The Labyrinth: Requirement

Labyrinths not only invite us, but once we have accepted the invitation to look at them, to walk one, to trace one with our fingers, or even to go out into the land and make one, they begin to require something of us.  I’ve seen folks come up to the edge of a labyrinth and just look.  That, all by itself, can be a meditative and healing experience of witness.  I’ve also see people come to the edge, hesitating, beginning, retreating, trying, doubting.  One can almost see the back and forth dialogue in their minds.

Beach labyrinth

Patrick family beach labyrinth, Thanksgiving 2013.

When our family is able to go the beach, we almost always build a labyrinth while we are there.  In this rather public sort of place, people come along and ponder the invitation.  Children accept it without hesitation and run right into the labyrinth. They discover immediately that it requires something of them–to follow their feet, which must follow the path–or else they fall down.  They often stop and look to see just what the The Labyrinth is requiring of them.  Their parents and other adults, on the other hand, often stand outside the labyrinth, weighing whether this is something they should do.

Our souls will bring us to a labyrinthine journey.  The soul’s labyrinthine journey often includes both an incredible desire to jump into the adventure and real hesitation and fear of what it may do to us.  The soul knows.  Following it’s call into The Labyrinth will, in fact, require much,  and it will change us.  Once we have answered the soul’s call to the journey, there will be twists and turns, apparent progress which becomes apparent regress.  One may receive a glimpse of the center toward which one moves and then lose it or think it a mirage.

The Labyrinth requires just this one thing:  take the next step.  Taking the next step starts the journey.  Taking the next step is the only way to make the journey.  Taking the next step is what brings us to center, to home.

Bob Patrick

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