What is a labyrinth?
- Throughout the ages, in every culture and on every continent, labyrinths have been created in natural settings and in places of ceremony, worship and healing to bring communities together.
- They have been used through the ages to offer a way for contemplation and self-discovery, to access intuition and wisdom beyond the conscious mind.
- There are many varying symbolic forms or sizes of labyrinths, each created as a path of significance, with one way in to the centre and one way out.
- All you need to do is follow the path and trust it will lead you to the centre.
Are there different types of labyrinths?
There are many different types and forms of labyrinths- as described here: https://labyrinthsociety.org/about-labyrinths
What is the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?
A Labyrinth is different to a Maze:
- A maze is a complex branching puzzle that includes choices of path and direction.
- You can get lost in a maze as it may have several entrances and exits, and dead ends and can be challenging, frustrating, or even frightening.
- A labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the centre then back out the same way, with only one entry and exit point.
- You can’t get lost in a Labyrinth as there is only one path, and while it does have twists and turns, it has no dead ends so you can’t get lost.
How did you choose the design?
In 2016, Projects of Heart & Soul WA Inc launched an expression of interest process to seek a design attracting a number of worthy designs. The winner of the EOI was a design from Safehaven Studios (Alex & Nicole Mickle) in collaboration with Earthcare Landscapes (Doug Collins). The selection process was arduous and the main features of the winning design were the use of local materials (Donnybrook Stone) and cobblestones for the outer rim of the labyrinth and exposed aggregate for the main path which would provide longevity of the materials and a natural look. Wide pathways were incorporated leading into the labyrinth to allow for wheelchair accessibility throughout.
How do you walk a labyrinth?
Nari Jones is former Secretary & Chairperson of Projects of Heart & Soul WA Inc and writes:
“A labyrinth invites us to quiet contemplation. It is a cross-cultural, non-denominational sacred space. It is a path we can walk alone while being alongside others. As we walk the inevitable twists and turns, we are ultimately brought to the centre, to our own centre. Our breath slows, & the relaxation response means we are able to be present with ourselves & our surroundings. Moving quietly, step by step, as we make our way back out, along the very same path we came in on, allows space to pause, remember & authentically respond to what is going on in our lives, rather than simply react in stress. It invites a way through the chaos & complexity. We are able to feel possibilities and gather our resources for the onward journey”.
During a typical walk through the labyrinth, which may take about 20 minutes to complete, the mind quiets, the breath slows and time stretches out. The relaxation response brings slower breathing, a slower heart rate, and lower blood pressure. Much like swinging in a swing, walking the labyrinth provides a centreing experience.
Other resources: https://www.peacelabyrinth.org/how-to-walk-the-labyrinth
Where can I find a labyrinth?
Australian Labyrinth Network has a Find a Labyrinth page where Bunbury Garden Labyrinth is listed along with many other labyrinths across Australia.
The Labyrinth Society website has a Worldwide Labyrinth Locator where you can select a town, country or region to find labyrinths throughout the world: