Lon Retreat Farm Labyrinth
By Sue Hanley
A Little History
Labyrinths aren't mazes, they are usually symmetrical circuits made of concentric circles. They have been found outside ancient Egyptian grave sites, as massive stone structures in Scandinavia and in Roman mosaics. Their purposes range just as widely as their countries of origin. People now walk a labyrinth for reflection, spiritual connection and as a great alternative to regular meditation if you can't sit still!
Our Farm Labyrinth
Several years ago friends encouraged us to create a labyrinth on the farm. The location was important. It seemed that the hollow in Gill's Paddock, (named after the previous owner the first postmaster in Point Lonsdale) called to us as the place! A simple grass labyrinth with flowering bulbs to create seasonal interest has slowly evolved.
A Labyrinth Meditation
A farm Labyrinth consists of walking to the centre of the circuit (rosette), pausing there in silence, then leaving the way you came. Your inner work mirrors your physical journey. Start by looking inward and letting the world beyond the path ahead of you fall away. When you reach the rosette, stop and decide if there is anything you would like to reflect on, a prayer or an intention. Take as much time as you need. When you leave, do so with a newfound sense of power and purpose, so that by the time you are outside the labyrinth you feel refreshed and ready to resume your everyday life.
Sue's Labyrinth Wander
I like to wander down the hill, pausing to look at the Proteas, feeling the wind, seeing the birds above, then as I move through the gap in the Moonah trees I slow my walk and feel the connection with the earth. I like to 'ground' each step and ask my body to slow and set my rhythmic pace. As I ponder my life today, I ask the spirit to guide me as I slowly move to the rosette, then I sit on the log to be still, become aware of my breath and the sounds around me. I pray for those I love and other intentions then I say to myself 'let go and let God' -all those things I am concerned about or have been ruminating over! Let go....
As I rise from the log I give thanks for the quiet moments of peace and the blessings of this day and wander along the circuit enjoying the flowering bulbs which next season will return to flower again. I become aware of the circle of life and head for home, generally puffing up the hill!
Labyrinths are an incredibly versatile tool - they aren't problem solvers, but they provide us with a simple template for meditation and prayer.