About 7 or 8 years ago, I started to become aware of something called the labyrinth. Aware in the sense, that periodically a friend or acquaintance would make mention of one such thing. Either they had walked one or in the case of a friend of mine, she had drawn one in chalk on the cement plaza adjacent to the Shadbolt Center for Centre for Arts in Burnaby where she works. She had drawn this as an exercise for her young art students, asking them to walk along the path and then to draw their experience. What a novel and challenging idea. Or, now and then I may have come across an article on the Internet or seen a picture of a labyrinth in a book.
The more I came in contact with labyrinth stories and related things, the more curious I became. In the fall of 1966, I was in Boulder, Colorado taking a crystal-healing course. I spent my time by day in class and the evenings exploring the many fascinating faces of the Pearl Street Mall. It was on one such evening that I had my wake-up call to the labyrinth. I was perusing the bookshelves of Lighthouse Books, a metaphysical bookstore in the heart of the Pearl Street Mall one evening. As I stood in front of an old bookshelf flipping pages of a book I had in my hands, I was suddenly aware that from above a book was falling towards me from one of the upper shelves. I reached out. And caught it.
The book was entitled, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice by Lauren Artress. I did the only thing I knew to do in an instance like this. I put back on the shelf the book whose pages I had been flipping and marched straight to the cash desk, the book by Lauren Artress in my excited little hands and could hardly wait to part with my American dollars. I know when I am being summoned.
That was the beginning and the end. This was my awakening to the labyrinth and the end of my search, unknowing search, for the truth that is the labyrinth. I was now a labyrinth walker even before I had set foot on one.
Ask me how excited I was as I explored the pages of Lauren’s book. It is one of life’s miracles to find something that you have been seeking whether or not you know that is what you have been doing. In one fell swoop of a book falling off a shelf I had arrived at the entrance to the labyrinth.
Subsequent to this life-altering event, I partook of a retreat workshop with Lauren Artress at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. This workshop was followed up by a two-day labyrinth facilitator’s course at the same venue. What an incredible experience!
I have not looked back once, but have continued to walk the path on a regular basis, each time experiencing it fresh and new as though it were the very first time. You can find me often holding space for other walkers usually on a Friday evening at the lovely labyrinth at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver’s west end. Come join me in meditative prayer along the time-honored path that is the Labyrinth. I will be watching and waiting for you.
Blessings along the path,
This is an article I wrote and submitted to the administrator at St. Paul's Anglican Church in Vancouver for consideration to an upcoming newsletter.