Walking the Labyrinth at Unity of Garden Park
Phoenix Labyrinth Design
Located at the South entrance on Cheviot Road, Unity of Garden Park’s labyrinth is uniquely designed to represent the mythic bird, the phoenix.
Legend has it, the phoenix lives for several hundred years, after which it sets itself aflame, only to rise again out of its own ashes and fly away. The morphing and remorphing of the phoenix symbolizes creation, healing, resurrection, and eternal life. It represents the idea that we are constantly rebirthing ourselves and the ending of one phase of our life is just the beginning of another.
The archetype of the phoenix dates back to the earliest of times and is represented in ancient Egyptian, Greek, Jewish, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, Native American and Christian spiritual traditions.
What is a Labyrinth and Where Did it Come From?
Unlike the puzzle of a maze, a labyrinth is a single path people walk for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. While a maze is meant to stimulate the logical, problem solving part of the brain, a labyrinth is meant to activate the creative center of the brain and the heart. People have walked labyrinths for thousands of years. Ancient labyrinths have been found in Greece, Ireland, England, Algeria, France and Italy, the earliest of which are 4,000 years old. During the Crusades, labyrinths became a metaphor for a journey to the Holy Land of Jerusalem for many Christians.
How are Labyrinths Used?
There is no wrong way to walk a labyrinth. Many people walk a labyrinth in prayer or use it as a tool for walking meditation and contemplation. Often times, those who are new to meditation find walking an easier way to clear the mind than sitting meditation.
To walk a labyrinth, step into the entrance and put one foot in front of the other. After traveling all of the paths and windings, come to the center, pause, and then return on the same path back through the labyrinth.
Suggestions for the Walk
Stop, relax, and breathe deeply at the entrance.
You may want to set an intention before beginning.
Remember, no two labyrinth walks are the same.
Most people walk in silence. Be present.
If you meet another walker, you may silently pass.
Release busy thoughts, concerns, or burdens.
In the center, pause and focus your attention.