Posts Tagged ‘2018 Labyrinth Walks


12.26.18 … “When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There’s nothing else to it.” – Thích Nhất Hạnh

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Wayt Private Labyrinth – Cumming GA:

I had a great visit with my childhood friend and her mom, one of my favorite labyrinth buddies.

As Marty and I walked and talked, I realized how wonderful a gift the labyrinth has been to me. It has reconnected me to old friends, has established new connections with people I have known forever, has introduced me to new people, provided me with a deep connection to people who I would never have known before, gave me a new interest in medieval history, enriched my religious and spiritual life, introduced me to spiritual practices: walking meditation and contemplative prayer, improved my mental and physical health … the list goes on.

There is joy in sharing time and space with such people!

I love Mrs. W’s silhouettes. I never fail to discover a new one hidden in plain sight in the house or the garden. The one included is of Mrs. W and her husband gardening.

And I found this a while back:

“When you walk, arrive with every step. That is walking meditation. There’s nothing else to it.”

– Thích Nhất Hạnh, How to Walk (Mindfulness Essentials, #4)



11.23.18 … “For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?” – C.S. Lewis

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Davidson College Labyrinth and Peace Garden @ Hobart Park – Davidson NC:

Today is Black Friday. I had no interest in real shopping or cyber shopping. I made my favorite breakfast and read the paper. I did the sudoku puzzle and read a book.

And then I dragged Albert to Davidson to walk its labyrinth.

As I entered the town I noticed the yellow ribbons everywhere. Patrick Braxton-Andrew, one of Davidson’s own, was killed October 28 in Mexico. He grew up here, he went to college here, and he taught and lived here as adult. The drug cartel thought he was a DEA agent. My heart aches for his family. I did not know him, but I pray for peace for his family, his friends and his many communities. Here are some links:

And then I smiled. As I turned onto Main Street I saw the trees aglow with color. I had to pinch myself. I sometimes think it really can’t be as beautiful as a I remember it. Today it was.

The labyrinth walk was quick. I heard the rustling leaves and enjoyed the zen fountain which I am sure will be turned off soon. I don’t think Albert much liked the walk …

But all in all a nice day to enjoy the labyrinth.

And here is a quote I found on grief and the labyrinth. It was posted by Matthew McEwen at Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth Public Group | FacebookFacebook › groups › Chartres-Cathedral-… on November 16, 2018.

I am taking a course on grief, and discovered that there are a number of counselors who use a labyrinth in their practice. I attended this event by Oasis (York Region, Ontario, Canada).

I also recently finished reading “A Grief Observed” by C.S. Lewis. Here’s a comment from that book that links his experience with grief & labyrinths: “Tonight all the hells of young grief have opened up again; the mad words, the bitter resentment, the fluttering in the stomach, the nightmare unreality, the wallowed-in tears. For in grief nothing ‘stays put.’ Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?”

Happy Thanksgiving to all …



10.27.18 … trunk or treat and uniclying monsters and a just a pile of rocks labyrinth …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church Mission Campus – Newton NC:

So the directions on the World Wide Labyrinth locator took me to the church itself, a lovely old Lutheran church with red doors. But the note clearly states that the labyrinth is on the mission campus, a mile and 1/2 south on Startown Road.

As I drove south, I passed a large field and had to circle back around to get to the Mission Campus. I pulled into the parking lot and there were a group of kids, all boys, practicing unicycle riding. I headed across the field and asked one of the parents, toting a unicycle, about the labyrinth. The woman responded with directions and a caveat: it’s just “that pile of rocks over there.” I’m assuming she did not want me to be disappointed. She said that I could cut across the field, quicker, or take the path.

I chose the path, and was delighted to see what was meant by the signage that told me that this was a “prayer path.” Along the path through the woods, there were nine stops, each with a sign with a portion of the Lord’s Prayer, a bench and a birdbath or other yard art.

The labyrinth is a rock labyrinth (rocks on sand) and is a full 11 circuit Chartres. I was delighted.

A group of the unicycling boys was hiding in the woods and jumping out at anyone who came to find them. They warned me. 🙂

The walk was pleasant enough. Albert thinks I’m crazy, and since there was a crowd at this mission campus, I could not let him sit by himself.

I was very impressed with the facilities at the mission campus. A large covered picnic area with a great playground and this wonderful labyrinth. Hospitality at its finest and a gift to this community.

It was about a 30 minute drive to get here from downtown Charlotte. As I drove up Highway 16 and then on the back roads into Newton NC, I noticed it almost every church, including St. Paul’s Lutheran, had on their marquee, “trunk or treat!“. I think it is interesting that some conservative Christians have taken offense to Halloween, while others, especially in this part of North Carolina, have used it as a an opportunity to serve their members, their families and their community.

