With all the parades coming up, it’s going to be hard to find an peace and quiet between now and Ash Wednesday. News With A Twist reporter Deepak Saini found a way to get away from it all, in Lacombe.
It’s found in cultures all over the world; the Labyrinth is universal to all of humanity.
“Prehistorically, on every continent, labyrinths date back to before recorded history,” says Patricia Stout with the North Shore Unitarian Universalists.
During the crusades, the labyrinth gave worshippers a chance to take a symbolic pilgrimage to the Holy Land since it wasn’t safe to travel because of the war. Thousands of years later, it’s still used today.
“The labyrinth is a great meditation tool. In our really busy culture, a lot of people can’t sit still and meditate. But if they’re walking, if they’re moving, they can calm their mind and focus on each step and each breath,” says Stout.
The North Shore Unitarian Universalists have a labyrinth on their church grounds. It’s a tool they use in their faith which encourages people to seek their own spiritual path.
“It’s based in the idea that there are many paths up one mountain, universal love and salvation and we work together focusing on the freedom to search for truth in one community,” says Stout.
One by one, members of the congregation start their spiritual journey.
“Getting in touch with my heart rather than my head and that was what was on my mind,” says Jim Long.
“On the way in, you can focus on your intention for the walk. It can be grieving, it could be inspiration that you’re seeking, it could be letting go of the past year, a past chapter of your life,” says Stout.
Contrary to popular belief, a labyrinth is not a maze. It only has one path to the center and back out, but along the way, there are many twists and turns.
“So you focus on letting go on the way in and in the center, listening for guidance and inspiration. For people that pray, it’s a good time to pray,” says Stout.
There’s no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Some people even give their journey major momentum.
“The intention was to walk securely towards the future, so I tried to play with my footsteps. You’re passing up your peers and is that ok and is it polite? There’s all that kind of stuff so it becomes the sea of humanity as you’re pushing yourself doing that,” says Carolyn Burns.
Sometimes the path gets crowded.
“There are traffic jams in life, so that’s part of what it is and how you approach that. How you solve that, whether you yield, or whether you stay there, or let the other person yield,” says Long.