Last Sunday, I visited the Awaphui Labyrinth in Puna, Hawaii for the first time, and WOW! What a beautiful place. The walk was really pleasant and lighthearted, and at the same time powerfully moving. So much so that I decided to write about it and share it here with you. Perhaps you will feel inspired to walk the Awapuhi Labyrinth or find one near you!
The Meaning behind the Labyrinth
Walking a labyrinth is a way to engage the mind in a movement mediation. As you walk the labyrinth, the mind becomes still and the heart begins to glow. The labyrinth is also a symbol for the spiritual journey we all share as humans.
Deborah Masterson, the labyrinth caretaker and woman behind Rhythm Full Circle, shares:
“Unlike a maze, which is intended to confuse the participant with false paths and dead ends, the labyrinth has only a single path; one way leads you in and —reversed— the same path brings you out again. Having both left and right turns along the path creates balance. You may notice the path frequently draws you close to the center and then, just when you think you have arrived, it sends you back towards the periphery. This movement represents coming close to and moving away from your personal, transformative center—a place of intense knowing and change.” (via rhythmfullcircle.com)
Walking the labyrinth can also be an act of prayer. A single person can walk holding a prayerful intention every step of the way. When another joins in, the prayer is amplified exponentially. Walking a labyrinth as a group with a common prayer in our hearts is powerfully uplifting and connective.
Together We are Stronger
Huddled under a colorful array of umbrellas, we gathered at the labyrinth on a rainy afternoon. The Puna Women’s Chorus provided the musical backdrop while we spiraled through the weaving paths. The element of music felt both prayerful and synchronizing. As I walked the labyrinth, I felt my mind slowly unravel. I had arrived a bit on the tired side, carrying an energy of malaise; but I felt my mind let go bit by bit and a sense of relaxation enter in its space. Unraveling, I felt desire to go deeper within myself, uncover a new layer and move toward the next phase of growth. Walking together allowed for many moments of connection to replace feelings of isolation. Weaving through the labyrinth together offered repeated opportunities to look into another’s eyes and share a smile. Together, we cultivated feelings of joy and support for our shared yet unique journeys. Soft, strong voices singing, “Together we are stronger” and “we are spiraling together…to the center of the heart” stand out in my memory. Sharing the experience with my daughter touched my heart.
Effects on Interpersonal Synchronicity
–Movement Meditation: Labyrinth walking engages the body in repetitive, spiraling interconnected motions. As the group walks together, their individual movements become one collective motion, vibrating throughout the spiral.
–Positive Group Mind: The group creates a rhythm by singing and toning together. Positive collective focus is shifted to the peaceful, loving and prayerful words being sung.
-Interaction with Nature: The rain created a new element of being one with the flow of nature. As the rain came down, the umbrellas went up, resulting in a colorful movement meditation of its own kind. Seeing the patterns of the umbrellas going up and down and the smiling faces under them was one of my daughter’s favorite parts of the experience. :)
Walking the labyrinth together was a fun and relaxing way to cultivate increased feelings of interconnection and inner peace!
I will definately be back to visit and walk the Awapuhi Labyrinth again soon!
The Awapuhi Labyrinth is always open! It is located in Hawaiian Paradise Park on 4th St between Paradise and Kaloli.
Find a labyrinth near you and walk with a friend!
Thank you for reading, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please share in the comments below!