reflect the cosmos, atoms, and DNA. The geometry comprises the very principles of manifestation utilized by the Divine Hand in its creation of the physical universe. In our modern world we have lost touch with our origins, our roots, even our true identity. The labyrinth is the bridge that connects usto these things, to a long-forgotten part of ourselves. That's why it touches people very deeply.
Spirituality requires attention, hence, a category of activities known as spiritual practices. Walking a labyrinth is such a practice. In this way, the labyrinth makes spirituality accessible to everyone. It is a form of personal meditation and devotion, not a piety of obedience. The labyrinth takes us beyond our limited, conditioned personality and learning to a deeper place of awareness and revelation. In that state, we can practice being in the presence of God. We can sing, pray,or dance. While walking the labyrinth we can repeat a phrase as our mantra, such as "Lead me," or "Be still and know I am God." In the Old Testament, David advised Solomon to "Walk in the ways of God." What we learn in the labyrinth we then take back into our lives. There is scant record of how the labyrinth was originally used, other than for rituals during Easter. Therefore, a new format has been adopted, to serve our modern needs:
One of the most noticable effects of walking the labyrinth is stress reduction. We can see the difference in our physical bodies. Stress kills, and the reduction ofstress heals. The same is truewith balance. Our priorities get far out of kilter sometimes. When that happens, we experience dis-ease. The labyrinth brings us back to a state of equilibrium. It can contribute to bodily healing andwell-being. Being physical, the labyrinth is anchored in time and space, just as we are.