Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Journal or Conference Title

2nd Global Meeting from Inter-Disciplinary.net, Oxford University

Location

Oxford, England

Publication Date

6-2015

Department

Art, Art History and Design

Abstract

Labyrinths have woven a meandering path through the human psyche for thousands of years. From ancient Ariadne and Medieval cathedral pilgrimage floors to modern movies and computer games, labyrinths are often at the heart of the quest for self-knowledge, creative awakening, personal integration, community building and transcendence. The labyrinth as a metaphor for the journey of life could be considered a localized concentrated pilgrimage and alternative exploration to exotic travel and the physical challenge usually required for breakdown/breakthrough growth. Unicursal, single pathway designs, like the seven-circuit Classical Cretan and the eleven-circuit Chartres, engage the body while freeing the mind. The physical turnings of the path, alternating right and left, disorient so the walker must quickly surrender control of the experience and trust the journey. Most labyrinth walkers find themselves in a heightened state of receptive discovery very similar to pilgrimage. Walking the labyrinth in a state of focused contemplation while holding a question or an intention of quiet attentiveness is a core pilgrimage practice. Both can evoke an almost visceral recognition of one’s own truth, a profound surprise of the potential for reimagining one’s life as a coherent story of meaningful events and cohesive purpose. We are called to the journey. Walking the labyrinth as personal pilgrimage is a powerful practice to find our way home.

Comments

Paper originally presented with projected original photography for The Sacred Journeys: Pilgrimage and Beyond Project

Rights

Copyright © Cindy Pavlinac. All Rights Reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronically, mechanically, by photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owners.

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