Monthly Archives: February 2016

Fun with an after glow

GlowingFootLabyrinthWorking with kids one must be quick and on their feet. So the challenge of a small box of glowing plastic foot prints gave us lots of opportunity to get out of the box. Who says creativity is just kids play! I had as much fun as they did with ways in which we could create play, games and quite a number of labyrinths. With just these two items to work with the them became about becoming instep with getting out of the box.

The games were fun and imaginative and once I shared a few, others caught on and soon we had quite a lot of fun exploration. Then we began to use them in creation and with the labyrinths that were created this photo was the only one I could capture without kids in it to display. This design was fun because we turned off the lights once we put in on the ground, the feet it seems were glow in the dark. I had the kids walk in and in no time they were all in the center and so I had them walk back out, retracing their steps, backwards!

As the whole team of them did this, it was quite fun to watch them synchronize their steps as everyone just had to step on each footprint going backwards. While this was simply a spiral in, I think they gave it the labyrinth aspect as they had to learn to move within movements as they took each step and so it became the labyrinth of mind and body. It is in the simple things that the greatness is shown.

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Creating a path with purpose

Double String Contemporary Workshop LabyrinthIn Hawaii plans changed and the two labyrinths I was to make, didn’t happen in the way we expected. One was to be father out and mown into the meadow and the other small and defined, for closer walks near the retreat house. We didn’t have a lot of time so a temporary simple two string contemporary labyrinth was created for our workshop.

We found with two openings it served a lot of purpose, though there was much to ponder and the journey in and out was rather short for processing. We found it much more helpful to walk this labyrinth three times successively give participants more time to ponder. I suggested as they walked in on one side and out the other, and then to simply continue around the outer rim of the circle until the first opening presented itself to enter again and repeat two more times. To our participants if felt more satisfying.

Participants found a variety of ways to create diversity by reversing back through and then around to the beginning and through again as well. It seemed we had lots of simple and practical solutions and its larger message was one of a a reminder that with a little ingenuity any labyrinth can be purposeful to our needs.

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In Full Presence

The signs were clear, every day or two another gesture.

Hoof prints on the outer circuit, scat on turns three and six.

Imprint of your body in the wet grass.

But when you showed up in your full presence

I took a breath like being born. As I stepped onto the path

I saw you lying at the edge of the labyrinth

staring at me with your kind and serious face

as if to say, “I will witness your journey.”

Your two children in the woods just behind you

Joined by Mom and Grandma VanHoorn and Grandma Boelhower

and the mothers of all ages and the spirits

of all the ancestors gathered in the circle of witness to say,

“You are never alone, your steps your songs your prayers

echo in the great temple of being and here is the center.

All the generations gather around you when you walk.

Yes, sometimes you walk a question and sometimes an alleluia

some days the dark dance of grief and other days the lyrics of laughter

but all in the circle of breath in each moment.”

To receive the gift and gift it back again.

The story is particular and forever the same.

This moment this day this year

you are the child and the parent and the grandparent

and you too will become the ancestor. In a few days

or a few moments the circle will turn for you

and you will witness from the edge of the path

the steps of those who remember your name and who have forgotten.

You will gather around them and breathe your prayers over them

because the dance and the circle are one.

by Gary Boelhower

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Walk 2016

Royal Labyrinth

Adding to our theme of simplicity for the year, this month suggests…walk. As it is the month of heart, walk with slow and easy beats to linger and listen to what the heart wants to say.

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