Archive for July 8th, 2019

08
Jul
19

7.8.19 … “walking a labyrinth provided ‘short-term calming, relaxation, and relief from agitation and anxiety’ … feel happier and less stressed after a good labyrinth walk.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Unity North Atlanta Spiritual Center – Marietta GA:

This was the second labyrinth that was new to me that I have walked that was at a “Unity Center.” This one was described on the Locator as “Other- Spiral ankh” and is 34 feet in diameter, built with brick paver boundaries and a bark mulch path. It was built by members of the congregation in 2011.

As soon as I pulled up, I knew I was going to have to move quickly. Another late afternoon thunderstorm was moving in. This sky quickly blackened and the wind picked up.

The labyrinth was located in the back of the spiritual center, the far back. Also at the back was an organic garden which is absolutely beautiful and a pet memorial garden – “remembering those who gave unconditional love“. I have never seen such a garden in a spiritual center. People have painted and left large river stones as memorials to their pets.

The labyrinth itself was located on a lower terrace area. As I walked down the wooden steps, I realized there was also a little free library. This one was empty. I’ll have to remember to bring some books …

Whenever I walk a new-to-me labyrinth, I focus on the materials, the size, setting, and every detail that has been left for me to contemplate. This one was a feast!

Once on the level with the labyrinth, I noticed that it had several cairns and included in the center was a stack of carved stones. As I mentioned, the path was bark chips, luckily these are really strips and relatively finally ground and so the noise of walking was not an issue.

The first thing I noticed as I started on the path was the painting of the Green Man on a retaining wall. That made me smile and think of my friend Joni.

At the back side was another one of my favorite Bible quotes, Numbers 6:26: “The Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” I feel blessed.

People have created cairns. Cairns are definitely new for me. But I always assume they are left in remembrance of a loved one, the Jewish tradition, but I’m really not sure.

Both in the pet memorial garden and down on the labyrinth there were statues of Saint Francis. And then there was this wonderful angel sitting in a bed of …. I have no idea.

I felt the first raindrops before I entered the center. At the center were four large pieces of cut stone, the engraved stone paver with my favorite Bible quote: “be still, and know that I am.“ – Psalm 46:10. There were also multiple rocks that had been very carefully placed, an old leaf, a quarter, a charm which includes the breast cancer charm (but it is not pink, and I think it may be an earring), a dime (make that two dimes), and a “Welcome” chip from CoDA with the serenity prayer facing up … I will ponder that. I had to look CoDA up. It’s Co-Dependents Anonymous, “a fellowship of men and women whose common purpose is to develop healthy relationships. The only requirement for membership is a desire for healthy and loving relationships.” Well worth my pondering.

As usual, my walk out was much more speedy then my walk in.

After I finished I looked around for a few more minutes. There were also several marked off planting areas and rudimentary benches and a nice picnic table. And there was a cross on the tree behind the picnic table with this quotation: “The Lord Bless You And Keep You.”

I recently reposted this 2015 article from The Atlantic. I know many of my friends wonder why I do this… This is a good explanation:

“A labyrinth is not a maze. There is nothing to be solved, no dead ends meant to entrap the walker. Labyrinths have a clear way in and out. Yet the small amount of concentration required to stay on the path, combined with the repetitive nature of following the pattern, is said to produce a calming effect that can do everything from reduce anxiety to combat chemotherapy-induced nausea.

The science behind this theory is sketchy, at best. “I would have a lot of difficulty trying to prove this as a research-based, double-blinded study,” said Thomas Ferrara, an Indianapolis-based physician who has referred several patients to local labyrinths. But dozens of small studies have hinted that labyrinth walking may hold some real benefits. One 2001 study found that walking a labyrinth provided “short-term calming, relaxation, and relief from agitation and anxiety” for Alzheimer’s patients. Others show that everyone from pediatric cancer patients to nurses feel happier and less stressed after a good labyrinth walk.”

Source: The Labyrinth Revival – The Atlantic, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/the-labyrinth-revival/391517/

7.8.19




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