|The Labyrinth Schedule, Special Events and News|
|What is a Labyrinth?|
|Why Walk the Labyrinth?|
|Instructions for Walking the Labyrinth|
|The Three Fold Path|
|The Labyrinth Community|
|The Labyrinth Dedication|
The Labyrinth at FUMC Boulder was originally built and dedicated on December 8th 2001. Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress, the founder of Veriditas, read the following poem during the ceremony, which was also written on the Labyrinth before it was painted:
Loving God, Bless this space – the Lives of the One’s who walk here. May this space give birth to new and deeper movements of the Spirit in our lives together. May the prayers of this room rise like incense to our worship and thanksgiving. ‘Let me be as a feather on the breath of God’.
The Labyrinth is in the form of a circle with a meandering path from the edge to the center and back out again – large enough to be walked into and out of. The Labyrinth has only one path and once we make the choice to enter it, the path becomes a metaphor for our journey through life.
The Weeping Wall was conceptualized by Arts for the Soul, and designed and built by Cheryl Bort, with assistance from Leslie Brighton. The Weeping Wall was constructed as both a gently flowing water feature and a rock wall designed to receive written thoughts, prayers, hopes, joys, supplications or any other impulses of the soul. It is intended to enhance the spiritual nourishment and restoration frequently experienced by those who walk the Labyrinth.
General Labyrinth Hours
The Labyrinth can be booked for special events, workshops, counseling sessions, and special interest groups by calling 303-442-3770. Donations are always welcomed.
Joyful donations to the Labyrinth are always appreciated to help maintain the space, keep the Labyrinth open more often to the community and support the wonderful programs around it. If you would like to make a donation and become a “Friend of the Labyrinth”, please make a check to “First United Methodist Church-Re: The Labyrinth” and mail it to FUMC, 1421 Spruce Street, Boulder, CO, 80302.
Thank you for your support!
What is a Labyrinth?
The labyrinth is an ancient mystical tool that can help bring about personal transformation and a shift in consciousness. It is meant to awaken us to the deep rhythm that unites us to ourselves and to the Light that calls from within.
Physically, a labyrinth is a design having a single pathway which, after a number of twists and turns, arrives at the center of the design. A maze, on the other hand, is designed to be confusing and multi-cursal, having multiple pathways and dead ends. The labyrinth at First United Methodist Church is simply a design painted on the floor in a large room in the church basement. Its scale is such that a person can walk the path from the entrance to its center, and then back out again. It is used as a tool for contemplation and meditation.
Labyrinths have been known to the human race for over four thousand years. The oldest European form on record is the Cretan Labyrinth, also called the classical seven-circuit labyrinth.
The Chartres Labyrinth is the classical eleven-circuit labyrinth which was laid into stonework on the floor of the great cathedral at Chartres, France, sometime between 1194 and 1220 C.E. The Chartres labyrinth is also found at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It is believed that the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth was used as a pilgrimage tool by Christians during the 12th century when pilgrimages to the Holy City of Jerusalem became dangerous and expensive because of the Crusades.
Rev. Lauren Artress states in her book, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool that: “Labyrinths are divine imprints. They are universal patterns most likely created in the realm of the collective unconscious, birthed through the human psyche and passed down through the ages. Labyrinths can be found in almost every religious tradition around the world.”
The Labyrinth in our church community is a replica of classical eleven-circuit Labyrinth which has a single path that meanders through 11 concentric circles to the center which is often called the rosette, a rose, or a lily signifying the sacred center, beauty, enlightenment, or love. In the mystical tradition, the center also signifies the Holy Spirit. As one meanders to the center, one will make thirty-four turns and face the center thirteen times and walk about 861 feet one way.
Why Walk the Labyrinth?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, invited the country folk of his time to find a method to listen and live from their deepest source of life within as a means to find their wholeness and creativity. He suggested we become dissipated when we rely on the world to tell us who we “are”. This dissipation would lead to a path of misery, because the world is impermanent and always changing.
Consequently, Wesley encouraged each person to develop a method to recollect themselves and journey inward to their sacred center which is abundantly alive and our true nature. Walking the Labyrinth is one of many methods to find a spacious and peaceful simplicity within. The Labyrinth provides a space to listen to one’s inner and outer world and find a slower pace in our busy lives.
Rev. Lauren Artress suggests “by following the one path to the center, the seeker can use the Labyrinth to quiet the mind and find peace and illumination at the center of his or her being. The walk and all that happens on it, can be grasped through the intuitive, pattern-discerning faculty of the person walking it.”*
The Labyrinth is open to anyone and any tradition to walk, because it does not require a doctrine to walk meditatively. Adults and children both find the Labyrinth beneficial and it can be danced, skipped, crawled, or even walked with a cane. “The seeker is only asked to put one foot in front of the other. By stepping into the Labyrinth we are choosing once again to walk the spiritual path.”*
This Labyrinth is in the form of a circle with a meandering path from the edge to the center and back out again – large enough to be walked into and out of. The Labyrinth has only one path and once we make the choice to enter it, the path becomes a metaphor for our journey through life.
Everybody is invited to walk the Labyrinth!!!
Instructions for Walking the Labyrinth
There is not a right or wrong way to walk the Labyrinth.
