The zen of walking labyrinths – UPDATE #6

*Updates since the previous update are shown in bold. One of my favorite pastimes for both relaxation and contemplation is to walk a labyrinth. These sinuous structures are not same as mazes, as the goal is to enjoy the journey along the pathway, not to find a way of escaping. That journey, in itself, is one of the most zenful aspects of labyrinths.

Botanic Garden Labyrinth in Traverse City, Michigan

Labyrinths vary in size, scale, length, design, and construction. To date, I’ve walked ones constructed of stone pavers, dirt with rock edges, shrubs, painted/decorative cement, crushed stone with rock edges, wood chips with stone edges, dried mud, and even crushed stone edged with metal (see images throughout). Quite a few have solar lighting around them which adds more magic, mystique, and spirituality to the visit.

Labyrinth at Canossian Spirituality Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico

The best resource for finding labyrinths in your area is the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator on the web. Often, they can be found in parks, at places of worship, hospitals, schools, and similar locations. Sometimes, privately owned labyrinths may be visited too, provided you first contact the property owner for permission.

Labyrinth at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

Though they may appear the same initially, each labyrinth is unique unto itself. The setting, the design, the construction, and the surroundings all influence the experience. My personal favorites are those located amidst gardens, surrounded by natural landscapes, or are situated in a quiet courtyard.

Labyrinth at New Life Presbyterian Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico

Here’s a working list of the labyrinths walked to date:

  • New Harmony, IN (Summer 1988) – Harmonist Labyrinth (shrub)
  • Traverse City, MI (multiple visits since 9/24/18) – Botanic Garden @ Historic Barns Park (pavers)
  • Kearney, NE (6/30/2021) – Yanney Park (decorative cement)
  • Rio Rancho, NM (10/19/2021) – St. Francis Episcopal Church (crushed stone and rock)
  • Rio Rancho, NM (10/19/2021) – Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation (1) (dirt and rock)
  • Rio Rancho, NM (10/19/2021) – Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation (2) (dirt and rock)
  • Albuquerque, NM (10/23/2021) – New Life Presbyterian Church (dirt/gravel and rock)
  • Albuquerque, NM (10/25/2021) – Canossian Spirituality Center (crushed stone and metal)
  • Albuquerque, NM (10/25/2021) – Center for Action and Contemplation (wood chips and rock)
  • Albuquerque, NM (10/27/2021) – Cathedral of St. John (decorative cement)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/29/21) – Frenchy’s Field Park (dried mud)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/29/21) – Alto Park Playground (cement and inlayed brick)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/29/21) – St. Bede’s Episcopal Church (crushed stone and rocks)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/29/21) – Southwestern College (pebbles and rocks)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/31/21) – Along the El Monte Luna hiking trail (dirt and rocks)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/31/21) – International Folk Art Museum (pavers)
  • Santa Fe, NM (10/31/21) – Christ Lutheran Church (dirt and rocks)
  • Santa Fe, NM (11/3/21) – Santa Fe Community Yoga (dirt and piñon pines)
  • Albuquerque, NM (11/5/21) – St. Chad’s Episcopal Church (gravel and brick pavers)
  • Abiquiu, NM (11/29/21) – Ghost Ranch (dirt and rock)
  • Albuquerque, NM (12/10/21) – St. Paul Lutheran Church (brick pavers)
  • Santa Fe, NM (2/12/22) – Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi (brick pavers and stone)
  • Rio Rancho, NM (2/20/22) – Campus Park @ the Civic Center (dirt and rock)
  • Rio Rancho, NM (2/23/22) – A Park Above (pavers and concrete)
  • Rio Communities, NM (2/26/22) – First Presbyterian Church (stone and gravel)
  • Highland, IL (3/14/22) – Zobrist Memorial Labyrinth in Glik Park (stone and floral)
  • Cranberry Township, PA (3/17/22) – United Methodist Conference Center (pavers)
  • Traverse City, MI (3/23/22) – Unity Church (stone and wood chips)
  • Mancelona, MI (3/24/22) – Cran Park (stone and wood chips)
  • Goshen, IN (5/16/22) – Pathways Retreat Renewal Labyrinth (grass)
  • Goshen, IN (5/16/22) – Pathways Retreat Walnut Grove Labyrinth (grass)
  • Goshen,IN (5/16/22) – Goshen College (grass and brick)
  • Goshen, IN (5/16/22) – Assembly Mennonite Church (brick and pavers)
A stunning dried mud labyrinth in Frenchy’s Field Park in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Decorative cement labyrinth in Yanney Park in Kearney, Nebraska
Labyrinth along the El Monte Luna Trail in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Next time you are traveling or are looking for something fun, interesting, and unique to do near home, consider checking out the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator website for one situated near you. Few built structures or places can provide the extent of peaceful reflection that a labyrinth does. In this hectic world, such places are an increasingly welcome relief. Peace!

Beautifully crafted stone labyrinth at St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Santa Fe, New Mexico
First labyrinth at Unitarian Universalist Westside Congregation in Rio Rancho, New Mexico

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If you would like to learn more about labyrinths, here are a few resources hat are available through Amazon.com.*

*A small commission is earned from purchases that are made using this link to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This entry was posted in architecture, art, civility, culture, entertainment, hiking, history, land use, peace, pictures, placemaking, planning, product design, recreation, Religion, spatial design, third places, tourism, Travel, walking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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