Updated March 20, 2024

The Labyrinth at John Knox Ranch

Unlike a maze where you lose your way, the labyrinth is a spiritual tool that can help you find your way. There are many ways to describe a labyrinth. It is a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a pilgrimage, a watering hole for the spirit, and a mirror of the soul.
What is a Labyrinth?

The labyrinth is an ancient pattern found in many cultures around the world. Labyrinth designs were found on pottery, tablets and tiles that date as far back as 5000 years. Many patterns are based on spirals and circles mirrored in nature. In Native American tradition, the labyrinth is identical to the Medicine Wheel and Man in the Maze; the symbol represents a person's journey through life. The twists and turns represent choices made in life; with each turn, they become more understanding and stronger as a person. The Celts described the labyrinth as the Never Ending Circle. It is also known as the Ka bala in mystical Judaism. One feature labyrinths have in common is that they have one path that winds in a circular way to the center.

Labyrinths are currently being used world-wide as a way to quiet the mind, recover a balance in life, and encourage meditation, insight, self-reflection, stress reduction, and to discover innovation and celebration. They are open to all people as a non-denominational, cross-cultural blueprint for well-being. The practice of labyrinth walking integrates the body with the mind and the mind with the spirit. They can be found in medical centers, parks, churches, schools, prisons, memorial parks, spas, cathedrals and retreat centers as well as in people's backyards.

The Labyrinth here at JKR

The Labyrinth at JKR was built by Alan Blevins 2006. In the center of our labyrinth, you will find a clover pattern representing Nature and the Trinitarian nature of God. Just like many other places at John Knox Ranch, the Labyrinth allows us to be with nature and enjoy God's creation

How is a Labyrinth used?

  • Walk at your own natural pace,
  • Know you cannot get lost,
  • Relax your body and your breath as you walk,
  • Experience Your experience,
  • Take all the time you need,
  • "Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet" (Thich Nhat Hanh)
  • Be open to subtle messages or insights
  • Be aware of everything that happens on the labyrinth
  • Be considerate of others on the path

What should I be aware of as I walk the Labyrinth?

There are infinite focuses you may choose. There is no "right or wrong" way to walk a labyrinth. What you focus on at the time may be determined by where you are in your life and what your questions, concerns or goals may be at the moment. It is best to walk the labyrinth with an open heart and an open mind, asking for that which is for your highest good.

Here are some suggestions:

  • You might walk it as a kind of prayer.
  • You might walk it as a symbolic journey, as mentioned above.
  • You might set the intention to receive inspiration, or to receive an answer to a question, or solution to a "problem."
  • You might walk the labyrinth with the intention to unwind, to let go of a worry or burden of some sort - letting it go when you reach the center.
  • You might use the labyrinth for learning more about yourself and life, by simply being aware of how you walk it and what you observe as you walk it.
Do you walk it fast? Or slow? Do you lose your focus or your way? Does your mind race or can you hold your mind steady and stay present? Do you wonder when you will reach the center? Do you wonder if you're doing it right? If you encounter another person on your path, are you impatient? Are you the one who steps off the path to accommodate the other person? Or do you hold your direction and find that other people step off to let you go your way?

We invite you to visit and give it a try if you haven't already.

Allow your own creativity to be present and walk the labyrinth in the way you feel will work best for you. May your journey be blessed.

When you have finished feel free to sit a while, write in a journal, read some Scripture.

Be still and know that I am God.

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