As you begin your walk, take a few deep breaths at the start of the path, find your center, and focus your intentions.
Find your own natural pace as your walk. You can walk slow, fast, crawl, dance, skip or pause at any point as you walk to or from the center.
If you are walking faster than somebody, you can pass them. It is easiest at a turn.
In the center you can stay as long as you want. You can lay down, kneel, meditate, prostrate, dance, stand or just leave. Again, follow your own natural pace.
Since the Labyrinth has only one path, you may encounter others and can simply allow them to pass.
Each experience with the Labyrinth will be different. Sometimes it may feel as though nothing has happened and others you may have a strong experience. Remember everything on the Labyrinth is metaphor.
Enjoy your experience. Listen to your own heart and take all the time you need.
The Labyrinth is very user friendly. You cannot get lost nor can you fail – there is no right or wrong way to the walk the path.
“Walking a Labyrinth is a body prayer. It is non-threatening; all we are asked to do is walk.”
-Rev. Lauren Artress
The Three-Fold Mystical Path
“No one can know God that has not first known her/himself. Go to the depths of the soul, the secret place to the roots, to the heights; for all that God can do is focused there.” —Meister Eckhart
“In the Christian mystical tradition the journey to God was articulated in the Three Fold Path. Mystical means a direct avenue to God, which has often been discouraged”* by the church. The Labyrinth can be walked in these three stages:
Walking Into the Labyrinth
This is a time to release your troubles, clear and quite your mind. Open your heart to whatever it might feel. Become aware of your breathing. Take slow breaths. Relax and move at your own pace.
Reaching the Center: Home
This can be a place of meditation and prayer. Pause. Open yourself to the Spirit, your higher Self or power. Listen to that small inner voice. Feel the safety and have a heart-to-heart talk with yourself.
Re-Connect with the Outside World
When you are ready, begin walking again out the same path you came in. As you follow the path out, experience the sense of well-being, healing, excitement, calm or peace.
The Labyrinth Community
Come, join the many activities around the Labyrinth and the people who walk the Labyrinth. It is a community of people who celebrate the Labyrinth as a spiritual tool to empower and nurture peace, wholeness, and healing.
The Labyrinth at First United Methodist Church is becoming known and loved around the Boulder/Denver metro-area. Since the Labyrinth was dedicated on December 8th, 2001, around 1600 people have visited it from as far away as California, Oregon, Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Virginia, Canada, and New Zealand. Programs such as Music on the Labyrinth, Taizé Services, Relationship as a Sacred Path, and Wednesday night groups have drawn hundreds of people.
The Labyrinth is a non-threatening way for people who have left the church or have never visited the church to once again connect with God through a spiritual practice. The Labyrinth has helped many people find their way through hard times to a sense of focus and peace in their lives by connecting them with the Spirit.
In thanks for our gift to the community, one person has donated carpet to cover the Labyrinth and another has refinished our Church Doors in the Narthex. These gifts save us several thousands of dollars. These are some of the other comments people have written in the Labyrinth Registration:
“May we live in the awareness that all of our life is contained within the womb of God. What a wonderful space you offer!”
“Thank you for this Labyrinth being here. It is a unifying experience for my roots are in the Methodist Church. The Taizé service is a powerful healing prayer service to me.”
“After a terrible fall, it’s good to walk again and `learn how to fall’ into life differently. I so appreciate this sacred space which opens my heart to the sacredness in which I live & move & have my being.”
“Everyone has their own path. Don’t be afraid to follow yours.”
“Thank you for sharing your Labyrinth with the community. I walked the Labyrinth with two of my grandchildren and their parents.”
Here is a special way you can be involved:
Labyrinth Docents: Become a Labyrinth Docent who is a guide to help the Labyrinth be open more often and to facilitate people on their walk. Look for upcoming training times which involve an experiential time on the Labyrinth and the sacred space of the room.
The Labyrinth Dedication
December 8th, 2001
The Labyrinth at FUMC was officially dedicated by Rev. Lauren Artress, the founder of Veriditas, on December 8th, 2001. As part of the dedication, she read the following prayer that was written in the Labyrinth before it was painted: “Loving God, Bless this space-the Lives of the One’s who walk here. May this space give birth to new and deeper movements of the Spirit in our lives together. May the prayers of this room rise like incense to our worship and thanksgiving. ‘Let me be as a feather on the breath of God.’ *”
Thank you to the people and organizations that helped create this Sacred Space:
Susan Honstein (Contributor)
Helen McGee (Friend)
Eduardo and Frank
First United Methodist Church Youth Group
Board of Trustees of First United Methodist Church
Adult Council of First United Methodist Church
Guiry’s Color Center , Boulder
As a Church that supports spiritual growth and wholeness, we are pleased to offer this gift of the Labyrinth to the Metro community and to our congregation.
“Walk from this Labyrinth into the world a prophet and promoter of Peace!”*
(Prayer in the Labyrinth on the Right Side as One Leaves the Labyrinth. )
*Prayers written by anonymous congregation and community members.
We are very excited that you are experiencing the Labyrinth at FUMC. We would like to invite you to enjoy this wonderful space and visit our other wonderful programs for children, youth, adults and the Music at First Church Series. We also would like to invite you to attend our Sunday Service. Thank you for visiting us.
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