Labyrinths date back to early Crete, Egypt, Peru and India, and were used for ritual walking and spiritual contemplation. Dating back some 4,500 years, there are thousands to be found in various forms throughout the world, and hundreds in the U.S. The labyrinth is an archetype, a divine imprint, found in all religious traditions. They are known as sacred gateways. Historically they have been used both in group ritual and for private meditation and self discovery.
Unlike a maze, whose blind alleys require puzzle solving in order to exit, a labyrinth leads one on a circuitous path to its center and out again. Because there are no choices to be made in terms of direction, following a labyrinth’s path naturally fosters mental relaxation and introspection. Labyrinths have been, and continue to be fixtures at hospitals, schools, prisons, churches and parks.
We use labyrinths in our intensive therapy retreats.