Tree of Life Labyrinth
Note: The Labyrinth is not yet complete. It will be formally dedicated and opened in the Spring of 2023. This labyrinth is part of the Mississippi Mills Wellness Trail, made possible by funding from the Government of Canada through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund.
The St Paul’s Tree of Life Labyrinth overlooks the Mississippi River. Take in the peaceful surroundings in the historical setting of a stone church built in 1865. Take a meditative walk along the paths of the labyrinth and experience a peace and tranquility that calms the mind in the midst of this chaotic yet beautiful world.
What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a pattern of pathways that weave in a circle around a central point. You follow the pathways to the centre.
The practice of labyrinth walking has ancient roots dating back thousands of years. It is used by both religious and non-religious people for relaxation, calming or clarifying the mind, helping people to be still in the midst of the busyness of life.
A labyrinth is not the same as a maze. The point of a maze is to find its centre. The point of a labyrinth is to find YOUR centre.
Benefits of walking a labyrinth
There is only one way in and one way out. You don’t need to think about where you’re going. As you slowly and deliberately walk along the paths following their twists and turns, you lose track of direction and your mind quiets. Walking a labyrinth can help your breathing and heartbeat to slow down allowing your body to relax.
How do I walk a labyrinth?
At the entrance: Pause. Become quiet and centered. Focus on the beauty of nature around you. Walk the labyrinth at your own gentle pace. Focus on walking slowly and deliberately. Listen to your mind and heart. If you have concerns, lift them up as a prayer, or simply observe them and let them go. Follow the path and let the chaos and busyness of life float away.
At the centre of the labyrinth is a circular space. You may want to remain there for a while. Close your eyes and relax into the peacefulness of this place. As you quiet yourself, listen to the still small voice in your mind. Do you hear words of guidance or answers to what may be troubling your heart? Do you have a deep sense of peace, love, acceptance, forgiveness, or joy? Receive what your heart and mind need and give thanks.
Return journey: When you decide to leave the centre, continue your slow walk back to the entrance. Take time and reflect on what has come to mind during your walk. Think about how you feel as you journey out of the labyrinth and back out into the world. Have you experienced any revelations? Have you made any decisions? Whatever your experience, it can be good to journal your thoughts later, or to share them with someone close.
The labyrinth can be a refuge, a place of peace. Come and receive as often as you need.