The summer labyrinth at Kripalu. In spring the lupines and the wild flowers bloom in the spaces between the green shrubs. The path is brown dirt and shavings. The center holds memories and icons representing personal samskaras, cast there by dozens of pilgrims. The vista is expansive. The approach is long. An entrance gate allows you to step forth with a sense of ceremony.
And then, there is this winter walk within the stark gray pebbles and the white smooth stones – a feast of subtle sounds . A center of emptiness. So plain. Only the few green glass pebbles offer the pilgrim a chance to use worry beads – or to leave behind only debris that is found there. Look at this one as a study for construction details for wannabe engineers of circles and spirals. Open and expansive, uncluttered, it invites you in but it gives you lots of space.
Labryinth creators have a choice to invite you to enter right or to enter left. Although this one basically follows the most common clockwise pattern, it is possible to enter to the left, if you are so inclined. I leave it to another day, another research project, another insight of your own, to know whether you wish to begin your walk clockwise or counterclockwise during your next Walking Meditation.
This classic Chartres cathedral style labyrinth clearly shows the path in a clockwise rotation. The pathways and the center dais are carefully laid, brick by brick. Here the pilgrim has a sense of being enfolded, of comfort, and of the careful hand of the creator. Of these three examples, this one is in a quiet neighborhood but is only a few blocks from busy traffic . It offers respite. Many thanks to Mark Farmer for his photograph of the labyrinth in autumn.