A labyrinth, like life, is a path. The labyrinth represents a journey to our own center and back again out into the world. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools. It has been said that the labyrinth is an intriguing tool for understanding our psychological and spiritual journey.
On paper, labyrinths look like mazes but they are in fact different. With a maze, one encounters blocks, surprises and cannot see beyond the corners. A person walking a labyrinth is able to see the center – the Sacred. There are no blockages. There is only one path. A labyrinth walker will see that the center is an achievable goal. The twists and turns of a labyrinth symbolize our own twists and turns in life, but eventually we know that with determination, we will get into that center where GOD resides.
As one writer puts it, “The labyrinth design clearly symbolized the tortuous path that the good Christian followed towards redemption, and the pattern of Christ’s own preordained life and inevitable fate, and in this role they would have served a contemplative purpose, an allegory of medieval Christian life.”
Labyrinths are found not only in churches, but in retreat centres, hospitals as well as in public and private gardens.