edited: Sunday, January 31, 2010
By Robert F Martin
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Sunday, January 31, 2010
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A labyrinth is an excellent tool for meditation, but not magical in any way.
A labyrinth is a wonderful tool for meditation. It may not have literal magical power, but it certainly has other undeniably powerful qualities. I havenít had much time for relaxation lately, at least it hasnít felt like it. School, friends, and other things have pretty much kept me going, even though a number of those other things could have been set aside or pushed back for a while to take a break.
The first time I walked a labyrinth, last year during professor Apelís Monks and Mystics class, I didnít really think about the experience much. I just sort of let it happen, and didnít get much out of it, other than utterly confusing myself when I managed to get literally turned around.
This year, I sat, thinking for a while before going in. Sitting in thought I found myself reciting the Great Invocation, a theosophical prayer about the coming of the next messenger of God, before entering the maze. Theosophy in its uncorrupted form has been a huge influence on my spiritual life, and I found the use of this particular prayer, the central invocation of the lodge, to have an incredible calming, focusing effect. Once I reached the middle I sat in meditation for a while and walked off through the entrance.
In western tradition, some may walk to the center, and snake their way out, or walk both ways. I found myself doing the opposite, and it was really a more powerful experience, I feel, than I might have had, had I walked the path out. In Western Christianity, the path is walked out as a representation of the journey out of sin, in Hinduism a similar form could be taken as symbolic of the journey out of Moksha. For me, the journey inward was symbolic in a similar way. Iíve felt for quite a while that the job of a serious spiritual practitioner is to achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all living things. I guess I unconsciously function under the Boddhisattva Vow without having officially taken it. This made the journey to the center much more meaningful. Symbolic of the journey inward in meditation, and the life path, the path leading into the center twists and turns. Neither in life nor meditation can we truly see the goal, though we know how to work towards it. Once achieved, it is as though God has taken the twisted path of the labyrinth and pulled it straight. No longer enthralled by the tripwires of life, we can walk off into the world, free of encumberances.