A Peaceful Path
If you sometimes feel your hectic life has you going in circles, try an ancient means of seeking peace: walking a circular path.
You'll be traversing a labyrinth, a circuitous, winding path that symbolizes both a pilgrimage and a person's journey through life. The Xavier Retreat and Conference Center in Convent Station has an outdoor labyrinth that's open to the public year-round, as well as an indoor labyrinth, open at select times. The latter is patterned after the most famous labyrinth in Western culture, the one in France's Chartres Cathedral, built circa 1200.
How does it work? "You begin with an intention. The act of walking mindfully, of simply putting one foot in front of the other, helps quiet your mind and calm your body," says Sister Anita Constance, director of the Xavier Center. The labyrinth is not a maze where one can get lost, but a single path that guides a walker to the center and out again.
Labyrinth walking has a long history across many cultures, from ancient Greece to early Native American to Jewish mystical texts. "We welcome believers of all faith traditions," says Sister Anita. Intrigued? Learn more when she gives a labyrinth presentation called "Sacred Pattern, Sacred Path" on June 8 and 9.