Hmmm! Sacred walking two days in a row. What you see above is a photo of the beautiful pink marble 8 circuit labyrinth on the Palos Verdes cliffs overlooking the Santa Monica Bay. It is part of the grounds of one of the most unique and beautiful churches in my area: The Neighborhood Church in Malaga Cove, affiliated with the United Church of Christ. It was donated by the late Miriam Levonian's husband in her memory. Though I do not attend this church, I am often there to wander the grounds with camera in hand, to journal, to attend workshops, tours and teas, and my school has its baccalauerate ceremony there each June right before graduation.
Today the Neighborhood Church was the site of a workshop called "Walking Our Path: A Spiritual Gathering of Women." I went with friends and other friends were facilitating workshops on delights and shadows in prayer, spiritual journal keeping, and learning more about labyrinth walking as a spiritual practice. I have walked many labyrinths over the years and seek them out now in towns when I am traveling.
As I noted during yesterday's peace walk, today was also delightful because those who attended ranged in age from early 20s to women well into their 80s, some walking the labyrinth with canes. If you are unfamiliar with labyrinth walking as a practice, check Veriditas, which is Dr. Lauren Artress' project at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Another good site is the Labyrinth Society. These sites have listings of public labyrinths where you can walk throughout the U.S.
For those who preferred a quiet indoor walk without wind, St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church loaned its 11 circuit portable Chartres Cathedral replica labyrinth. Candles were burning and quiet music playing. Many churches now own these portable labyrinths which can be purchased through Veriditas.
My own most memorable labyrinth walks were several years ago. One was at Krotona School of Theosophy in Ojai where the community had made a labyrinth outlined with local stones in a large open field. You walked on dirt, and spring wildflowers were also sprouting in the path. I walked it alone on a full moon night with a sprinkling of stars keeping me company and the mountains and oaks silhouetted in the sky. Another memorable time was at Holy Spirit Retreat House in Encino where a portable labyrinth had been brought in for the annual New Years Eve two-day retreat. To be walking a labyrinth in candlelight when the new milennium came was unforgettable. These are stories for another time. If you have your own labyrinth stories, I would love to hear them. If you have never walked one, check where there is one near you and let me know if you find this meditative walking to be peaceful.