Guidelines for a walk in the practice of mindfulness *
- Set an intention. Focus the walk on a question / theme, or simply commit to experiencing your experience.
- Attune to your emotions and attitude. Give yourself permission to feel and respond honestly and openly.
- Prepare by focusing your awareness in the present. Quiet your mind and become attuned to your breath.
- Follow the pace your body wants to go. Your stride may change throughout the different stages.
- Feel free to move around others or let others move around you. This is easiest to do on the turns.
- The path is a two-way street: people may be coming out as you go in. Do what feels natural when you meet.
- If you are walking as a group, allow a minute for others who are entering or exiting before you start.
- Parents are expected to supervise their young children, especially if others are walking.
- Be respectful of others, it’s an individual and shared experience. There is no right way to walk a labyrinth.
As taught by Lauren Artress there are three stages to the walk:
Releasing (the journey within)
Let go of details, distractions and extraneous thoughts as you symbolically shed your skin. Open the heart and quiet the mind. Find a natural pace to engage in your experience.
Receiving (at center)
When you find yourself in the heart of the labyrinth, stay as long as you like. Sit or stand. It is a sacred space for meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
Returning (coming back to life)
When you leave the center, follow the same path back out. It’s ok to leave some things behind. Allow the insights, lessons, intangibles to sink in. Re-emerge with what you have received.
* Original Guidelines © Veriditas 2010. Adapted and expanded by Lars Howlett. Used with permission. www.veriditas.org
I have also used the See, Savor & Save approach which I adapted from sermons at All Souls Church, DC: