Monthly Archives: January 2014

January’s Meditations

A small gift for you in today’s walk.

Am I reframed

Love Everything

The Labyrinth tends to question as well as answer, powered by our input and association. Given that January is the fresh new face of the year, it is a time when many think of it as a time to begin again. Asking questions is a good way to put some reality into desire and make the effort worthwhile with better results as it creates an awareness that makes us more present to what we wish to do.

One simple way to use the labyrinth is to ask the questions of anything you desire to know more truth in and using each circuit to move from the surface level question to the more indepth and gut level questions we want to ask. The labyrinth becomes a gentle way to allow us the time and the pace to move closer to that truth with each circuit as we come into the center or the hear of the matter.

In your walk today, ask the questions of your mind and begin each question with the words  “Am I…”. Follow each circuit with your question and when you are ready to move inward to a new circuit, ask another question that begins with “Am I…” and continue your way in this manner to the center.   As you move inward feel more intensity in what you question.

Breathe into those questions and when you do arrive in the center note how you feel having asked honestly. Know that the center of all holds your truth and that you can now reframe those questions as answers by simply stating the question again though now using the powerful “I AM….” at the beginning and following with your new sentence and statement.

Allow yourself patience with this process and be observant with noting how your questions become your answers and puts you on a path of peace and possibility.  Notice how it teaches us to become our questions and go within to find that the answers are already there.

The truth is always open to us when we ask to see it and sometimes we have to play with our mind a bit to allow ourselves to see it.

 

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A Cup of Labyrinth in your Morning

The apple meditation of mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh was relevant today in the steps taken on the labyrinth this morning.

He reflects upon the presence of ourselves in every moment and uses the eating of an apple to remind us of how to savor more of ourselves in the moment. The simple awareness of the senses that we become aware of again in our approach and consumption of the apple, as well as the mindfulness of how and what we absorb as we do is beautifully written in a way that Thich Nhat Hanh is revered for.

labyrinth brewed coffee

A sip and a step at a time

This morning as no apple was present, it received a cup of coffee instead. Morning coffee is so very much a presence in the world as a routine in our day and one cup of coffee savored in a matter of a few minutes might be all it takes to shift perspective and open to align what is desired with what is present. Stepping out of routine with a daily routine can be wonderfully insightful, so adding the metaphor and the mindfulness with the labyrinth as a daily consumption, how could this not be a moment to discover?

Before the first sip or step into the labyrinth there is an intake of aroma, temperature and the idea of anticipation that occurs; all would be akin to salivating the first encounter. Observing the effect and embracing it as it is would be the art of acceptance of the moment and it is interesting to note how soft the skin feels in connection with the first step onto the labyrinth as the warmth of the coffee comforts the interior of the mouth. In breathing into the next step, it is similar to the moment of holding the coffee in the cavity of the mouth a moment before swallowing slowly, exhaling the flavor that rests upon the tongue before moving into the next sip or step.

All slows as the minuscule actions are recorded and reflected upon. Each step as each sip becomes noted in it’s individual contribution to the whole of the experience and we arrive at the center of it all in this very engaged manner. The reflection of our walk isn’t done on the exit, rather it is done throughout the experience in each step as is the release and the reception.

We become one with the whole and in a matter of minutes, we return from the beautiful surreal journey to our everyday, perhaps a bit more appreciative or more purposeful for the day ahead.

With gratitude to Thich Nhat Hanh for his loving mission of presence in the world. From his book, Peace is in Every Step, rests a favorite quote of many…

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Perhaps the morning’s Coffee might offer, sip as if your lips are kissing the one you love most dear, be as if you are the one most dear and with practice in our daily steps, may we all become more of who we are meant to be…joyfully, peacefully and lovingly.

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Comfort in the Walk

Finger walking indoors with comfort candle

Comfort in the Interior

The value of finger walking can not be undervalued. In Chicago we are beset with another round of snow falling and temperature dips. It is a great time to be outdoors and creative with labyrinths for some, though for myself, today felt like the indoors called for enjoying the season with comfort.

A set of 12 candles given for Christmas, each labeled with a word seemed to add conviction to the idea of staying indoors as the selected candle had ‘comfort’ written on it. Setting the flame and adding some music, the finger walk indoors to the interior was indeed a comfort as the world on the outer also seemed to understand the intention and relaxed to allow what would unfold in the walk ahead. It seems the walk was destined to explore what comfort is.

