Walk With Purpose Through the Labyrinth at Copper Beech
The circular stone labyrinth on the grounds of our West Hartford retreat center is a place for walking meditation, where we can be quiet, introspective and gain new insights on ourselves. Both the labyrinth and circle are ancient symbols of wholeness, as well as the fullness of life to which each of us are called. Nearly every spiritual tradition throughout the ages has found in the circle a hopeful expression of the healing and completeness that is our deepest spiritual identity.
The History of Labyrinths
While labyrinths date back more than 4,000 years, the medieval labyrinth that ours is based upon dates to the Middle Ages. When medieval pilgrims were unable to undertake a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, they would go instead to one of many pilgrimage sites throughout Europe. There, they would often convene at a labyrinth formed of stone in the floor of a Gothic cathedral. Within the safety of the cathedral, they would walk the labyrinth, symbolic of their life’s journey to the divine.
Spirituality of a Labyrinth
Life is full of twists and turns. Unexpected events can take us in directions that may surprise and even stress us. Learning to respond to these events with grace and resilience is the work of spirituality. Walking mindfully through the labyrinth, we become aware that each step is an opportunity to practice peace. So often in life, we walk in order to get somewhere else or accomplish a task. In the labyrinth we walk in order to walk. We no longer walk to get there; we walk to arrive here in the now. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has only one path leading from its entrance to its center and back out, albeit by a winding route. As we walk with deep care and attention, we practice trusting that we are always being guided safely to our home in this moment.
Copper Beech Labyrinth Programs
The Copper Beech Institute labyrinth is available to guests at any time while you are on retreat or when visiting campus. Our labyrinth programs are those that specifically include a labyrinth walk as part of the program.