Monday, March 9, 2009
The Labyrinth Center, Fairview
It was a warm golden Sunday so after brunch I headed over to the Labyrinth Center in Fairview to walk the labyrinth. Wherever I go I try to find a labyrinth in that location. I guess I am lucky that this one is close to home.
Located on the grounds of a retreat center that also offers, Reiki treatment and classes, massage, foot reflexology, herb walks, herbal consultation and labyrinth design, it is a welcome respite from day to day life. The labyrinth sits on a knoll surrounded by tree covered ridges at the end of a dirt road. The quiet is blissful. There is a box at the base of the knoll to pick up brochures and leave a love offering.
It is a simple labyrinth of one circular path going inward to the center. The paths are lined with rocks and various mementos left by others. Two trees guard the entrance and I find as soon as I step between them the energy changes.
There is no one way to walk labyrinths, which have been in some form an integral part of ancient cultures like the Celts, Mayans, Greeks and Native Americans. A brochure is available at the site which explains one way to walk but I prefer to wing it each time.
I choose a problem or mantra to focus on as I walk and take slow deliberate steps. I always find that my breathing quiets like it does when I meditate. But then labyrinth walking is a form of meditation and prayer.
When I first came to this labyrinth, my husband and I had recently moved to the mountains and were on a spiritual quest that day to visit the labyrinth and then on to see Sufi dancers in Cullowee at the university. It was a stormy day in spring with driving rain. We got lost finding Fairview and hoped it would be clear enough to actually get out and walk. Once we arrived, the skies cleared just long enough to walk and we stepped up to the two trees.
It may have been the electrically charged air from the storm or the fact that this was my first time but as I stepped through the trees the energy in the atmosphere was palpable. I was filled with such intense emotion that tears ran down my face. As I reached the center a calm peace filled me and that stayed with me as I walked out.
My husband is not so spiritually inclined and was doing this for fun. But he even noticed the change as he stepped through the two trees. He said it felt like he was high or drunk the whole while he walked to the center and out. His perspective on the world was altered for the time he walked the labyrinth.
If you would like to try this walk, you can call the Labyrinth Center at 828 628-1706or visit them online at www.labyrithcenter.com