Labyrinth Walk In Chartres Cathedral

Chartres Labyrinth Walk 2, Sept.2012

Walking The Chartres Labyrinth, Our Lady Of the Pilar Watches From The Side

Today I walked the Chartres Labyrinth twice with my “Chartres Friend”. She is a woman  with whom I have become good friends.  We have sustained the friendship because of a common interest in an ancient place and the use of very modern technology. We have met in Chartres and Paris only, but have nurtured our friendship via Skype conversations.  When we met at the Montparnasse Station on Wednesday, we hugged then she stepped back and said “Let me look at you! It really is you, and not just your picture on Skype!!”  The wonder and joy was a sentiment I shared.
We walked the Labyrinth in Notre Dame de Chartres twice. It is open every Friday from about 10 am until around 6 pm, when mass usually occurs.  I was over at the Cathedral before my friend.  I slowly walked around the sacred space just being in the light, noticing how the energy felt, sensing the changes since the last time I was here.
Our Lady of the Pilar, a Black Madonna who usually resides in her own special alcove has been moved into the nave, and now she can see us walk the labyrinth, as we can see her.  She is very special to the people of Chartres, and to many visitors, so they did not hide her away but placed her where she could still be seen. The bright spot showing on the wall behind the labyrinth in the photo is her location.

This photo shows a quiet labyrinth. The first time we walked today it was much busier. Often the mornings are more crowded.  As I made my initial circuit I saw a man standing in the center of the busy labyrinth, he was walking when my friend and I walked, both times, and then again after we walked.  I was amazed that he could walk so many times in succession. There is an energy shift that happens, if you allow it, when  you walk the labyrinth .

I find that walking a labyrinth any more than two times in a day does not give me enough time for reflection, or contemplation of what has occurred. If we do not process the experience I feel it does not become integrated into our being.

What is your opinion on this matter?  Can you walk a labyrinth several times in one day and still get the full understanding and benefit of each walk?



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Hello Friends.. Time For The Monthly Labyrinth Walk Again

Walking the Labyrinth In Chartres

 The monthly labyrinth walk at the Centre for Spiritual Living Edmonton is this Friday, September 7, 2012!

So, are you wondering why I have a photo of myself walking the Chartres Labyrinth for this invitation?

This month my friend and colleague who leads the other team of labyrinth guardians is graciously leading my team… as I am in France, and will be joining the usual Friday walk in Chartres Cathedral.  In this lovely French town who’s Cathedral Cradles the prototype for the Centre For Spiritual Living’s Labyrinth they have open Labyrinth walks every Friday from Easter until about the end of September.    I will be joining pilgrims from all over the world in walking the labyrinth this Friday, instead of joining those who’s pilgrimage lead them to the Centre in Edmonton.

Please come to walk, and find your own moments of peace in Edmonton.. this Friday, September 7, 2012 between 7 and 9 pm.   Be adventuresome!! stay and dance, it is a totally different kind of meditation… with rhythm and words to shift your inner being instead of quiet thoughts.

My friends will be happy to see you! Think of me across the ocean when you walk.

Here are the directions to the centre if you need them: Directions to the Centre For Spiritual Living Edmonton.

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August Labyrinth Walk at the Centre For Spiritual Living.

Candle Lit Walk at the Centre for Spiritual Living Edmonton

Tonight, August 3, 2012 at 7 pm we will once again welcome those who would like to participate in the monthly labyrinth walk.  This has been a busy summer, and I have neglected my website.  Hopefully it is not too late to fit the usual first Friday of the Month labyrinth walk in for you.  I will be there welcoming people for an open walk from 7 to 9. If you want a more clear explanation of an open versus a guided walk, check out my previous post:  Labyrinth Walks… Open Walk or Guided Walk – Which do you prefer?

There is a beautiful full sized Chartres Labyrinth inlaid in the floor at the Centre, located at 7621-101 Ave. Edmonton.  This location is on the southside,  just west of the the intersection where 101 Ave crosses 75 St.   If you are travelling south on Wayne Gretzky Drive it turns into 75 St. at this intersection.  There is a map on the Centre’s website click here: Centre for Spiritual Living Edmonton .

I will be happy to see you there.  Come enjoy a few moments of quiet in the middle of our summer activities.. I will be taking a short break from the Blueberry Bluegrass Music Festival out at Stony Plain to host this walk.

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Where Can I Find Peace?

This is a question that I hear often:  Where can I find Peace ?… The question is a matter that resonates on a world, country, city, and personal level. How does a person find peace?   How will we find a solution to world peace?   The answer is found in each person’s own personal journey.  As each of us find personal peace the world will change.  It is, after all a decision by one person that determines whether the button is pushed to release a nuclear weapon, or that hand reaches out to strike another person.

