I was first introduced to a prayer labyrinth a few years ago, at a Christian retreat center where I was speaking. They had a labyrinth on the grounds, and encouraged attendees to explore this beautiful, peaceful place for contemplative prayer. I wanted to learn a little more about it… its centuries’ old history and traditions, its place in Christian worship. How it serves as a metaphor for our spiritual pilgrimage, our spiritual journey. So I started doing some research.
That’s when I discovered we had a prayer labyrinth at our church. Seriously — in that patch of grass, between the two buildings, that I’d walked past every Sunday! And there was one on the corner at the church next to our grocery store that I passed three times a week. They were everywhere…
As I began walking and praying the labyrinth, God met me there… Praying the labyrinth became a deeply significant spiritual discipline for me.
For my doctoral project, I decided to design a prayer labyrinth retreat called “Meeting God at Every Turn: Praying the Labyrinth with Henri Nouwen” – basing my talks on Nouwen’s teachings on spiritual formation. (Spiritual formation – process of being formed into the image of Christ – is my degree concentration.)
I did hours and hours and hours of research on the labyrinth, on Nouwen, and on spiritual formation. And in the process, I got certified as a “Labyrinth Facilitator” – professionally trained to teach others how to pray the labyrinth and to lead group prayer walks and retreats.
I’m so excited to share what I’ve been learning. Already I’ve had opportunities to give talks and lead labyrinth walks – and not just on Nouwen and the labyrinth, but C.S. Lewis and the labyrinth, the labyrinth as an invitation to prayer, and as an invitation to lament, along with special labyrinth walks for Advent and Lent.
In support of this new avenue of ministry, my family gifted me with a 36-foot canvas labyrinth that I can take with me to churches and retreat centers that don’t already have one.
I’m just getting started crafting this space on my website, creating descriptions of the workshops and presentations I can offer to churches and communities.
If you’re interested in learning more, please check back here or email me!
If you’re new to praying the labyrinth, this brief introduction from Guideposts might be helpful.