The First Day: June 20th– An introduction to the history of Labyrinths and learning to draw 3 and 7 circuit labyrinths from a seed pattern. Brandi Hebert introduced relaxation techniques and participants walked the labyrinth with a purpose and goal in mind. Homemade lemonade and cookies were shared while each participant chose a journal and started to document their journey for the week. A discussion about performance art and the symbolism used in imagery, sound and body movement in a site specific location was explored. Following images demonstrate early use of the meander or Greek Key, the Labrys artifacts, and the line drawings of the Nazcan culture in Peru.
The Second Day: June 21st- Participants were first shown Tai Chi relaxation and breathing exercises to prepare for the Journey Dance with Arielle Wortzel. The two hour dance experience on the labyrinth was exhilarating and the beautiful music that Arielle played connected us in new ways with the energy of our bodies and with each other. The sacred symbolism of the labyrinth also added significant meaning to our dances and suggested ways to move in the space. We all discussed the experience afterwards and wrote in our journals while having cookies and lemonade.
The Third Day: June 23rd- Participants were first given journals and a brief understanding of the history of labyrinths along with a video of contemporary sand labyrinths. Lance Herrington gave a thorough demonstration of his sound project in Santorini for a museum. We proceeded to walk the labyrinth and used the finger labyrinth while focused on the idea of our personal journey. Lance then gave a demonstration on sound and the resonating vibrations that sound produces with different frequencies. Testimonial journey recordings of three of the participants were made while other participants recorded the sounds of chimes and bells. All were asked to journal their experiences while sharing refreshments.
The Fourth Day: June 23rd- Participants had a discussion about their experiences from the first three days. Brandy demonstrated relaxation methods and then participants walked the labyrinth together with the introduction to the processional kite of Juanita Yoder. We then practiced drawing 3, 7 and 11 circuit labyrinths and then proceeded to make personal finger labyrinths.
The Fifth Day: June 24th– The recordings from the Wednesday program were played on 3 outdoor speakers as we walked the labyrinth together. The journey testimonials from three of the participants, the Greek Santorini sounds that Lance recorded, and the chimes/ bells recordings were orchestrated by Dave Herrington so that they played in powerful relationships to each other. We then gathered together and shared our journey experiences and how a performance art piece could be shared with the congregation. We experimented with ideas and materials, measured the site specific spaces where the performance will take place, and flew the processional kite outside. Plans for sharing our experiences from the week with the congregation was proposed. Several participants were available for July 10th and enthusiastically agreed to help make the outdoor labyrinth a reality with a special presentation.
The Labyrinth Arts Ministry Program running from June 20-24 has completed. This blog will remain active reporting in more detail about what happened during the program and tracking the progress of Prince of Peace’s fund drive for building an outdoor labyrinth adjacent to our property that will be usable by the community.
The signup deadline for the Labyrinth Arts Ministry Program is Thursday June 16. If you are interested in attending the entire program or any specific day, please make sure Kathy Nowak in the Prince of Peace office has your registration form no later than noon on June 16.
Members of Prince of Peace church enjoyed the experience of walking the labyrinth on June 5th in the fellowship hall. This canvas labyrinth will be an integral part of our program on June 20th- 24th at Prince of Peace.
St. Marks Episcopalian Church in Basking Ridge, NJ generously loaned us their 35 foot canvas Chartres Cathedral 11 circuit design labyrinth to be used in our labyrinth program. This coming Sunday June 5th, the labyrinth will be laid out on the floor of the Fellowship Hall at Prince of Peace and all are invited to view and walk the canvas labyrinth. It is very important for us to only walk on the labyrinth with the feet covered in socks. No shoes or bare feet are permitted. If you or your family would like to walk the labyrinth, please bring or wear socks so that you may participate. There will be a limited number of adult socks to borrow if you should need.
Here is a short video of people walking the canvas labyrinth.
“We can value each step we take, and each step can bring us happiness because we’re in touch with life, with the source of happiness and with our beloved planet. “
Thich Nhat Hanh
The three canvases with photos and the finger labyrinth are presented as a gift to the Prince of Peace congregation from Nancy Herrington and to further initiate a connection with the labyrinth project. The drawings of labyrinths on the canvases are demonstrating how to draw a labyrinth from the beginning seed pattern to a seven and 11 circuit labyrinth. Each photograph is chosen because of the analogous or symbolic reference to labyrinths such as: the spiral, a sacred place, mirror reflections, and the walking/ spiritual path. There is a journal available on the labyrinth display table at POP so all may participate with our creative endeavor.
Who knows what will be possible for you as you travel its’ pathway?
May you encounter blessings.
Who knows what you will connect.
May blessings occur.
Who knows what transformation and illumination may occur.
May your movements and insights be blessed.
We can value each step we take and each step can bring us happiness because we’re in touch with life, with the source of happiness and with our beloved planet. Bells of mindfulness for each other, supporting and reminding each other along the path of practice. With the support of the community, we can cultivate peace and joy in ourselves, which we can then offer to those around us. Body, speech and mind in perfect oneness.
-Thich Nhat Nanh-
Before you enter the labyrinth, take a couple deep breaths and release them slowly. Know that the path has no wrong turns or dead ends but is a continuous path that will guide you on your journey. Let go of everything except the present moment in time. Walk at a comfortable pace and just be at one with all that is around you. Be prepared for a sense of joy, love and peace to surround you. There is no wrong way to walk the path.
– Denny Dyke-