L is for Labyrinth
A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness and healing. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. Labyrinths represent a journey to our own centre and back again out into the world. They have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is not a maze. Mazes are puzzles with twists, turns and dead ends where many decisions are required to find your way to the centre. Navigating a maze is a left-brain task that requires logic and sequential thinking. A labyrinth on the other hand is a right-brain activity that invokes intuition, creativity and imagery. It's a more passive, receptive experience where there's only one decision to make - to enter or not. There's only one path in a labyrinth - the way in is the way out. Once you decide to walk a labyrinth you're on the path to renewing the mind-body-spirit connection.
Research conducted by Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Institute has found that focused walking meditation such as walking a labyrinth is highly effective at reducing anxiety. Done on a regular basis walking a labyrinth can result in long-term health benefits including reduction of insomnia, reduction of chronic pain, lowering blood pressure and improved concentration.
If you're interested in walking a labyrinth in Canada or the U.S. click here to access the labyrinth locator.
Click here to see some beautiful labryinths and read a short history of labyrinths and mazes.