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Archive for March, 2013

Walking a Labyrinth

I am a seeker. I’m looking for understanding and awareness of the universe around me. I’m also a big reader.  A few years ago, I devoured at least 10 metaphysical books in a row and one of them featured the concept of mindful walking, a practice that can be more accessible than meditation with similar results. It also talked about the mindful walking of labyrinths. This blew my mind. The title of the book escapes me now but it mentioned a famous design right in my hometown at the Center for Spiritual Living in Santa Rosa! I followed the source link in the book and it took me to the Santa Rosa Labyrinth Foundation. I read about the designer Dr. Lea Goode-Harris and her most famous design, the Santa Rosa Labyrinth*. (Learn more about what labyrinths are and their mysterious place in history.)

Yew Hedge Maze

Yew Hedge Maze by Ayla87 on stock.xchng

I had no idea that labyrinths can be flat to the ground. When I hear the word labyrinth, I think of tall hedges and mazes. I think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and the movie Labyrinth with David Bowie. Ever since I read the book, I’d been meaning to take that mindful walk but had never gotten around to it. Santa Rosa Labyrinth’s office is in the center of town and often, when I have a meeting closeby, I’d see the door to the office and it would remind me of my desire to take that walk.

A friend of mine invited me to attend a service at the Center of Spiritual Living one recent Sunday. As I waited for her outside the front door, my eyes sought out the pattern on the ground (the labyrinth outside is not designed by Dr. Goode-Harris). Once I saw it, I thought, “Should I walk it now?” I decided I wanted to be alone with my thoughts, unrushed during my exploration. Not 48 hours later, labyrinths found me.

I’m a social media trainer by trade and just two days later I taught a Pinterest class for the City of Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks Department. The next day I received an email from Dr. Lea Goode-Harris. She had attended my class the night before and had questions about my services. When I saw the web link at the bottom of her email, I knew immediately who she was. I told her how I’d been thinking about her design for years and had spotted another labyrinth just days before. We both marveled at the way the world works. She even invited me to walk the pattern at her own home. I’m excited about that as I imagine the conversation she and I will have before and after.

Santa Rosa Labryinth Center of Spiritual Living

A Labyrinth at the Center of Spiritual Living

In case you are wondering, I walked a labyrinth for the first time just days later. I’ve walked it several times since and I invite you to slow down and experience the journey.

Center of the Santa Rosa Labyrinth

My journey to the center of a labyrinth

*The Santa Rosa Labyrinth has now been made throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia, and travels through Wales on canvas. Major installations with the Santa Rosa design include a reclaimed hazardous waste site at Standing Bear Native American Park, in Ponca City, OK (Installation by Marty Kermeen), Minitab Statistical Software Company in State College, PA, and the American Psycholigical Association eco-friendly green roof top garden in Washington, DC.

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