Posts Tagged ‘“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking

10
Jan
19

1.10.19 … It propelled us inward … we were going to the center whether we wanted to or not!

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Catherine Anderson’s Private Labyrinths – Charlotte:

I have walked Catherine Anderson’s Private Chartres labyrinth many times and her newer classical labyrinth once before. To walk them one after the other allowed me to compare my experiences.

I walked with Toni who always awakens me to new observations. Catherine knew we were coming, and we said hello before we walked. Catherine was visiting with Kathy Mansfield. Both Catherine and Kathy are labyrinth gurus. So it was fun to pick their brains a bit, both before our walk and after over tea.

A few observations: 1. the weather was cool but sunny, actually perfect. The cool sunny day made the greens in the yard pop. 2. As for the green in the yard, Catherine is encouraging the moss to take over the labyrinth. Her husband has been tasked with removing any remaining grass. I can’t wait to walk barefoot in the spring. 3. The small river stones forming the boundary popped with white. Catherine recently went over them with a chalk marker. It really helped me stay on the path. 4. This labyrinth is a small full Chartres, so it is tight. Because it is tight, I have to really try to be quiet in order to avoid distractions and stay on the path. 5. That said, I loved the visual and audio intrusions: the sunlight coming through the trees, the Buddha sitting in the swing, the cairn at the center, and the gentle sound of the wind, of the chimes playing in the wind and of the water flowing in the fountain. 6. I also loved sharing the time and space with Toni. There is something thought-provoking to me about walking side by side for a few steps and then turning away abruptly and then re-encountering her again a few minutes later.

Each time I walk here, I realize that I am a wee bit jealous of Catherine’s labyrinth. I want one of my own for my private walks and to share.

Before we walked, Catherine reminded us that she has a second labyrinth. This labyrinth is a classical labyrinth and is laid out with much larger rocks in an adjacent hidden wooded area, and, today, it was covered with leaves. It is wilder, unstructured, primal even. It made me want to dance!

Everything about this walk was different. Walking on the dead leaves made me focus on quieting my mind as I tried to block out the crunching sound of my feet on the leaves. Toni noted that she experienced ”a stark sensation of spiraling inward” and that it was “dizzying.” It propelled us inward … we were going to the center whether we wanted to or not! We laughed when she thought she became disoriented, thinking she was off the path, not knowing whether to turn right or left, when the answer was to keep going straight.

Afterwards we enjoyed tea with Catherine and Kathy. We each tried a new variety, peach ginger rooibos (a South African blend, perfect for tea with Catherine who is from South Africa). I learned so much in that half hour. Maybe 2019 will be my year to do facilitator training. Catherine is doing one here and also a retreat at ghost ranch with Lauren Artress.

And I found this wonderful reminder from Lauren Artress… “Aristotle once said that the highest form of brain function is metaphoric thinking. When we are thinking metaphorically, the microcosm reflects the macrocosm. Our experience becomes a way of teaching us about the bigger picture.”

Here is a bit on Catherine and labyrinths:

“In 2009, with the help of my husband and son, I created a labyrinth in our backyard based on the medieval labyrinth design found at Chartres Cathedral in France. The labyrinth is created out of white stones laid in trenches between the sections of grass. I walk the labyrinth as ameditative practice, especially when I need some creative inspiration and need to get out of my head and back into my body. Walking a labyrinth is a kinesthetic meditation. You do it with your whole body. Walking the labyrinth can also be creatively stimulating. I highly recommend that you look for a labyrinth in your area and make time to walk the spiraling path to the center. You never know how it might change your life!”

Source: Source: Labyrinths — Creative Pilgrimage, https://www.creativepilgrimage.com/labyrinths/

And here are two of her Veriditas sponsored events:

Veriditas – FACILITATOR TRAINING in Charlotte NC with Veriditas Faculty Catherine Anderson,

https://www.veriditas.org/event-3162432

SEEING THE WORLD WITH WONDER – MAKING MEANING THROUGH IMAGE, STORY AND THE LABYRINTH — Creative Pilgrimage,

https://www.creativepilgrimage.com/live-events/2019/5/6/seeing-the-world-with-wonder-making-meaning-through-image-story-and-the-labyrinth

1.10.19

07
Jan
19

1.7.19 … “All the places I have ever walked, talked, slept, have changed and formed me. I am part of all the people I have known. … Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and be in my fifties, then I will really learn what it means to be a grownup. I still have a long way to go.”.” – Madeleine L’Englel

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2019 Labyrinth Walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte NC:

It was a beautiful winter day in the south. There was not a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining. As I approached Avondale’s labyrinth, I noticed that it is in partial shade and that the grass boundaries were high. There was a noticeable number of leaves on the labyrinth. Over to the side were bales of pine straw which I assume will be used to freshen the Sacred Garden in the spring.