Quote for today …

“Hospitality, biblically, is not only the way we express God’s love. It’s also the way we encounter God.”

Source: Hospitality on the Way | Sojourners,



10.27.18 … even if you feel nothing, see nothing …

Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Morning Star Lutheran Chapel, Mathews NC:

It has been raining for a day and today it is blustery and wet again.

I’m spending the day visiting labyrinths. I had considered a day drive to Asheville to see the fall leaves, but I don’t think today would be a good day.

So here are a few shots of this favorite labyrinth.

And since I did some research this summer on Julian of Norwich and am a bit melancholy today, I found this in my saved quotes file:

“Pray, even if you feel nothing, see nothing. For when you are dry, empty, sick, or weak. At such a time is your prayer most pleasing to God, even though you may find little joy in it. This is true of all believing prayer.” – Julian of Norwich



10.15.18 … “I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.” ― Fred Rogers

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC:

There was still lots of debris to be cleaned up in Charlotte from Michael and Florence, streets, driveways, yards and, yes, even this lovely Labyrinth at Myers Park Baptist Church. I saw two full tree removal crews removing downed trees. Queens Road near Myers Park Methodist was closed down in both directions.

It’s cooler today and there are twigs and many acorns. I kept hoping to see a squirrel or two scampering across the labyrinth to collect a few.

I actually got off my path today. I must’ve been focused on the acorns and not the turns.

A yard crew is nearby blowing and sawing …

And my enneagram class was interesting. Today we discussed twos, the helpers. Paul started by asking me to focus on someone I loved … at the end I felt my love relations are all complicated.

And a nice quote :

“I believe that appreciation is a holy thing–that when we look for what’s best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we’re doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor, we’re participating in something sacred.”

― Fred Rogers



9.29.18 … “As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.” … Chag Sameach!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Sukkot, homelessness:

Today was a weird one. I went to Avondale very conflicted, just wanted a quick respite from the trials and tribulations of life. Shortly after I arrived and was walking, I heard a yell from a black car. The car was a limo type service car, and the driver asked if I could help his customer. She was looking for a Jewish synagogue, Havurat Tikvah.

Since I am not a member of Avondale, I did not know if possibly a Jewish congregation met there. But I searched on my iPhone after walking back to Labyrinth, and I realized that the congregation did indeed meet at this church. So I walked back. I found the webpage for the congregation. Today is the Feast of Tabernacles, Sukkot, and she wanted to participate.

Many years ago when we lived in Wilmette IL, a neighbor held a Sukkot celebration. So of course today I did a little research:

“Sukkot, commonly translated as Feast of Tabernacles … also known as Chag HaAsif, the Feast of Ingathering, is a biblical Jewish holiday celebrated on the 15th day of the seventh month.”


“Sukkot (Feast of Booths or Tabernacles) is one of the three biblically based pilgrimage holidays known as the shalosh regalim. It is an agricultural festival that originally was considered a thanksgiving for the fruit harvest. Sukkot are hut-like structures that the Jews lived in during the 40 years of travel through the wilderness after the exodus from Egypt. As a temporary dwelling, the sukkah also represents the fact that all existence is fragile, and therefore Sukkot is a time to appreciate the shelter of our homes and our bodies.”

See the full post:

So after offering to take her to the private residence, she got out of the car. I realized from her baggage, a series of grocery bags, that she was probably a homeless person. She had been traveling up and down the East Coast primarily by bus and that she had landed in Charlotte. After looking at the Jewish congregation’s website, I realized that the festival of tents celebration was at a private residence 5 miles away. I offered to take her there.

Meanwhile, a member of the Avondale congregation let her into the building so she could use the restroom and she disappeared for 20+ minutes. When she finally came out, she clearly had taken a bath in the sink in the restroom. My heart was heavy because I wanted to help and was scared. But I ventured fourth to the home where the Sukkot celebration was to be held. She fell asleep in my car several times on the way there. But when she was awake, she was fairly engaged.

Once at that private residence, I let her out. This is what she wanted to do. However, I feel very sad that I could not help more.

Chag Sameach!



9.21.18 … “When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t’s full of answers!” – unknown

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church – Mooresville NC, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, kith/kin, silver linings:

Today I planned to travel to Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke VA for my annual retreat with 16 college friends. This weekend feeds my soul. And today I woke up with what I assume is a kidney stone. And the only cure at this point is heavy dose of ibuprofen and lots of water. This, too, will pass.

But there was a silver lining … there usually is. I spent the day with another Davidson friend who is in town to watch her son swim for Davidson. She gave me her day. We enjoyed lunch at the Pickled Peach and then ventured north to Mooresville to walk a new-to-me labyrinth at St. Patrick’s Episcopal.

It is a small Medieval 7-circuit labyrinth nestled in a corner of the church’s campus. They offered a pamphlet and I think it a good one, offering history and guidance with a clear message of welcome to all. The pamphlet used Psalm 16:11 as guidance.

