A labyrinth is not a maze, a puzzle, or a movie with David Bowie (well, maybe that last one). At once magical, mythical and mysterious, the labyrinth is one of the world’s oldest symbols. Pictures of ancient labyrinths have been found on rock carvings, in Egyptian pyramids and on Grecian stone tablets.
Walking a labyrinth is a magical mystery tour — a contemplative stroll down a winding, circular path that goes nowhere but seems to have powers beyond the here and now. Both pagans and prophets have found purpose in the paths — whether to overcome difficulty and bring good fortune, or as a spiritual practice that aids communication with God. It’s a walking meditation that can reduce stress, quiet the mind and open the heart.
Peek inside the church courtyard on Second Street in Lewes and you’ll see a labyrinth made from stones partially buried in the ground. While there is no “right” way to walk a labyrinth, the tradition is to follow the path to the center while meditating, reflecting, or praying, stay in the middle for a few moments and then walk out again.
Labyrinths are used worldwide to quiet the mind, reduce stress, recover life balance, enhance creativity and encourage meditation, insight and self-reflection. But you needn’t go to a mountain in South Africa, a cathedral in France, or a palace in China. There’s a labyrinth right here in Lewes. See if you can find it.