Day 6: Labyrinth
By Eartha Jean on September 12, 2013
I have a labyrinth in my backyard. I built it last April using only a stake, a tape measure, a ruler, and rocks. Most of the rocks were already here, left piled up in a corner of the property by the previous owner. Most of the rest of the rocks I scavenged.
Why did I build a labyrinth? The easy answer is because I wanted one. I had been at a retreat center with a labyrinth. I walked it and from there decided I wanted one.
At first the task of building a labyrinth seemed daunting. I did research on constructing one online. I'm not particularly gifted in the areas of mathematics, geometry, or spatial relationships. I have trouble drawing straight lines and I have trouble drawing curved lines. Despite not having faith in my abilities or really believing I could complete the job, I decided to just jump in and try.
One of the most helpful tools for me, which I did not name above was a map, or a blueprint of what I wanted to create. Again I felt less than confident in my skills to achieve the end result and my hand drawn blueprint looked uneven and squiggly. Yet it was enough because all I needed to know was how many circuits I needed to create and where the circuits needed to be connected.
I kept it simple, just a seven circuit labyrinth, only thirty feet across with one foot wide pathways. The ruler was my second most important tool as it did the work I was most concerned about, keeping the pathways evenly spaced, and it prevented the circuits from becoming skewed in one direction or another.
One week after beginning the labyrinth project, I completed it, working on it everyday for a couple of hours. I did all of it by myself.
Completing the labyrinth project renewed my confidence in what I am capable of doing. In just one week I went from not knowing anything about how to build a labyrinth to building one that is beautiful and enjoyable to walk.
There are good reasons to do crazy things, like build labyrinths in our yards, or shrines, or temples, or gardens. Often these projects may start out as something for ourselves. My labyrinth certainly did. And the medicine I received from it; to realize I am capable of so much more than I think I am and I should never be afraid to try; is big medicine. Often these crazy projects wind up being for a greater good.
After building my labyrinth, my father in law came over one day and I showed it to him and described for him how he could walk it as a meditation. Now my father in law is a wonderful person and is always there for his family. He is also bit rough and gruff and can have a bit of a temper at times. He's certainly not much for the meditation and spiritual path, and yet there are days he comes over just to walk that labyrinth. He says it helps him to clear his mind and relax.
It amazes me. Had I not said yes to the idea, to the possibility that I could build a labyrinth, he might not have ever said yes to the opportunity to walk one and receive the peace of mind it offers him.
I have been writing for 27 minutes and 33 seconds. It is 11:16 on the west coast. I have completed 22 days of kundalini yoga and meditation practice, and six days of this writing practice. I am complete.