Welcome to the SSUC Labyrinth Page! What is a labyrinth, you ask? A path for meditative walking is one answer, but read more:
A wise keeper of our labyrinth, Charles Bidwell, has said:
“A labyrinth is not a maze built to confuse, but a single pathway winding to the center and returning out again on the same path. On the labyrinth walk, we engage the ancient spiritual practice of discovery. As we move to the center, healing, transformation, and the divine can be known. As we return from the center to the edge, we re-enter the world with new insight and commitment.
Following such a pattern is a dance that engages us on a cellular level, returning us to a felt sense of the body walking the path of life. It is a pattern to be experienced and encountered as we seek wholeness in an increasingly fragmented world.”
Meditatively walking a labyrinth can be surprisingly calming and clarifying for your thoughts. Even if you do not have a spiritual side, slow, intentional walking in a quiet place on a set path allows for a level of focus that can be difficult to find in a busy life. Most traditional designs weave back and forth and take you seemingly close to the destination at the center, then send you off on many more zig-zags before you once again appear to be nearing the center.
This can help us remember that expectations about goals can be unpredictable. Using this time to reflect on those expectations, letting those thoughts arise without judgment, may offer you peace or unique new outlooks on your life. With others walking the labyrinth, you will at times approach them on your path and then be sent farther away. This is a subtle metaphor of how people enter and leave your life, allowing you to process those thoughts and feelings.
SSUC’s Labyrinth: the cycle of old and new
Our recently retired labyrinth was birthed thanks to the work of Rev Dr Charles Bidwell, who created the template and worked, on his knees (along with a few volunteers) painting the pattern on an old WWII parachute kindly donated by Allen Kerr. He was also a key part of our outdoor labyrinth, constructed into our east lawn and maintained by the countless hours of many. In the course of time, we’ve let go of the outdoor labyrinth, leaving space for new ideas and energy for a new indoor labyrinth.
SSUC’s new indoor labyrinth is inspired by the labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral, France which was installed in 1201, and provided an alternative form of pilgrimage when it was no longer safe to make the journey to Jerusalem. Labyrinth images are found in many cultures around the world from the Celtic regions to South America. This new labyrinth has been created by Lisa Gidlow Moriarty, owner and designer at Paths of Peace Labyrinths; Past President at The Labyrinth Society Stillwater, Minnesota.
Opportunities to Walk
SSUC hosts labyrinth walks to celebrate the equinoxes and solstices as our earth turns. We look forward to welcoming you to our Labyrinth. Our walks often have soft music playing but sometimes are done in silence. However you choose to engage with this ancient practice, you’re welcome.
Fall Equinox September 21, 2023 – 7:00 to 9:30 PM
As the wheel turns, we prepare for the changing of another season… the heat of summer to golden glows of autumn; the season of harvest. Donations towards our refugee fund are gratefully accepted. See the poster here.
Winter Solstice December 21, 2023 – 5:00 to 9:00 PM