The labyrinth is an ancient wisdom tool used for meditation. The oldest labyrinth design, the Classical Labyrinth, is 4,000 to 5,000 years old. It can be found in many cultures around the world. The path follows a circular design and allows for those walking to meander. The path itself might change along the way, but all paths lead to the center.
In 2015 Chris Beam introduced this course to OLLI students. She is a Certified Labyrinth Facilitator and Veriditas trained. Veriditas is a non-profit international organization whose mission is to “inspire personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.” They support labyrinth facilitators around the world trying to promote a further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation.
Chris says, “The labyrinth is also a metaphor for your journey in life, in the present moment. Only the participant, the walker, knows what that metaphor is for them.”
She said the labyrinth is seen as a powerful mediation tool. Mediation in general clears the mind and allows the voice within to be heard. It can reduce stress and overall has benefits to all aspects of health, including reducing high blood pressure. Some may use the Labyrinth as a means of relieving stress or as a source of fun for children to run within it.
Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and engages the right brain where one may receive impressions, creative inspiration, allowing you to become a receptacle for the divine. Once someone is in the labyrinth it allows for the noise of the day to fade away the closer to the center they get,” Chris said. “Once you reach the center, you spend as much time there as you would like, and then return to the ‘outside world’ with whatever insight or inspiration you have gleaned.”
Those in this class will leave with a better understanding of the history and general knowledge of the labyrinth. Along with resources for finding nearby labyrinths, students will make their own.
“Most of all, they will leave the class with a sense of peace, acknowledging our oneness — yet uniqueness — on our journey in life. They will leave with a sense of being touched in some way,” Chris said.