Last week I had the opportunity to try a new method of self care – walking meditation. I joined a few of my coworkers and took a quick walk to the aboretum near my office for an afternoon wellness break. While we were there, one of them introduced me to the Labyrinth – a tool for “walking meditation”.
I’d never heard of walking meditation before last week, and to be honest, I was a bit skeptical when it was explained to me. In my mind meditation is a serene experience where I close my eyes and focus on breathing while letting my mind clear of anything I’ve been holding onto during the day. Needing to have my eyes open while walking around a rather complicated and specific pattern seemed counterintuitive at best… but I decided to give it a shot.
Man, am I glad that I did!
When I got to the labyrinth, my co-worker explained briefly how it would work. We were to stand at the beginning of the path, and walk along it slowly, and with intention, until we made our way to the middle. She also explained that the pattern is positioned specifically to draw on the energies of each cardinal direction when you step into that area. There are three basic stages of experience in the labyrinth: release (while entering and walking toward the center), receive (the energy and wisdom of the Universe while in the center), and return (the peace you should feel when leaving the labyrinth and going back out into the world).
The labyrinth is not a maze – rather it is a specific path that you follow toward the center. It winds and weaves, and may be rather complicated at some points, but as long as you stay true to the path, you will not get lost. It is not like a maze that may lead to dead ends and requires you to think about which direction you should take. The path of the labyrinth is already laid out for you – all you need to do is take it.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in the labyrinth, and, moreover, enjoyed the feeling of peace and relaxation that I felt while taking part in the exercise. As I made my way toward the center, I found myself being overcome by feelings of peace and serenity – I did not have time to worry about anything or wonder how this was even supposed to work – I simply focused on following the path and that was enough to empty my mind of other erroneous thoughts.
I highly recommend experimenting with incorporating walking meditation into your every day self care routine when able. Even if you cannot visit a labyrinth, simply taking some time to walk outside in a relaxing and serene area will help you to remove your focus from the distractions of the every day and place it on things more important to you and your life.
If you are specifically interested in checking out a labyrinth, look here for locations of known labyrinths nationwide.
Hope that you’re having a great week – feel free to drop a note for me in the comments and let me know how you are. As always, love and light.