Friday, July 11, 2008

Labyrinth Experience

This blogging business is much harder than it looks. I was all excited and created my first one and then haven't posted anything for over 2 months. Maybe my life is simply too uneventful to contain anything worth reading.

However, I did have a meaningful experience this week walking a labyrinth that I was amazed to find out is in the Bismarck area. But first a little background for those of you new to what labyrinths are. I've always been interested in puzzles and mazes are just one type of puzzle I grew up with and enjoyed as a pastime. Mythology has also been a long time interest and Theseus and the Minotaur was a familiar story of a hero going into a maze or labyrinth to defeat the Minotaur that dwelled at the labyrinth center.

But it wasn't until a "Touched by an Angel" episode on TV several years ago that I was introduced to the use of labyrinths as a spiritual enlightenment tool. Most of the puzzle type mazes or labyrinths are multicursal which means there are multiple paths some of which lead to dead ends. The spiritual type of labyrinths are usually unicursal which means there is only one path albeit a very long and winding one. To traverse a unicursal labyrinth all you need is a little patience and trust in the "path".

After the introduction from the TV show I didn't really think of labyrinths much after that. There wasn't any in my area that I knew of and I didn't know when I would ever be somewhere that had one. Then in a recent issue of Guideposts magazine there was an article about labyrinths as well and a reference to a web site to where you can search for labyrinths in a given area. Would you believe we have one right here in Bismarck at the Benedictine Sisters of Annunciation Monastery located at the University of Mary? Information about this labyrinth can be found at

So during my lunch break this week I went over to this site and walked it myself, it is open to the public during daylight hours every day of the year. It was, please pardon the pun, aMAZEing. Labyrinths are wonderful tools of reflection. As you walk slowly along the path you have plenty of time to purge any distractions and open yourself to seek a communion with God. You are proceeding toward a goal (center of the maze) which is much like our spiritual walk in our lives. You can pray, you can reflect, you can just enjoy the peaceful serenity of "getting away" from the daily routine. I truly enjoyed my walk towards the center which took about 15 minutes of normal walking speed. Once I got to the center I paused spending some time in quiet prayer, thanking God for the experience and the people that worked so hard to construct the labyrinth. My walk out was much faster and more purposeful as I found myself refreshed and renewed and ready to face once again the pressures and stress of the rest of my day.

Labyrinths are amazing things and I encourage you to try them out if you ever have the opportunity. I pray you will find yourself closer to God or at the very least a refreshing break from a busy life.


Steve at Random said...

Randy...interesting article. I did the corn maze years ago with the church youth group but was too confined even in a field of corn. I suffer from clautrophobia so I don't like mazes. I tried to be a fireighter once when I was a young man living in Baker, Montana, but I failed when I couldn't crawl into a test trailer...I got my head in and that was all. Keep up the blog and may the muse be with you. You have a natural gift as a writer.

randymeiss said...

that's the beauty of this, is it's all open. It's more of path, there are no walls making it perfect for claustrophobic types.

DVD said...

Hey Hey! Good to see you in the exciting blogging world!

randymeiss said...

DVD, I finally figured out who you are! I bet your parents planned it that way. yeah right. like they even had DVDs back then. Cool Initials! I want to change my name now.