Facilitated group walks are usually held at the Centennial Park Labyrinth at 9am on the first Sunday of every month. While these walks are on hold for the foreseeable future, the labyrinth is still there for you. A place of refuge and sanctuary in complicated times. You can use it as a contemplative tool to walk your way into the bigger picture, releasing anxieties on the way in, aligning with what truly matters as you pause in the centre, like a tuning fork between earth and sky, then following the path back out into the world, weaving into your being any insights/metaphors you may have noticed. Walking meditation helps to remind us that what’s in the way, is the way.
May you be well and happy. May you walk in peace and know yourself to be beloved on the earth, held and blessed by all that is.
(With thanks to Gretchen Chapelle for this glorious image)
In addition to our regular monthly walks, Sydney Labyrinth are now offeringwalks to mark the Solsticeat the earlier times of 7am in Summer and 8am in Winter, when the park is even more peaceful. Guided by psychotherapist, Heather Keens and meditation teacher, Susanne Jones, these misty morning meanders are the perfect opportunity for you to quiet your mind, listen to your heart and clarify intentions for your path.
Come and experience the profound metaphor of the labyrinth in a group setting. It’s an opportunity to learn more about the labyrinth and to remind yourself what it is to simply be in community in a gentle, peaceful way. These events are free and open to all. The labyrinth is on Dickens Drive. Go to the location page for directions and sign up to our newsletter to receive updates about all labyrinth events.
Let the heartsick, let the empty,
let the searching come. Let the hopeless,
let the blissful, let the forsaken come.
When the days unspool on dark reel after
another, come. When sorrow haunts
the corners of the house, when the hours stack
like dirty plates, when solitude
becomes loneliness, come to the labyrinth.Continue reading →
Dr John James, architect, historian and psychotherapist talks about labyrinths. He is a world expert on the Chartres Cathedral and its labyrinth and helped us get the geometry right for the Centennial Park Labyrinth. In this interview he offers some fascinating insights on astrology and the labyrinth. You can read an in depth article written by John in 1972 on the labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral here: 36 labyrinth. To find out more about this remarkable man go to http://www.johnjames.com.au/
Things are going well with preparations for the construction of Australia’s first sandstone labyrinth and it looks like it will be completed early next year. This is a surprisingly complex thing to build – with over 1500 individual pieces of stone, every detail needs to be perfectly aligned for it to work. The good people at Centennial Parklands are ensuring that it will be on a par with the other significant stone labyrinths in the world – the one at the Chartres Cathedral in France and the one at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. In the meantime, before construction actually begins, there will still be a labyrinth painted onto the field for you to walk.
I first walked a labyrinth in May 2009 at the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Like many who have never experienced one before, I had assumed it would be like a maze, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw its simple beauty and actually walked it…and walked it…again and again and came back the next day to walk it some more, slower and slower. I felt reeled in by its mystery, held by the structure of its winding path and liberated by the stillness at its heart. I fell in love with the labyrinth and the whole idea of walking meditation.
I’d been in a sort of emotional cocoon for sometime after a series of sudden leavings and endings and many of my definitions of self had simply fallen away. It wasn’t until I walked the labyrinth that I felt the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. Somehow the rhythm of its path gave me back a spiritual pulse. I felt held by the structure of its winding path and received by the mystery at its heart.
I hadn’t felt this lit up about anything for years and read every book I could find on the subject. Realising that there were no public labyrinths in Sydney, I created a proposal for the Board of Trustees of Centennial Park to inspire them to build one. Providing public spaces for contemplation is more important now than ever before. We need a new paradigm for non-denominational sacred space and opportunities to centre, calm and remember ourselves.
On the first day of Spring last year, my proposal to build a sandstone labyrinth in Centennial Park was approved by the Centennial Parkland Trustees. We now begin the journey of gathering the $500,000 required to build it. Based on the design of the 800 year old labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France, the Sydney labyrinth will be a thing of great beauty – a significant public artwork in an iconic Sydney park.
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