One of the most noticeable things about the garden today was the vibrancy of the greens. The grass and the moss and even the weeds were all a very bright green. I suppose it is because of the significant rain we have had until just last week, last Friday as a matter of fact, and now since Friday we have had very warm weather.

As I walked into the Sacred Garden, I thought to myself it’s very quiet today. About halfway in to the center of the labyrinth, the chimes of the belltower began to clang and the birds began to sing. At first I didn’t notice the water flowing in the fountain in the columbarium. I wonder gif they have never turned it off, or if they will only turn it off when it gets to be a certain temperature. I would’ve thought it would be turned off for the winter…

Half of the labyrinth is in the shade and it is significantly cooler. It is amazing that my last walk here was in the snow. It makes me wonder what is going on. Rarely do we have early snows in the Carolinas, and we had one both last year and this year in early December, before Christmas. And now we are having what in anyone’s opinion would be considered spring weather. It is sunny and in the high 50s. Makes me wonder …

From A Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L’Engle:

“I am part of every place I have ever been: the path to the brook; the New York streets and my ‘short cut’ through the Metropolitan Museum. All the places I have ever walked, talked, slept, have changed and formed me. I am part of all the people I have known. There was a black morning when [a friend] and I, both walking through separate hells, acknowledged that we would not survive were it not for our friends who, simply by being our friends, harrowed hell for us. I am still every age I have ever been. Because I was once a child, I am always a child. Because I was once a searching adolescent, given to moods and ecstasies, these are still part of me, and always will be. Because I was once a rebellious student, there is and always will be in me the student crying out for reform.

“Far too many people misunderstand what putting away childish things means, and think that forgetting what it is like to think and feel and touch and smell and taste and see and hear like a three-year-old or a thirteen-year-old or a twenty-three-year-old means being grownup. When I’m with these people I, like the kids, feel that if this is what it means to be a grownup, then I don’t ever want to be one. Instead of which, if I can retain a child’s awareness and joy, and be in my fifties, then I will really learn what it means to be a grownup. I still have a long way to go.”

Blessings.

1.7.19

27
Dec
18

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)

12.26.18

10
Dec
18

12.10.18 … “I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside), I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)” …

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

Today I’m experiencing auditory sensory overload: I hear the chimes ringing merrily from the bell tower, a bird chirping, my snowboots moving across the icy snow, sirens in the distance, car traffic on Park Road, a train horn, and the crackling of very light icy rain… so essentially I have the sound of silence with the overplay of loud white noise interspersed with very distinct sounds, and all the while I hear in my head this year’s holiday politically incorrect winnner, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” “I really can’t stay (but baby, it’s cold outside), I’ve got to go away (but baby, it’s cold outside)”. (https://youtu.be/MwGrg8UPTY8)

I’m thinking that my hands are cold, and that I need to find I my mittens. Although my Starbucks is helping.

The sun is trying to burn through the heavy clouds, but it wouldn’t surprise me if we get a little more snow. It just has that snow feeling to it.

Since this is a very early snow for the piedmont region, I’m thinking of this “Liturgy for the First Snow” which I saw on line:

“Oh Christ, King of Snow, we bless you for bidding this blanket of white to cover us in holy hush, that our hearts might be quieted at the site, that we might sense the emptiness of canvas over with your Spirit broods, and upon which you create and recreate our hearts in the image of the one whose Word first spoke snow into existence. Amen”

I think a blanket of snow creates a certain silence, but the contrast of the actual sounds, including the chimes here today, really give this walk an auditory overload. Each sound is very distinct.

I realized very quickly after I started walking that my footprints are the only footprints on the snow covered labyrinth. As I was walking out, i wondered to myself as I looked down at my own footprints, the ones going the other direction, if I had changed in the 20 minutes between walking in and walking out … or have I merely changed directions?

12.10.18

09
Dec
18

12.8.18 … “There is more to life than we previously imagined. Angels hide in every nook and cranny, magi masquerade as everyday people, and shepherds wear the garments of day laborers. The whole earth is brimming with glory for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.” – Howard Thurman

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Advent Labyrinth Walks, St. John’s Episcopal Church – Charlotte NC:

I walked by myself this afternoon. The Parish Hall has been configured for Sunday Worship and the labyrinth has been reoriented. It makes nice worship space.

