WHAT IS A LABYRINTH?
A labyrinth is a path for assisting mental focus that has been used by many cultures and religions throughout history. The holistic function of labyrinths is to further those who are on the path to a more balanced spiritual, emotional, physical and psychological well being.
A labyrinth has a single, winding, unobstructed path from the outside to the center, unlike a maze which has many dead ends and wrong choices designed to trick the mind. Therefore, the labyrinth is often seen as a metaphor for our spiritual "life" journey; many twists and turns but no dead ends. In other words, we always have the opportunity to make another choice in life or "turn" in the labyrinth.
The labyrinth is a powerful tool to help your mind and body relax. The chance to release both mental and physical tension by walking a labyrinth is there for each individual. In addition, those people who find it difficult to sit still and meditate or pray will find the perfect outlet in the moving meditation that is the labyrinth experience. It is at once kinesthetic and introspective, a complete mind-body integrative activity.
People have used labyrinths as oracles; places to receive answers to life's troubling questions and an oasis for the spirit. In other words, a place to receive wholesome "nourishment" for the spirit within by connecting with a divine nature; a situation not readily available in our usual day to day existence. It is also a tool that seems to be bridging the ever-widening gap between traditional religious ritual and new age spiritual practices.
In sum, a labyrinth is a playground for allowing our intuitions to take wing. So follow what comes into your head and your heart while inside the "walls" of the labyrinth; what many consider to be "Sacred Space."
A finger labyrinth is a labyrinth design that is cut into wood.
A finger labyrinth functions in much the same way as a walking labyrinth, except that the user traces the path to the center of the design using a "walking' finger rather than the feet. For many, this combination of movement (tracing the path with the finger) with introspection, is a more relaxing way to meditate or pray. For those of us whose meditation or devotion practice seems to ebb and flow from week to week, the finger labyrinth provides a wonderful opportunity to bring movement to the experience of these activities. The advantages of using a finger labyrinth are that they are portable, and (where paths are inlaid into the material), the "walking" finger can follow the "grooves" with the eyes closed. This enhances the introspective nature of the "journey" to the center. Relax For Life provides a variety of finger labyrinths to choose from.
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