Labyrinth walking involves a meditative walk along a set circular pathway that goes to the centre and comes back out. Labyrinths can also be “walked” online or on a grooved board following the curved path with a finger.
Life is not always easy, and our dreams are not always fulfilled in the manner we first anticipated.
Yet, like on a labyrinth, each step along the path leads us closer to our destined goal, even when that goal is unexpectedly different that we once imagined.
Life happens. People change. Illness, injury or even death occurs when we are least prepared and are most vulnerable.
Meditation is often recommended for those diagnosed with cancer to help reduce stress, to gain perspective, and to work through emotions. Walking a labyrinth is helpful for those who have trouble with conventional meditation and is very easy and can be done by anyone, which makes it perfect for children with cancer.
Labyrinth Walking: A Journey of the Body, Mind, and Soul
A History of Labyrinth Walking
Labyrinths are ancient patterns found all over the world, and while it is uncertain as to their origin, the Hopi Indians of North America had a symbol for Mother Earth known today as the “Classical Seven-Path Labyrinth.” It was this symbol of the Mother which identified the sacred in nature – that spiraling form found throughout nature. Labyrinths were woven into objects to personify man’s connection to his source and were often placed at sacred places in nature to remind him of this union. When one walks the labyrinth it is in recreating this very ancient expression of thanks and remembrance of the divine in all things.
Our ancestors knew that the divine in nature was an extension of their own humanity and depended on this relationship to support their very existence. The Labyrinth is an extension of man’s desire to co-create with nature. When man consecrates space in nature as sacred he heals a part of himself.
The earth has the capacity to heal us just as we have this capacity to heal the earth, it is a symbiotic relationship. In ages past when people worked closely with the earth the first and best fruits of the harvest were always returned to the Mother in thanks for her many gifts
Labyrinths are temples that enhance and balance and bring a sense of the sacred – a place where we can
confirm our unity with the cosmos, awaken our vital force and elevate our consciousness.
Spiraling inward and out, this serpentine flow is the most generative form of subtle energy. The process of moving through the pathway unwinds this stored energy, releasing, magnifying, and ultimately harnessing the flow.
Working directly in conjunction with the human energy fields this spiraling flow interacts with the kundalini energy coiled at the base of our spine converting the subtle energy into life force itself.
This uncoiling of the kundalini vitalises us through a process of unfolding both upwards and inwards, an exhalation and in-gathering of energies known as the dance of creation.
Resonating to the vibration of “seven” the Classical Labyrinth has a direct correlation with the primary Chakras, Tones on the scale, and Colors of the Rainbow. Equated with the brain, many cultures believed that the labyrinth could cure illness.
Today the labyrinth is known to have a curative effect on certain ailments by producing a sense of well-being and balance through a type of vestibular stimulation, accessing both left and right hemispheres of the brain.
In the Middle Ages, walking a cathedral labyrinth was a substitute for going on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Not everyone could make the long and arduous journey to the Holy Land, so walking a labyrinth in a church was a devotional activity.
Today meandering labyrinths are often used as walking meditations, to focus the mind and put the walker in tune with the greater reality metaphorically represented by the labyrinth.
Because labyrinth walking has only recently been used in a health care context, there are relatively few scientific studies on the subject.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of Holistic Nursing concluded more study was needed into the exact physical effects of the activity.
It noted, however, that the majority of cancer patients in the study continued to walk the labyrinth after the study was over — an indication that they found some benefit.
Read more about how Labyrinth Walking fits in as a Complementary Therapy, possible side-effects and risks etc., on our static Complementary & Alternative Therapies page, Labyrinth Walking
Please note that the Little Fighters Cancer Trust shares information regarding various types of cancer treatments on this blog merely for informational use. LFCT does not endorse or promote any specific cancer treatments – we believe that the public should be informed but that the option is theirs to take as to what treatments are to be used.
Always consult your medical practitioner prior to taking any other medication, natural or otherwise.