Labyrinths

Labyrinths seem to be serendipitously finding me lately. First there was the random mention in a recent AAA magazine. Then a book I was reading mentioned it. The third appearance of a labyrinth I literally stumbled onto, and crystalized the point that labyrinths must have a special meaning for me right now. I was walking in Palo Alto at night and came across the labyrinth below, which I returned to later to photograph and walk through properly.

All Saint's Episcopal Church Labyrinth, Palo Alto, CA.

All Saint's Episcopal Church Labyrinth, Palo Alto, CA.

For some disambiguation between labyrinths and mazes, see Wikipedia. Basically, a maze in a puzzle where you try to get to a certain end point opposite where you enter, and there are tricks and turns, while a labyrinth is a single path to the center, also with turns, but you don’t get ‘lost’. Labyrinths also have a spiritual element, and are featured prominently in churches. Many you see nowadays are based off the labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France. The labyrinth shown above is one of those.

The proper tour of a labyrinth consists of three parts: 1) the winding path to the center, representing the twists and turns in our journey of life, and how you are suppose to release them as you come to the center, 2) time spent resting and reflecting in the center, receiving what is there to receive, and 3) returning down the same path of life, but now joined with a Higher Power.

Interesting stuff for reflection. I would love to hear others’ experiences with labyrinths. They seem fortuitously brought into my life. I also have had the chance to walk the (same design) labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Simply stunning.

4 thoughts on “Labyrinths

  1. Jessy says:

    being the child of a jungian analyst, i cant help but think about jung’s interpretation of serendipitous events with the concept of “synchronicity”. roughly, he thought of synchronicity as being when happenings in your unconscious mind manifest themselves in the physical world around you (not in some magical way, more in terms of what our minds are open to i suppose). maybe worth googling around on the concept if it interests you!

  2. astrodel says:

    Jessy,
    I definitely think that’s a possibility! It’s a cool thing though if it allows new experiences to surface! I’ve also heard that “luck” is when preparation and opportunity meet, as opposed to some mystical concept.
    Actually the book that mentioned labyrinths, A Whole New Mind, suggests labyrinths as a way to let your right brain thoughts wander a bit, somewhat in line with this concept (though not the “serendipity” value part). This is opposed to a maze which activates your left brain, problem-solving side. The book is also full of Jungian references šŸ™‚
    Wandering into wander,
    D

  3. deborah says:

    Interesting… this made me think about and then realize that I am in a lost-found mode right now. In the last 24 hrs, I’ve been losing important things (wallet, earring, hat), accepting the loss (reluctantly), and then finding it again. I’m not sure how to interpret it, and it is sort of annoying, but at least I’m getting my stuff back! Better than a lost-gone mode…

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