We are focusing on the spiritual practice of praying with a labyrinth this month.
"Prayer labyrinths are an ancient form of prayer that invite our bodies to participate in the process as we follow a path that mirrors the winding and circuitous journey of faith, existing mostly in gardens and churches. A finger labyrinth...invites you into a portable but equally meaningful version of the experience. As your finger moves from the outside entry point and traces along the path, notice any interior movements that indicate your response to God." - Jenn Giles Kemper, in the Sacred Ordinary Days planner
The planner has the above brief introduction along with an actual finger labyrinth you can use, but this month we want to extend a broader invitation, explore together and offer some guidance so you can go farther and deeper with this spiritual practice.
We invited members of Common House, our ecumenical online community, to share experiences they have had with the prayer labyrinth and we are sharing some of this with you, too, with their permission.
Robin Smith: Grace Cathedral
© Photo by The Rev. Warren Lynn, www.wellfedspirit.org, used with permission, all rights reserved.
I'm happy to share that I have walked the indoor labyrinth twice at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It's a particularly beautiful one. The first time was in 1998, I think. It was a time of big transitions in my life and I found the experience to be helpful in reminding myself in a visceral way that life is sometimes full of 180 degree turns and switchbacks and that there are blessings to be found therein. In the 1990's, labyrinths weren't as well known as they are today, so there were only 1 or 2 others walking it that first day. When I went back 10 or so years later, it was very crowded and there was no one there to keep order. There were kids running through, selfies being taken, etc. Not wanting to be deterred, I just started mindfully walking it, and peace descended! It was still crowded but people actually started walking it. I enjoyed that walk for completely different reasons. It's hard to describe the feeling I had of being just one of many different kinds of pilgrims walking many different kinds of walks, but it was an instructive spiritual experience.
My advice to anyone walking a labyrinth for the first time is to be open to whatever experience of it is given to you. It might be sublime from the start, or not! I wish I could visit Grace Cathedral more often because I would love to learn more from that labyrinth.
Do you have an experience with the prayer labyrinth that you would like to share? Head over to Instagram or Facebook to share and tag us @sacredordinarydays, please! Or, join the conversation inside Common House, our ecumenical online community.
We are focusing on the spiritual practice of praying with a labyrinth this month. You can find the latest on our blog and on our prayer labyrinth resource page. The planner has a brief introduction, but this month we want to extend a broader invitation, explore together, and offer some guidance so you can go farther and deeper with this spiritual practice.
But, the short and sweet is that our goal for this series is to help you...
- LEARN about the spiritual practice of the praying with a labyrinth. You will learn about why we included in in the Sacred Ordinary Days planner and about how you can use the one in your planner or anywhere else.
- EXPLORE a practice of prayer that includes physical movement. Whether it is your finger, your hands, or your whole body, praying with the labyrinth involves movement. Discovering new ways to pray has been a gift to me and I want to invite you in!
- SHARE your experience with people who speak the same language. You'll get our guidance along the way, plus you'll get to know the other members of our community, by following along on Instagram or Facebook or inside Common House, our ecumenical online community.