We know that there are health benefits of spending time outdoors, however Centennial Parklands has a ‘secret weapon’ that you can use to easily improve your mental health – the Centennial Park Labyrinth!
But first, what exactly is a labyrinth?
Let’s start with what it is NOT!
It’s not a dodgy / cult (choose your option!) mid-1980s David Bowie movie, and it is not a maze.
OK, then what IS a Labyrinth?
A labyrinth comes from ancient traditions, physically used as a contemplative tool for reflection or meditation in many cultures throughout history.
Unlike a maze, which has several different pathways, a labyrinth has only a single path and there are no dead ends.
How do you use the labyrinth?
There’s really no wrong way or right way to walk a labyrinth. Some walk it slow, some fast and some even dance it… but generally speaking, there are three phases to the walk:
- Releasing on the way in – letting go of the distractions of your day
- Receiving a sense of peace and calm as you pause in the centre
- Resolving a new way of being in the world as you follow the same path back out of the labyrinth.
Remember it’s a two-way path, so you may meet people coming in or going out. Feel free to overtake if need be.
To prepare, you may want to sit quietly and reflect before walking the labyrinth. Some people come with questions, others just to slow down and take time out from a busy life. Some come to find the strength to take the next step during times of grief and loss. Its winding path becomes a metaphor for our journey and where we find ourselves on our personal path. It offers us a threshold to cross, helping us leave behind what no longer serves and quite literally, step into the new.
If you find sitting meditation challenging, then walking meditation is an easy way into that same peaceful place – an easy way to quiet the mind and open the heart. Its an old fashioned slow-cooking form of contemplation.
Come walk the mystery…
Our thanks to Emily Simpson for her words on walking the labyrinth.