Labyrinth-Flagstaff

Flagstaff Community Labyrinth

One day while walking through some paths about 10 minutes from my apartment in Flagstaff, I stumbled upon a labyrinth.

Labyrinth-Flagstaff

I’d never seen nor walked a labyrinth before, so I appreciated the plated stone at its entrance—which included some background information and directions:

Labyrinth-Stone

Labyrinths are an ancient part of the cultures of Egypt, India, Europe, and the Americas (including Hopi & Tohono O’ odham).

“How should I walk the labyrinth?” There is no “right way” to walk a labyrinth, but you may find this information useful:

  • There are no forks or choices on the single path to the center & back out.
  • Most people walk the labyrinth without talking, and prefer not to hear others talking.
  • Most people prefer the 2-way journey (to the center and back out). Most people sit in the center ring to reflect for a few minutes.
  • When people come as a group, individuals usually start about a minute apart.
  • It’s OK to stop and pause anywhere. It’s also OK to get bored and quit.

As long as you respect the labyrinth, the land, and other walkers, your way is right for you. 

Labyrinth-Offering

Couldn’t some of those instructions be beautifully applied to living, as well? It’s okay to stop and pause anywhere. It’s okay to get bored and quit a journey or pursuit. As long as you respect yourself, the earth, and fellow humans, the way you choose to live your life is right for you.

There are plenty more labyrinth metaphors to draw, several of which were written about in a journal of visitor comments that I discovered under the nearby bench, wrapped in a big ziploc.

Labyrinth-Visitor-Comments

It’s provided by the Flagstaff Community Labyrinth group, who also transcribes all visitor comments and posts them on their site. While I much prefer paging through the entries and seeing the visitor’s handwriting, I’m impressed by and grateful for everything the labyrinth community does to offer such a reflective space to the public and to share it.

Labyrinth-Journal-Entry

I’ve walked the labyrinth several times during my first three months in Flagstaff, each providing the calm reflection and guidance I needed at the time, and I look forward to many more visits in 2018.

Labyrinth-Flagstaff-2

Have you walked a labyrinth before? Where was it? Would you like to install a labyrinth in your community?

  • Eva

    This is an interesting post!
    I thought the same when I first read the (no) rules: it seems like everything in life.
    Labyrinths and mazes have always fascinated me. I’ve been in several labyrinths, in England. But the last I’ve seen was on the ground of the cathedral of Amiens (France).

    • Thanks Eva! Did the labyrinths you visited in England have directions/information like this at the start?

      • Eva

        I don’t remember exactly, but yes, I think there were some instructions. Sorry I don’t remember the place neither. But nothing like these: I meant vegetable labyrinths.

        On the cathedrals, the labyrinths have a different meaning, I was told. Actually, you can’t get lost on these (so…?). In France, there were forbidden after the Middle Ages. If you can still see that one of Amiens is because, in the 19th century, they decided to reproduce exactly the medieval floor.