The modern path to finding inner peace is an individual one.  Organized religions, (at least in North America) are loosing members consistently.  This means many more people are asking that question Where can I find peace? without a community to help them. They don’t want to be prescribed to, or follow a ritual that has no meaning so are left to find their way alone.

This sense of searching for peace, and knowing that peace begins with me, with transformation of the individual resonated with a group of people with whom I am attending a workshop We have been given a task, to sell something, and we decided that our product would be a win, win, win proposal. We are offering our own stories or tools to help you on your journey to peace within  ( a win for you), the purchase price of the item that we are selling will be donated to a charity in our own country ( a win for the Charity) and we will have the most online sales ( a win for us)  through you helping yourself and donating to a charity…When you click this link:  Where Can I Find Peace?  You will be taken to a page where you can purchase our collaborative item.  All of the funds raised through clicking my link will be donated to Crystal Kids, here in Edmonton.

We will forward you product then send you a final email with the amounts that we raised for each of our respective charities.

Thank you so much for participating!!!!

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Labyrinth Walks… Open Walk or Guided Walk – Which do you prefer?

Open Labyrinth Walk at the Centre for Spiritual Living

Centre For Spiritual Living Edmonton Labyrinth

Last night was the regular Open Labyrinth Walk at the Centre for Spiritual Living, Edmonton.  I am usually there giving a little five minute introduction to anyone who arrives that has not walked a labyrinth before. The first Friday of every month is the time when the labyrinth is “open”; each person may walk the labyrinth at their own pace between the hours of 7 pm and 9 pm.  Since it takes about thirty minutes to walk the labyrinth, it is best to arrive before 8:30 pm.  There is no guidance for the walk, other than the little introduction to those who have never walked a labyrinth before.  Each person is free to walk at their own pace, in their own way, respecting others and the sacred space.

This type of open labyrinth walk is only one way to experience the power of the labyrinth.

You could attend a Guided Labyrinth Walk.  This experience is more directed by the facilitator or leader of the walk.  There is a set beginning and end to the walk. People come at a set time, and there is a meditation or focus talk before the walk.  Then all persons in attendance walk the labyrinth together.  This means that that all participants have the same type of ideas in their minds during the labyrinth walk meditation, talk, or prayer.  Then during the walk their individual focus in on the same topic.  Combined with the act of walking the labyrinth this enhances the energy of the group thought on… for instance World Peace.   Afterward there is a group sharing or, perhaps personal reflection in a journal.

Guided Labyrinth Walks can have a variety of focus.  The talk before the  labyrinth walk  could be just about the  history of the labyrinth, about different methods of walking the labyrinth, or a meditation for self healing, forgiveness or setting intentions. The talk could also have world view as I mentioned before: A Labyrinth walk dedicated to World Peace. Sometimes a couple of labyrinth walks are included in a weekend workshop, to integrate the content being presented.  I have observed them being used in workshops on grief, on relationship improvement, for recognition of the cycles of the Christian Calendar, for Winter Solstice or Summer Solstice.

Walking a labyrinth can have many different flavors and forms.  Each experience is a deeply spiritual one, and the labyrinth can become your favored spiritual practice.

Do you have a preference between the self directed open labyrinth walk, and a guided walk with a focus?

Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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Visiting Nelson’s Lakeside Labyrinth

The Mist of Valican Valley

It has been almost eighteen months since my sister moved to the Valican Valley. This rural area close to Nelson, British Columbia is a slim strip of land that is cut by a river and hugged by mountains. The smell of cedar trees greeted us as we slipped through  the mist of low lying clouds into the valley.  It is very different from the prairie flatlands which they moved from, yet it has become a well loved home.  We were there on the day her family moved their treasures into their new home, and have not visited since.  My husband suggested a visit on a Tuesday and by Friday we were on the highway.

My sister planned a few activities while we were there, with my interests in mind… We visited the Nelson Waldorf School, (Twenty five years ago I trained as a Waldorf Teacher) AND we visited the Lakeside Labyrinth.  It was a joyful reunion with one of my fellow trainees. She pursued Waldorf Teaching for more years than I did, she is now a Master Teacher at the Nelson School.

The Sign At Lakeside Labyrinth

Lakeside Labyrinth is adjacent to Continue reading

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Mother Daughter Day 2012

It has been several years since our younger daughter has asked me to spend a day with her each spring.   We were both born early in the morning on Easter Monday… obviously different years. The day of the month is also not the same, because the holiday is based on the cycles of the moon, not a actual date.  Once a year we have a day to just be together in our own city.  We do various activities,  we go out for lunch, or breakfast, go to the museum, go to the city archives to search out family property history, or take a Legislative tour.  We have a pretty loose schedule. We each suggest ideas, and we ‘walk through the day’ together.