You will show me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy, and in your right hand are pleasures for evermore.

I’ve attached a copy of the pamphlet.

And here is some info on this labyrinth:

After our walk, we headed to Charlotte to Queens, trying to avoid the nightmarish I77 traffic. Once in Charlotte we walked the MPBC labyrinth.

So if I have to be here, I couldn’t ask for a nicer way to spend my day. Thanks, RA!


When someone asks you why you walk a labyrinth, tell them it’s because silence isn’t’s full of answers! – unknown



9.7.18 … “Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Red Boot Way:

Today I walked with my labyrinth buddy after the Friday Red Boot Way meeting. At the meeting, we talked around “Step Ten: When I practice these steps on a regular basis I gain and experience compassion for myself and others. I am compassionate.” As with most gatherings I am always amazed where the Step takes us.

Toni and I entered the sacred space. At the fountain, the water was a distinct chemically blue. Hmmm …

And then, once we reached the labyrinth, the devastation caused by the weed killer (Roundup?) was so overwhelming. We need to be better stewards of the earth.

Before we walked, we both shared/dumped burdensome thoughts. I was hopeful this would uplift the labyrinth walking. And it did …

I have noted many times that my walks tend to bring on a heightened level of awareness. Today, I noticed the crickets, the construction noises, and an ambulance siren. I noticed the barrenness of the area due to the intentional removal of “weeds.” But why are the hostas dying?

As I walked I was very aware of my need to stoop as I passed under tree limbs on the outer circuits, the first leaves of fall, the pruning of the bushes on the periphery and the survival of the fittest weeds.

I finished before my friend and I decided to walk the circumference, twice. I noticed for the first time that there is no space beyond the outer circuit to walk so I walked the outer circuit. The first time I walked counterclockwise and the second clockwise. In retrospect, I thought a better practice would be to walk once before my walk, counterclockwise to take my walk out of chrona time, and then again after my walk, clockwise, as I re-enter chrona time. My friend commented that maybe it should be the opposite to signify sealing and unsealing of the sacred space.

And here are a few thoughts that I have been pondering …

“Looking for beauty all around us is a contemplative practice, an exercise in opening our hearts, minds, and bodies to the divine image. In indigenous traditions, such opening practices often take the form of dance, drumming, song, and trance, embodied forms that Western, and particularly Euro-centric, Christianity has neglected.

I invite you to return to this Navajo prayer when you have the space and time to literally move or walk with it. If you’re able to walk, you might take off your shoes and walk barefoot. Move slowly, noticing the sensations in your body—discomfort, surprise, challenge, pleasure, ease. Take in your surroundings with a soft, receptive gaze. What do you see? Listen to whatever there is to hear—your own breathing, birds, traffic. You may choose to pay attention to one sense at a time or try to hold two simultaneously. Be present to what is. Walk or move in this way for several minutes or even half an hour. When you have ended, bow in gratitude for your body, for the beauty surrounding you, and for the beauty that will continue to follow you everywhere you go.”

And this …

“To bless means to say good things. We have to bless one another constantly. Parents need to bless their children, children their parents, husbands their wives, wives their husbands, friends their friends. In our society, so full of curses, we must fill each place we enter with our blessings. We forget so quickly that we are God’s beloved children and allow the many curses of our world to darken our hearts. Therefore we have to be reminded of our belovedness and remind others of theirs. Whether the blessing is given in words or with gestures, in a solemn or an informal way, our lives need to be blessed lives.”

Source: Henri Nouwen Society | Daily Meditation | Henri Nouwen Society,




8.25.18 … It’s called “sacred geometry.”

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Myers Park Baptist Church – Charlotte NC, sacred geometry, walking the circumference:

So I was reading an article the other day by a labyrinth walker, and he/she recommended walking the circumference of the labyrinth prior to walking the path. I thought that interesting. So at Myers Park Baptist, I walked the circumference. Why does it not surprise me that the number of lunations in each quadrant does not match up to my expectation…there were around 100? The artist who created this labyrinth followed the Chartres design but ignored sacred geometry, specially altering the number of petals in the center, 7 instead of the original 6.

People really analyze this stuff. It’s called “sacred geometry.”

“Only, how should one count, actually? The lunations around the labyrinth are made of circular parts which like gear wheels are built of jags and bowl-shaped deepening which are cut off in the upper part. I propose to call a gear wheel with a quarter circle on both sides as one element. Single components in the labyrinth are constructed like this, as the joints in the photos show (e.g., element 58 middle part at top).

The blue drawn unity should be counted as one element. If one applies this to the complete labyrinth, 114 elements arise in the closed labyrinth. If one cuts out one for the entrance, we have 113 remaining elements.�One could also count the “bowls” instead of the “peaks”. Then we would have 112 complete and two half parts (at the entrance). However, all together we would have again 113 items.”

