Labyrinths ~ A Walking Meditation
Walking the 60 labyrinths of Vancouver Island is a “soleful” mindfulness experienced in “soulful” landscapes. A world away from the everyday. Walking one labyrinth (or many) is to denote to yourself place, time and process for mind and body to find balance, creating a peaceful awareness.
Even if you walked morning, noon and night, three labyrinths a day, it would take you over two weeks to have walked all the labyrinths on Vancouver Island. No two are alike and they are found in every imaginable setting ... how can you decide where to start? Islanders can walk many over the years, visitors from afar can return many times, or some modern digitally unplugged “pilgrims” can choose to walk several within a few days.
You can count on the pathway always taking you safely to the centre and out again. Thich Nhat Hanh, world renown Buddhist teacher, encourages peace and happiness in every step of a walking meditation as "a way to keep mind and body together on the path. There is no destination but the here and now – neither running toward nor away from".
His writings describe the sensation of deep peace and joy that can be found in the simple act of mindful walking abiding in awareness. We may begin to practice mindful walking on a labyrinth but we become able to walk a city street with the same awareness – mindfully present in all circumstances.
“We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” - T.S. Eliot
Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.
Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.
-Thich Nhat Hanh