Outside the walk lay the room and the immediate settings, safe and sound in the cozy knowing of what brewed just outside the window. Outdoors there was a blanket of snow thick and covering as more fell on top. The buzzing of snow blowers in action and the witnessing from the window of the bundled individuals clenched and bracing against the cold as they walked on with purpose. Perhaps their steps would bring them to comfort or maybe there was a satisfaction in just being out.

Beyond this small block was the actions of the city creating a comfort in making passage available and plenty of individuals grateful for it. Farther still, there is a nation in action and a world in season, moving and breathing with pulse and purpose, all in a day’s opportunity. Some are creating the comfort and some are receiving it and perhaps there is a gentle balance in this as we all tend to be one or the other at times, this is just a larger scale of where comfort exists.

Throughout all that is going on simultaneously in this day, inside the walk of the labyrinth, there is just a quiet comfort and a knowing that what comes of it all as it may not be seen to be easy, though with a focus on comfort, it just might be appreciated with ease and that can make all the difference in perceiving any situation.

Such is the wonder of the labyrinth, where a little walk with perspective really can create greater realms of understanding.

Let your fingers do the walking and allow your mind to simply follow the path to build your own sense of comfort or perhaps your comfort is in giving it? Whatever the day holds for you, may we all be comforted by this day!

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Engaged Walking

unwind the mind and recall a time when it was simple and easy to do

design from labyrinths-uae

This mornings walk through the mind and soul brought a realization of how much value we put into what we do. Personally I had an experience over the past year along with others and the difference in the outcome was in the engagement and commitment utilized by all parties.

I found a value I resonated with strongly and followed. It wasn’t that I needed to dive in, just to stay connected and curious enough to allow it to grow. The more I did, the more curious and creative I became in understanding the deeper nuances involved and the more I received in benefit when I did.
It isn’t surprising to hear the words echoing this morning…
“you get out of it what you put into it”.

I loved the experience because it gently allowed me to find my pace and play with it to understand and trust it better and in all I felt safe. I realize this is the same feeling with the labyrinth. Gently walking at our own pace it unfolds as we allow it and when we get curious, creative and even play with it in experimentation, it yields information and awareness.

Like a child’s fearless curiosity when they feel the world is a safe place, explore, experiment and play with your year is my very interesting message. Don’t be in a hurry, let it unfold and if you like, let it know what you want.

As we unfold this blog for the second year, I hope that you will play with your stories and share one like this as we will all grow from it when you do. As a club, engage and get the most out of it and you will be ….dare I say it… aMAZEd!

364 more stories to go… will yours be one of our collection this year?

email us with your stories and images 365club@labyrinthsociety.org

“This circle is an interesting thing indeed… what you put in at the beginning shows up at the end and it is a new beginning all over again. The labyrinth just adds the twists and turns so we can get through the complication and confusion we seem to need to understand what is simple.”

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New Beginnings

HappyNewYear2014
May the walk of 2014 unfold in meaningful and purposeful ways no matter what path chosen.

This year we celebrate the coming 365 days as a part of a whole in collaborative membership of the 365 club. Together it is a new beginning and a way to wake to that new beginning each day. The Roman god Janus is known for new beginnings and was known as the gatekeeper of doorways in ancient lore. Each time we walk through a doorway we are on the threshold of a new beginning. Stepping through in a conscious way gives us choice and opportunity.

As the walk unfolds along with our ritualistic celebration of a new calendar year, it feels fresh and inviting like new fallen snow, to imprint ourselves and leave our mark in the world anew. Without our dreams and ideas we would just live in mundane existence, though when we take the smallest step forward into them we leave our footprint significantly behind as if to say we mattered and we took charge of our significance, adding it to the largeness of the world in contribution.

We look forward to sharing 365 stories in 2014 and to have them highlighted in our blog. This is just one walk’s reflection with 364 to go. What will your year unfold? How will your footsteps matter? Share so that others can benefit by your insight, you may be surprised to find how many others resonate with you.

This morning’s walk was the pure honesty of breaking the snow and leaving a mark behind. Others may step into the footsteps and deepen the tread afterward inviting still more to be curious and explore the design made with feet shuffling the snow. Then again it may sit as a solitary reminder created by one who took a step in a direction without really knowing the path ahead, just a structure and a method of putting one foot in front of the other and starting somewhere.

The difference is simply when putting the heart into an idea and following it, what emerges is often so much more than we alone could imagine.

“The heart of a matter is a matter of heart and love is all there is.. step into it.”

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