The Labyrinth is here and is bringing everyone together!
This project has been an idea of Darin and Wendy’s for quite some time, and this year it is manifesting (and fast!). “We always thought it would be a beautiful addition to the property, and we have been recently re-inspired after traveling and spending time in other communities and retreat centers such as the Omega Institute, COSM and Esalen, who also have beautiful labyrinths,” shares Wendy.
In the spring of 2015, 2 of Shanti’s retreat guests shared that they themselves have a labyrinth at their property just outside of Kingston, and recommended a local Reverand from Kingston whose passion and hobby is to create authentic labyrinths.
We contacted him the next day, and invited him over to take a look at our property. After choosing an appropriate location and size, we got the project underway.
We began by placing down a large plastic sheet on the grass (to prevent future weed growth) and covered it with wood chips ….a lot of them! We are so grateful to friends on the island who helped us bring in so many chips to cover the area.
It was 2 days of raking these piles to get them down to an even layer. It was a time consuming task, but one that brought the Shanti team together (and even got us singing together!). “It was a really hot day, but felt so good to be working outside in nature, and working together as a team. We had a short window to get it done, and we did it!” shares Lacey.
The next step was to welcome back Reverand Drew from Kingston to mark down the design. “The design we chose was the replicate of the Chartres in France,” explains Darin, “it is one of the most well known patterns, and found in the Chartres Cathedral.”
After the pattern was laid out, Darin picked up several loads of rocks and then it was time to start unloading…one trailer at a time. “This was my favorite part, it was not arduous at all, but so calming. I repeated a mantra and placed each rock with intention” shares Wendy.
Many rocks were painted by guests as a part of the 2015 summer art project. The guest’s rocks are all unique and painted with awareness, and will remain a part of Shanti forever! While we were out placing the rocks, some of our neighbors came down and also placed some rocks. This labyrinth is truly bringing people together!
We look forward to welcoming you back to Shanti so that you may walk your first steps in our labyrinth. It will be there for anyone looking for a few minutes of stillness, to reflect, to walk the path inward. Darin will also lead walking meditations through this sacred symbol during Shanti’s Retreats. ”
Final photo coming soon!
So what is a labyrinth anyway?
“A labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness. It combines the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. The Labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
A labyrinth is an archetype with which we can have a direct experience. We can walk it. It is a metaphor for life’s journey. It is a symbol that creates a sacred space and place and takes us out of our ego to “That Which Is Within.”
Labyrinths and mazes have often been confused. When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left brain task that requires logical, sequential, analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.
A labyrinth has only one path. It is unicursal. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous path to the center and out again.
A labyrinth is a right brain task. It involves intuition, creativity, and imagery. With a maze many choices must be made and an active mind is needed to solve the problem of finding the center. With a labyrinth there is only one choice to be made. The choice is to enter or not. A more passive, receptive mindset is needed. The choice is whether or not to walk a spiritual path.
At its most basic level the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.” Source: http://www.lessons4living.com/labyrinth.htm
By Lacey B.