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How to Find your Local Labyrinth for Walking Meditation

written by: Daniel P. McGoldrick • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 4/21/2009

In order to comprehend and appreciate the meaning of walking a labyrinth so that you can learn first-hand how exercise with this practice can reduce stress, you must locate the geometrical treasure first. This section of the labyrinth series will teach you how to find a nearby labyrinth.

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    Find One Near You

    I used the World – Wide Labyrinth Locator at http://labyrinthlocator.com/ which will work the best for anyone. I assumed there wouldn’t be any labyrinths within a reasonable distance of where I live in the relatively speaking more sparsely populated Helena, Montana; but I was surprised to find 26 within a couple of hundred miles and one right here in town. I was suddenly curious to go find out first-hand what might be special or worthwhile about walking a convoluted path within a circular sphere.

    Some were in places that are on my list to visit anyway. A lot are free and open to the public, behind churches or on private land where the owners welcome visitors (hedging their bets, no doubt, that Labyrinth seekers aren’t the vandalizing, destructive, disrespectful lot). Others are at private Wellness Centers that offer access at a nominal fee. Most of these stone, earthen, or vegetation ensconced pathways are traditionally modeled after the perfect, geometric properties of a circle. Some were situated in magnificent places with stunning views of mountains, in tranquil Cedar groves (which, just by themselves can induce a calm sense of well-being), or by the banks of a meandering river (which many use as a metaphor for the soul).

    Use the locator to find a Labyrinth near you. I decided to search in some more densely populated locations in our country since the vast majority of our nation’s populace inhabits the sprawls radiating outward from city centers. Therefore, it is logical to conclude that with more people, more people will be into this sort of thing and of course there will be more churches which is where a good deal of your labyrinths are found. For the ultimate expedition in experiencing the value this exercise has created for countless peoples over the centuries, plan a trip to go through the Chartres labyrinth walking meditation in France.

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    The Lure of the Labyrinth

    And I say "your labyrinths" on purpose because the stewards of these peace-promoting spheres welcome all regardless of different faiths and denominations (such discriminations would run counter to the desire for peace and harmony that they are supposed to espouse.) But bear in mind that there will be some fundamentally flawed humans virtually everywhere who find any means possible to fill the role of the charlatan and con-artist just out to get your money. Acceptance of this fact and the recognition of the spiritual malady that makes a person behave like that will reduce stress before you even get on the path.

    An unpleasant inner-life that you really wouldn’t envy is not what we’re after here. Anyway, the point is that there are indeed many more of these labyrinths within close range to the particular heavily populated areas I researched. This should bode well for the vast majority of folks in the U.S., since your chances of finding one of these carefully designed, mystical, and geometric forms are pretty good. On the other hand, I found one out here too so I just hope you can find one near you for a pleasant excursion.

    A little pilgrimage to a local or not so local labyrinth Mecca every so often would at the very least allow you to visit a new place and a change of scenery, in my opinion, is a great way to mitigate the stresses of your daily life. When you combine the value of physical exercise that untangles jumbled nerves with the smooth meditative focus of your mind you’ll be soothing your central nervous center. Your body will thank you for inducing calmness.

    Now, to find out the specific benefits of fitness walking within the labyrinth (which some claim to be magically sacred space) let’s move on to the next article in this series.

    Sources:008 

    http://labyrinthlocator.com/.

    http://www.angelfire.com/tn/SacredLabyrinth/

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Walking a Labyrinth to Reduce Stress: Discover the Ancient Lure

This five part series will will explain what a labyrinth actually is, how to find your local labyrinth, why and how this specific walking meditation reduces stress, and finally my personal, enlightening experience with walking the one I found near me. It may change your life for good.
  1. What is Labyrinth Walking?
  2. How to Find your Local Labyrinth for Walking Meditation