“My experience of the labyrinth was, and continues to be truly profound. I remember witnessing a friend seeing the sea for the first time. Their life was changed forever. I can’t give magnitude to the shift that happened within me the first time I walked through the labyrinth. I want to thank Emily for bringing it to us and to all those who will help make it a permanent fixture in this sacred part of the park.”
- Zoe James
At 11am on Remembrance Day, I stood still in the silent Labyrinth while all around me the park came alive with the calls of birds and humans. As the minute lengthened, the bird calls and voices became louder and louder reminding me that even when I think it has stopped life does go on …
- Adele Mitchell
A woman brought her daughter to the labyrinth walk. This long limbed, faun-like 13 year old was one of the first to enter the labyrinth and spent the entire time sitting in one of the petals in the centre, soaking up it’s stillness with her own. One of the last people to leave the labyrinth was an older woman, a wise and juicy crone who began to dance with a gentle, lilting reverie. We were blessed to witness the lovely contrast of wisdom dancing her way through the labyrinth, while innocence held the centre. What a gift for that girl to have in years to come – the image of an older woman, dancing her path with joy.
- Emily Simpson
It is now well-recognised that walking a labyrinth fosters a state of mindful attentiveness, which is relaxing, refreshing and potentially insightful. The potential benefits (of the labyrinth at Westmead Children’s Hospital) to patients, families, staff and local community members include provision of psychological and emotional support, relief of stress and support for grieving and commemoration. The potential benefits to the public at large of a freely accessible labyrinth in Centennial Park are significant. Hopefully there is now a growing understanding and acceptance by the community of Sydney of the value of walking a labyrinth purposefully as a safe, easy and rewarding source of relaxation, refreshment and insight. I commend Emily’s proposal and wish her every success.
- Dr Michael Stevens AM, FRACP ( Senior Staff Specialist, Oncology Unit, Westmead Children’s Hospital) Read his full letter here
This idea deeply touches my heart. It reminds me of when they had the “Peace Park” area and I so wanted the park to keep that beautiful sacred place. It seems like they are now achieving something truly in tune with people’s hearts amongst the head spinning craziness of Sydney…..what a wonderful place to come and feel like you are home.
- Jilly Gabrielson
Having discovered labyrinths earlier this year, I was keenly in need of its transformative effects. The days leading up to the walk were insane. Instead of the promised reindeers, a Christmas mania had descended on our house, with my husband taking to bed with pleurisy (that thing people got 200 years ago…. until now – a week before Xmas!!!) while I shopped, wrapped, cooked, carolled, planned for the big day, did the rounds of family events and running kids to concerts and end of year activities….. whilst trying to wrap up my work for the year. The all-nighter at emergency with husband was the thing that tipped me from festive Christmas cheer into a screaming Christmas banchee. The mania at Westfield didn’t help. I was going to take an axe to my head if I had to go to another shop and hear another cash register ring out in Christmas triumph this year.
So as I drove to the labyrinth, wondering why we pursue with increasing fervour the hunt of the present buy, I thought my head was going to explode. Surely this wasn’t what Mary & Joseph had in mind when they knocked on the manger door? And then I walked the ancient meditative path. And it transformed the madness of Christmas in & around me. I came out centred, dare I say it peaceful & lit. My exhaustion had turned to renewed energy, my fractured nerves had turned to serenity. I no longer needed to divorce my husband for his ill-timed pleurisy and lack of support in the mad rush. And it struck me that this seemed the far saner Christmas package, the one I wanted this year. Finding a peaceful place in me, connecting to my own spark & joy. An act of stillness and tranquillity. Now there’s a revolutionary idea! - Julie Phillis Read Julie’s complete blog
I remember how I used to dislike walking the labyrinth with others, wondering how I was going to get past the slower ones, or pass by someone coming the other way and lose my way in the process, or wondering whether I should smile or not on meeting. I can’t remember when it all changed – now I love walking the labyrinth with others. I enjoy the dance of getting round people, the walking beside someone until our paths diverge, the occasional smile or touch from another. I enjoy being my self in the labyrinth whilst sharing it with others. I’ve walked a lot of labyrinths, no two the same. They’ve been in all sorts of settings and made of all sorts of materials. What is the same is that I can remember them all, and how it was to walk them. When I remember them I can feel myself sinking into the memory, my body relaxing. Perhaps they’ve become imprinted on my being. Life needs treasured memories. - Heather Keens
Labyrinth ? I had heard vaguely about a Labyrinth and going to see what one was, at the Mosman Art Gallery , was simply amazing walking into a space , which had the canvas replica of a Labyrinth laid out . Little did I know that this ancient walk of silence was about to awaken me to another level of just being . I felt peace, love, together (for a change) , grounded and simply at ease during and after the walk . This is a practice of meditation / contemplation that I for one, will follow, and I hope many others will benefit. - Ray Hansen
Thank you for the wonderful labyrinth walk – the first time I’ve actually been able to experience the Chartres labyrinth – and I loved all the candles and the music. And so glad you are providing this opportunity every month – have put the dates in my diary. It is a very soothing experience and yes, I see what you mean about the way in being a process of release yet quietening the mind at the same time. - Diana O’Shea
Last night when arriving at the Labyrinth walk, I felt unsettled and rushed and it was a reflection of the festive season speed on the roads and my own internal road. By the end of the evening, my husband and I (we both did the walk) left with a sense of feeling re-grouped, at peace and connected. Not easy to put into words but great to do it, it is fully an experience that I recommend to everyone, at least once in their lives. - Sonia Ortega
I knew I would love it. It took me to a wonderful place of deep serenity and I would only be lying a little bit if I said it was better than sex. Though it didn’t take nearly as much effort. I say this because you know after sex those moments when you are lying in that space of deep serenity. Thats the bit thats better than sex as I got there really quickly on the labyrinth walk and it lasted for hours. Or my other analogy: it looks like a small intestine and works like a small intestine. I went in all sharp edges and angles and came out all floppy and soft. - Tanya Excell