For millennia, the labyrinth, a single pre-constructed circuitous path leading to the center and out again, has been considered sacred space. The Celts, Greeks, Southwest Native Americans – people separated by time and geography – felt its spiritual tug. It is an archetypal symbol of transformation found in cultures throughout history.
The labyrinth represents a journey. Spiral designs drawn in ancient tombs symbolize the journey through life, death and rebirth. Medieval Christians made their metaphorical pilgrimages to Jerusalem using the labyrinth, and it mirrors the spiritual journey of today as well.
The IHM labyrinth is located in a spacious natural setting on the west side of the Motherhouse. A pavilion provides a reflective gathering spot for use before or after your labyrinth journey. The west parking lost is a short walk away. The three segments of the labyrinth circle symbolize the Holy Trinity. Many of its colors and design features echo those found in the Motherhouse itself, but its roots call upon a tradition more than 3,500 years old.
The walk toward the center of the labyrinth and back out represents movement toward a deeper sense of self and a return to the world blessed with greater insight. Choosing to walk its path is a kinetic symbol of faith, moving through the twists and turns with full knowledge that God is at the center.
Unlike a maze, designed to confuse, the labyrinth is designed to quiet the mind and heart. As it has been throughout history, it is a path for prayer and meditation, a place of presence the Creator and the created.
A labyrinth walk has three stages. Entering the path is a time to release thoughts, worries or emotions standing in the way of authentic self-knowledge. The sojourn to the center is a place of peace, and leaving it focuses on relationship with self and others, seen through the relationship with God.
Each walk is an individual experience, with no right or wrong way to walk, pray or meditate. Some people use the walk for contemplation. Others use it for prayer. The walk can be just a nice walk. It can be therapeutic. It can be profound.
Enter into this rich spiritual tradition by experiencing the barrier-free labyrinth on the Motherhouse campus for yourself. It is available daily for private meditation.