Walking a Labyrinth to Celebrate Sacred Moments in Nature
Sunshine Making Fresh Snow Sparkle
Awe and Wonder
What does the word Awe mean to you? To me it means a sense of wonder around an aspect of nature that touches my heart and makes me feel part of the larger world. Awe comes from a sense of wonder about the world around us, whether it's the beauty of nature, the physics of how something works, or the mastery evident in someone's work of art. Wonder opens doors to connection between us and our world, and with the beings we share our world with. From those moments of connection we find our hearts and minds lifted. Our world opens up, grows. We grow, too. We are present to where we are and the experience is restorative, even regenerative. We are left with a sense of peace and contentment that improves the quality of our sleep and reminds us of our wholeness.
Where have you experienced moments of awe?
What are the places that bring you joy and leave you with a sense of contentment? I usually feel awe when I'm immersed in the natural world, such as riding waves at the seashore or hiking in a forest. Walking the wooded labyrinth in my co-housing community also gives me peace and joy, and I spend time there almost every day.
Do you collect natural objects to remind you of your time with nature? I collect shells at the seashore, stones in the forest, and small branches of pine needles at the wooded labyrinth. I have bookshelves filled with these objects as reminders of those joyful times.
Walking on a Rainbow Labyrinth Path
Walking with Awe on the Labyrinth Path
When we experience moments of awe in nature, or anywhere, we want them to last forever, or at least the memory of them. The labyrinth is a meditative tool that supports the integration of our life experiences, and our learning from them. Walking meditation on the labyrinth path keeps our connection with our world open and vibrant. It is way to connect past to our present in a way that gives us a whole picture of who we are and what we are doing in this world here and now.
A Ritual for Walking With Awe and Wonder
- Before walking the path, recall a memory of time spent in nature that filled you with awe. Have an object in your hand that reminds you of that time, such as a shell or a stone.
- Take three deep breaths at the entrance of the labyrinth and hold your treasured object close to your heart.
- Slowly walk the labyrinth. Meditative music with nature sounds in the background may help you stay present.
- When you reach the center, pause to reflect on any "aha" moments you experienced on the path. Did you receive any insights on the spirit? Did you feel the presence of a friendly spirit guide or teacher?
- Stay a moment to reflect on your experience on the path on your way into the center. Feel the weight and texture of your memory treasure in your hands. Does it have something to tell you?
"All are nothing but flowers in a flowering universe."— Nakagawa Soen Roshi
Returning from the Center of the Rainbow
When I led this labyrinth walk meditation at our UU church, I set a bowl of shells and stones at the center for walkers to take if they did not have a treasured memory object of their own as a gift.
- When you are ready to return from your sacred space at the center of the labyrinth, take your time walking back to the beginning of the path.
- Is there a special way you'll use the insights you received on the path in your life? Is there a new place you'll keep your memory treasure?
- How will the insights you received about your moment of awe and wonder change your life?
- Write your reflections in a journal if you brought one. It is one way we make sense of our life experiences and develop Wisdom along the way.
What Dreams May Come
After return home from walking a labyrinth, pay attention to your dreams. Our spirit guides, teachers and muses often share their wisdom with us through our dreams. Record them in your journal to re-read them. They may reveal patterns that inform and/or inspire.
"The breezes at dawn have secrets to tell you.
Don't go back to sleep!
You must ask for what you really want.
Don't go back to sleep!
People are going back and forth
Across the doorsill where the two worlds touch;
The door is round and open.
Don't go back to sleep!"— Rumi
Autumn Forest Labyrinth Path
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© 2020 Karen A Szklany