- Religious Life
The public is invited to walk the labyrinth regularly in Houghton Chapel.
The Labyrinth is a circular pattern with one path that winds its way in a circuitous fashion into the center. Distinct from a maze, which is designed to confuse the walker, this labyrinth provides a clear, highly structured path that focuses and quiets the mind and opens the heart. Walking the labyrinth has become a practice that many people embrace to reduce stress, provide reflection and replenish our energy.
Labyrinths date back four to five thousand years. In the Middle Ages, many of the pilgrimage cathedrals had labyrinths. Once the crusades made it dangerous to travel, labyrinths became a symbolic way to enact the journey to Jerusalem. The only surviving medieval labyrinth is the Medieval Eleven-Circuit labyrinth inlaid in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France in the year 1201.
The use of labyrinths has been revived in the last 20 years, largely through the efforts of Dr. Artress, who is considered the founder of the modern labyrinth movement. Her book, Walking a Sacred Path; Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice is the standard introduction to the subject. A second book of Meditations is included in the Sand Labyrinth Kit and her third book The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Using the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform was published in March 2006. Lauren is the Founder of Veriditas, Inc.(http://www.veriditas.net), a non-profit dedicated to the transformation of the human spirit.
Today the labyrinth is a transformational tool for reconnecting people of all faiths with their spiritual grounding.