Source: How many Lunations has the Chartres Labyrinth? | blogmymaze,

The last couple days have been significantly cooler. Thursday morning, two days ago, tied the record low for this time of year at 55°. I had heard that summer would return, and, voilà, it was here today.

There’s not much to hear this morning, the sounds of traffic on Roswell Road, of crickets and of a few birds. The sun w bright overhead.

I mentioned a few days ago that there is now a Friendship Garden over in the corner. I checked it out today. I looked through pictures from years of walks, no garden or fence in March 2018.

And here is the Facebook Post of Clive Johnson to The Labyrinth Society page on 8/19/18:


I’ve been reading Patrick Adrian’s deeply thought-provoking book, “Labyrinths and their Secrets”. In it, he talks about the power of the spiral, a path which you follow without needing to change direction. It got me wondering about the power and mystery of walking a spiral, and indeed, walking a circle. This seemed the place* to pose the questions – what are our experiences of walking a spiral? Archetypally and in other ways, what might be different about walking one as opposed to walking a labyrinth?

I think my own experience of walking a spiral is quite limited, mainly involving a ritual of taking something or a question into the centre, and/or bringing something out. As a pattern, it may well speak to the subconscious in some way, as may all the archetypes of different labyrinth patterns. With a spiral, like with a labyrinth, there is a centre to connect with, and a going in and a coming out, while a circle seems more about containing or making or holding a border. But maybe I’m making an assumption about this?

In hosting labyrinth walks, the practice of walking a circle is much more familiar to me, as I usually circle the labyrinth when holding the space. This seems to connect me with the labyrinth ‘s energy and, when also reciting the loving kindness (metta) prayer, which starts with a small focus such as a single person or place, and then expands out to a larger group or geography, I do tend to start a bit of an outward spiral with this. So there does seem to me to be something meaningful about walking a non-twisting path.

I’m curious to know what other thoughts and experiences we may have. Are there many spirals out there as there are labyrinths, or are they, along with the circle, so fundamentally a part of our natural navigation that there’s little need for a printed path to follow?

And just one further question that came to my mind while pondering this topic (maybe I should give this a try) – has anyone had experience of walking a spiral with three and a half rings? This, in the form of a coiled snake, is the symbol of the Kundalini that is usually dormant within us, I believe. Would walking out from the centre be a practice for allowing the Kundalini energy to rise?

Nature has its many spirals too, of course, from the intricate swirls of a millions-year-old shell, to the great swirls of the cosmos. Awe inspiring.

* I will cross-post in the Labyrinths in Britain group too, as not everyone there is connected with TLS (do join, you lot – you are missing a lot, including two wonderful labyrinth journals! There, my TLS regional rep’s job done for today!).



8.24.18 … “Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make.” – Abraham Cowley (English Poet 1618-1667)

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC, Red Boot Way, Camino de Santiago

This post is going to ramble.

After attending the 7:15 AM weekly Red Boot Way Meeting where we focused on Step Eight (I approach my life and those in it with wonder and curiosity. I am curious), I headed over to Avondale for a quick walk at the Labyrinth.

But first, at the Red Boot Way Meeting, I listened more than talked, and the words I heard repeatedly were curious, joy, judgment, empathy, South Africa. I love this group and our conversations.

As I left the group, and as I was headed to a coffee gathering with a several friends to discuss our shared experiences as pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago, I made time for a quick walk at Avondale. I quickly realized that someone had used Round Up to get rid of the weeds that I have commented on all spring and summer. And that took me back to my earlier RBW conversation where the Round Up judgment was mentioned, a judgment in excess of $300 million , and I have no idea why it came up. Curious.

There were lots of sounds at the labyrinth today, primarily those of yard crews working both on the campus of Avondale Presbyterian as well as in nearby yards. I realized that this is not a sound of my childhood growing up in busy near downtown Atlanta. My family had a manpowered push mower and there was no such thing as a leaf blower.

As I was leaving Avondale, I noticed the circle/spiral walking feature in the adjacent part of the Sacred Garden. I recently read an article about these, I am going to have to find it.

I then headed to Mayo Bird for coffee. There were three of us and we discussed our Camino pilgrimages. It is amazing the things we had in common as well as the things that were different. I took my iPad and flipped through my pictures as we talked. I realized very quickly that some of the things that I noticed repeatedly as I walked were the domesticated farm animals, public art, holloways and in general where my feet fell.

And as I was preparing this post, I ran across this quote on William and Mary’s Institute of Pilgrimage Studies website:

“Curiosity does, no less than devotion, pilgrims make.”

– Abraham Cowley (English Poet 1618-1667)

It is amazing how things come full circle.



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November 2020