The first time we walked a labyrinth together because I wanted to, and this year because she wanted to. Our labyrinth of choice this year was “Turtle Rock Effigy Labyrinth” overlooking the North Saskatchewan River.  We took time to enjoy the park it is located in beforehand.  There is a path along the bank of the river with elegant lights. Reading the poems engraved on the shiny metal bands of the lamp posts was a thoughtful preparation for our labyrinth walk.

"My" Labyrinth Snow Angel

We stood at the entrance of the snow filled labyrinth considering, I am sure from very different viewpoints, the upcoming trip she was anticipating. She will be out of Canada for two months, fulfilling her dreams of working remotely, attending Green building conferences, making connections with people in the industry and Swing dancing throughout Europe.  Standing quietly at the entrance I watched her begin, walking ahead of me. There was a time in her life I led her, but no longer. She has become a woman of integrity living her life fully in the world, yet I am grateful she still cherishes this day together, as do I.   She paused on the path, and I passed.  There are times in life where she still welcomes my lead.  Then she joyfully, spontaneously created a snow angel in the center of the labyrinth!  What a wonderful reminder that our spiritual walk has joy and life in it.

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First Spring Labyrinth Walk In My Yard

Less Than a Week Ago, My Yard Looked Like This

Less Than a Week Ago, My Yard Looked Like This

Five days ago we had snow flurries, and I was wishing for spring, to see the flowers pushing through brown soil beside my front window. The warm weather has worked it’s magic  Yes!! I can see the labyrinth in my yard again!!

This evening I went out under the clear blue sky the sharp sliver of a moon crisp against the dark blue.  I left the house with an excited little dog, I have neglected him of late, and a night time walk down the lane was just the experience both of us were looking for.  It was dark and the rivers cutting through the mud on the driveway reflected dimly. The leftover piles of snow glowed as I sloshed along, letting Randy check out the trunk of every apple tree for the scent of strangers.

We returned to the house and I exchanged his leash for the tie out lead while I walked my yard labyrinth.  I felt excited anticipation standing at the entrance, feeling like I was coming to meet an old friend that I hadn’t seen for a while.  Walking into the labyrinth felt like I was coming home, but since the lines were partially covered with flattened still frozen grass I felt both familiarity and a little uncertainty.  Carrying a small flashlight I blinked it on once in a while when the line was too obscured. I came out feeling deep gratitude for my labyrinth walk, and realizing how clearly the awareness echoed my life right now.  Shifting responsibilities and relationships have left me feeling uncertain but grateful for my home and family.

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A Memorial Labyrinth

I have been thinking about building labyrinths again, since the ground is beginning to thaw, at least I thought so,  with the snow lately winter just seems to hang on to our part of the world.  I have been studying sacred geometry in connection with the labyrinth and Chartres, so I do know that there are some forms behind the construction of labyrinths, but I have not seen the method these people use.  The concentric circles with 4 offset ones may be their own method, or have some significance for the person for whom it was prepared.

Here is a write up they included with the video:  After Mary Sue passed on Oct 20, 2003, friends and family wanted to do something special to remember her. With a piece of land provided by the Erie Metroparks and McBride Arboretum, a design by her daughter Bethany, contributions, research and hard work from friends, especially Boy Scout Troop #44, troop leader Tom Lochotzki, Eagle Scout Eddie Skipka, and Kevon Aldridge who did the excavation and donated use of his Bobcat, the Labyrinth was dedicated on October 2, 2004. “The Circle Game” by Joni Mitchell, performed by Kevin Young provides background music.

Instead of a static headstone a place where others can come to walk a labyrinth, meditate and heal.  This idea appeals to me.  Something that would remind your loved ones of your interests, and engage them in a way that moves toward new beginnings.

Would this be a kind of memorial you would like for yourself?

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Hawaii Labyrinth Results

Wipers could not keep up with the rain

Actual View out our Windsheild. The wipers could not keep up with the rain.

I am back in the frozen north.  I left for Kauai with high hopes of making a sand labyrinth. I regretfully report it did not happen. 
I was amazed enthralled and sometimes intimidated by the wondrous forces of nature on this trip.  I had always thought that Hawaii did not have winter. In the past we have visited that amazing location during the dead of our winter, leaving minus 20 weather, with crunchy snow and biting winds to find mostly sunshine and warm weather.  
This time the weather showed me what Hawaii’s winter Continue reading

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