EARTH DAY MEDITATION Walk the Toronto Public Labyrinth at Trinity Square Park, immediately west of the Eaton Centre, south of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Tuesday (April 22) at noon. Free. www.labyrinthnetwork.ca. Rating: NNNNN
What’s the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?
Mazes are for intellectual pursuits, so they have dead ends. A labyrinth has one flowing path that leads to the centre and out again. They go back 5,000 years and exist all over the world. They seem to have been used in pilgrimages and to bring good luck and were related to rituals of rebirth and sun and moon cycles.
Where did the design come from for this one?
The Toronto Public Labyrinth is based on one from the 1200s at Chartres Cathedral in France. It has 11 circuits, but it’s double the width for wheelchairs.
So what’s supposed to happen when you walk a circular trail?
Once we’re on the path, we don’t have to think about where to go, and it becomes like breathing in and out. Our intuitive nature has a chance to stretch its muscles. Walkers find they get insights, inspirations, an idea for a poem or a song. Creative people use it to get around their blocks.
Why do it on Earth Day?
The labyrinth is round like the planet, and you can walk for the earth and think about your own footprint and how to contribute to the planet.
Do you find it hard to keep your thoughts serene and noble when you’re meditating?
Oh, what levels of banality we can reach! There are no depths – we’re only human. Because your body is moving, you have an advantage. Labyrinth meditations are good for extroverts who can’t sit still.
The origins of labyrinths and their spiritual use in the 1100s: