Protestant Christianity is seeing a growing interest in the mystical tradition, leading many of its members to seek prayer experiences outside their normal spiritual disciplines. One such experience that is growing in popularity is walking a labyrinth.
A labyrinth is a geometrical shape, usually a circle, which is walked along with the purpose of entering into the Divine Presence within the individual. Labyrinths have been used in many faith traditions, including Christianity, for hundreds of years. The walk is short enough to be accessible even to persons of physical limitations.
While most labyrinths have instructions posted around their entrance, it can be useful to feel more prepared for what you might experience. There are three stages to every labyrinth:
- Stage 1 is Purgation. The purpose is to release or let go of the details in life. This is an act of shedding thoughts and emotions. It quiets and empties the mind while walking into the Labyrinth.
- Stage 2 is Illumination. This may occur when the center is reached. Stay there as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
- Stage 3 is Union. This is joining God, the divine healing force at work in the world. Each time you walk out of the Labyrinth, you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul desiring.
There are many labyrinths open to the public around the Garland area. Here are just a few examples:
Walking a labyrinth can be a quiet peaceful experience or one of overwhelming emotions. Whichever you experience, trust that the Presence is doing its work in you.
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