A labyrinth is a pattern laid out for walking or tracing, most often in rounded loops around a central point. Unlike a maze, which challenges you to navigate its length, a labyrinth has a single clear path. It is a place for a walking meditation, which can be used for centering or grounding, for reflections or discernment, or for life passages and celebrations. After reaching the center, walkers retrace their steps, arriving back where they began, often changed within.
Ancient labyrinth symbols have been discovered in many parts of the world. We do not have a clear history of these symbols and of the practice of walking a labyrinth; however, some say the tradition goes back as far as 4,000 years. Many modern paths are inspired by the world’s most famous surviving labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, which dates to the Middle Ages.
While people have their preferred labyrinth traditions, there is no one right way to experience what they have to offer. Listen and learn from the experiences of others, and then determine what will work best for you
Locate the entrance to the labyrinth. Remove footwear if desired. Pause at the entrance to consider your intentions for your time in the labyrinth. Do you seek focused time in a busy world? Need uninterrupted time to reconnect with your priorities? Facing a decision? Whatever your purpose, take a moment to reflect. Begin walking; speed is up to you. If others are on the path, leave time and space between you. At the center, pause to reflect once more on your purpose. As you walk out, step aside to allow those walking inward to focus on the path. On your return trip, consider the implications of any insights you may have had.
The labyrinth at First Unitarian Church of Orlando (1U), located at 1901 E Robinson Street, opened in June 2017 as part of major campus renovation. Created in pavers, this seven-circuit design replaced an early labyrinth located on the west side of the property that had been lovingly handmade in the early 2000’s.
The labyrinth is easily accessible mid-campus and is available as a community resource. Please visit during daylight hours.
Groups over 10 planning to come together are asked to check with the office in advance to avoid scheduling conflicts. You can contact the office at 407-898-3621 or info@OrlandoUU.org.