Why Walk the Labyrinth?
Dr. Herbert Benson’s, Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute, research has found focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson calls the ‘relaxation response? This effect has significant long term health benefits, including lower blood pressure and breathing rates, reduced incidents of chronic pain, reduction of insomnia, improved fertility, and many other benefits. Regular meditative practice leads to greater powers of concentration and a sense of control and efficiency in one’s life. Labyrinth walking is among the simplest forms of focused walking meditation, and the demonstrated health benefits have led hundreds of hospitals, health care facilities, and spas to install labyrinths in recent years.
As Dr. Lauren Artress points out, the seeking of answers to our questions is the act of walking a sacred path. When we walk the labyrinth, we discover our sacred inner space. We are attracted to healing tools such as a labyrinth because it can deepen our self-knowledge and empower our creativity. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the life journey.
It calms those in the throes of transition, and helps us to see life in the context of a path. We realize we are not humans on a spiritual path, but rather spiritual beings on a human path. It urges actions and stirs creative fires. To those who are in sorrow, it gives solace and peace. The journey is different for everyone, as is life, for we each bring different raw material to the labyrinth. We bring our uniqueness, and often depart with a greater sense of oneness and unity. So, walk as you are with the understanding that you can access the truth in your soul.
Walking the labyrinth can be thought of as a path to your soul.