At the International House of Reiki Tomah Retreat
We were blessed in our labyrinth making.
If you’ve never walked a labyrinth the whole idea might sound weird or new agey – but this is not the case. The seven ringed labyrinth that we built at the Tomah Retreat Centre was a ‘replica’ (lets not get too carried away with ourselves here) of the seven ringed labyrinth that was found on a 4th century BC coin from Crete. The popularity of the labyrinth reemerged in the middle ages, especially in the churches across Europe, and today we are experiencing that same renewed interest. Why?
Entering the labyrinth is said to be womblike in nature. This correlation to the female form relates to the symbolic worship of the female form in Cretan times. This is not say that women were thought to be better or more powerful than men – in fact some researchers believe that this period of history experienced an equality of the sexes that is unheard of today. The female form symbolized renewal and rebirth and this natural cycle of life and death was revered as the basic understanding of existence.
When we walk a labyrinth we start at birth and we begin to walk a single path that is twisted and windy with no apparent end. We know there is a centre and if we become too focused on reaching it the path can seem long and even disappointing. We think we are almost at the centre and feel excitement or relief only to find that as we turn a corner we are taken in the opposite direction and we lose sight of the centre again. Once we do reach the centre – elation is soon over. What happens now? – We must walk that same path back again! On returning to the entrance of our labyrinth we are at the same place we began and yet we have experienced much over the last 15 minutes – highs and lows, deep meditation, frustration, peace and anything else you might like to add.
In fact, it is as if we never moved but something inside of us has moved. All of these experiences are representations of how we live our lives and each person will find the labyrinth opens new and personal understandings. We are always learning in life and it is not necessary for us to reach outside of ourselves, the labyrinth is the inner journey.
Now we wait for our plants to grow
Thank you to all of you who have helped with the making of the labyrinth. On the second day someone came across a very large piece of old wood at the neighbours (what were you guys up to?) which had a point that fitted into a hole at the centre of the labyrinth. Interestingly this old wood had the curves of a goddess. She has found her new home and is happily ensconced at the centre of our spiritual landscape.
Oh, and it rained so beautifuly after we were finished. Truly blessed.
Bronwen and Frans Stiene are the co-founders of the International House of Reiki and co-authors of The Reiki Sourcebook, The Japanese Art of Reiki, Your Reiki Treatment, The A-Z of Reiki Pocketbook and the Reiki Techniques Card Deck. Bronwen and Frans teach in the USA, Europe and Australia. Visit the Courses page to find a course near you.