I would come to worship on the labyrinth tomorrow but it has been cancelled because of the winter weather expected tonight. And because of that, I decided to stay after my walk and attend St. John’s 5 pm Service.

And it was delightful. There was a lot of movement as parishioners moved in and out of the sanctuary. But it made the worship seem a part of the regular lives of the parishioners as well as sacred time. It hung in the balance.

I was delighted when my friend’s son recognized me and came and sat with me. It made me feel at home.

The priest talked about stopping during advent and noticing God’s work in my life. Waiting … “We have this blessed opportunity in the Advent Season to stop, to refocus, because God has been doing something , is doing something, and will continue to do wonderful things on our behalf …”

And I enjoyed pondering this quote all day today, as I ran errands, as I walked and as I worshipped:

“There is more to life than we previously imagined. Angels hide in every nook and cranny, magi masquerade as everyday people, and shepherds wear the garments of day laborers. The whole earth is brimming with glory for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.”

– Howard Thurman

12.8.18

04
Dec
18

12.4.18 … “When you travel, A new silence Goes with you, And if you listen, You will hear What your heart would Love to say.” ~ John O’Donohue

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Advent Labyrinth Walks, St. John’s Episcopal Church – Charlotte NC:

After setting up the 3 section 36-foot Chartres labyrinth, Toni lead a walk for a yoga group with shanti chimes. It was a a small group of women who meet weekly for yoga at the church. Most had walked .. it was lovely.

As I walked, I noticed sunlight steaming in the garden and heard new sounds: music for yoga, chimes and the scratching sound of my feet on the canvas. Oh, and smells … diffused oils used for the yoga class. And I walked with the yoga class, I pondered “Be still …”

And I enjoyed this poem by John O’Donohue:

Every time you leave home,

Another road takes you

Into a world you were never in.

New strangers on other paths await.

New places that have never seen you

Will startle a little at your entry.

Old places that know you well

Will pretend nothing

Changed since your last visit.

When you travel, you find yourself

Alone in a different way,

More attentive now

To the self you bring along,

Your more subtle eye watching

You abroad; and how what meets you

Touches that part of the heart

That lies low at home:

How you unexpectedly attune

To the timbre in some voice,

Opening in conversation

You want to take in

To where your longing

Has pressed hard enough

Inward, on some unsaid dark,

To create a crystal of insight

You could not have known

You needed

To illuminate

Your way.

When you travel,

A new silence

Goes with you,

And if you listen,

You will hear

What your heart would

Love to say.

A journey can become a sacred thing:

Make sure, before you go,

To take the time

To bless your going forth,

To free your heart of ballast

So that the compass of your soul

Might direct you toward

The territories of spirit

Where you will discover

More of your hidden life,

And the urgencies

That deserve to claim you.

May you travel in an awakened way,

Gathered wisely into your inner ground;

That you may not waste the invitations

Which wait along the way to transform you.

May you travel safely, arrive refreshed,

And live your time away to its fullest;

Return home more enriched, and free

To balance the gift of days which call you.

~ John O’Donohue ~

Blessings!

12.4.18

02
Dec
18

12.2.18 … veriditas – “the greening power of life” …

“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2018 Advent Labyrinth Walks, St. John’s Episcopal Church – Charlotte NC:

Today my Advent labyrinth event was not a walk but attendance at a lecture by Toni Robinson introducing her parish to labyrinths. It was nice to hear the history and hear her anecdotal story of labyrinths.

Here is the bulletin about the event:

This Sunday Adult Formation: “Advent Journey of the Labyrinth” with Toni Robinson. ‪10:15-11:00am‬, Parish Hall. We will have an indoor labyrinth during the first week of Advent this year. Come learn about the role of labyrinths in our Christian tradition and how they can help you during this season of anticipation of the birth of Christ. Toni Robinson is a member of VIA (the Veriditas International Association of Professionally Trained Labyrinth Facilitators). Founded in 1995 in San Francisco by Episcopal priest Lauren Artress, Veriditas is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring personal and community transformation through the labyrinth experience. The name originated with Hildegard of Bingen and means “the greening power of life.” Drawing upon her personal time on the path, Toni will share an overview of the labyrinth as a user friendly contemplative tool (from definition and essential vocabulary to a brief history, and most importantly, tips for walking).

And labyrinth is the theme for Advent at her church.

I handled a beautiful wooden finger labyrinth.

Toni has arranged for a Chartres canvas labyrinth to be set up in the Parish Hall, December 4 – 10.

Anyone want to join me?

12.2.18




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