Labyrinth pathways to ease

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Perhaps you’ve done one of those twisty-turny mazes with lots of dead-ends that children love to get lost in. Well, that’s a maze, not a labyrinth.

Photo of labyrinth

Labyrinth in East Hardwick, Vermont

A labyrinth has only one path, so you can’t get lost. It provides a way of walking meditation, taking you into the center, then back out again. You could think of it as simulating the spiritual journey of going into your self, then back out into the world.

Labyrinths have been found in a wide variety of places throughout the world. Many were built centuries ago. The structure or pattern to the labyrinth enables the walker to enter into a quiet space of relaxation and reflection, or to concentrate on an issue for problem solving.

You can walk the path with a simple attitude of empty-minded meditation, or you can pose a question at the beginning of the walk and allow an answer to bubble up from the experience.

As a longtime labyrinth lover, I’ve walked dozens of labyrinths throughout the U.S. and in Canada, and have even designed and built a few myself. I also offer workshops and coaching using the labyrinth as an easeful tool for self-understanding, creativity, meditation and problem solving.

Try finding a labyrinth in your area, then walk it yourself — alone or with a friend. You might be surprised to find one in a nearby public park, wellness center, church or neighbor’s backyard.

The World-wide Labyrinth Locator helps you search for labyrinths of many types all over the world. I always check the Locator before my travels in order to explore labyrinths in diverse places.

For more information, The Labyrinth Society offers educational content about labyrinths to help you learn more.

Whether you’re a newbie or logged a lot of labyrinth miles, please comment and share your own experiences with labyrinths.

To your ease!

Pat Daniel, Ph.D.

© Pat Daniel, Ph.D. and, 2011.
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8 Responses to Labyrinth pathways to ease

  1. Alan O'Hare says:

    I especially like this article because it makes me think of the labyrinth that you created outside my window which is quite beautiful, calming and inspiring. It would be wonderful for you to share the story of how you went about creating it, what was the source of inspiration and how it continues to evolve with gifts and resources from all over the world.

    There are many people out there wondering how to create one in a variety of settings, I would think. Your facilitating a blog site workshop on how to create one’s own labyrinth could be a lovely experience. To learn how to design and develop one regardless of the setting in which one lives could be a truly healing and restorative experience.

    Great blog site by the way…just reading it brings a sense of calm.

    Alan O’Hare, a seanchie

    • Pat Daniel says:

      Thanks for your feedback and suggestions, Alan. Those ideas are now on the list for future posts!

  2. Jeffrey Kleiman says:

    The discussion reminds me of the great Argentinean author, Jorge Luis Borges, who wrote the wonderful story, The Garden of Forking Paths Borges alludes to how one’s life would dramatically change if one chose Path A rather than Path B, iterated many times. Borges conceives of “a labyrinth that folds back upon itself in infinite regression,” asking the reader to “become aware of all the possible choices we might make.”

  3. Jessa says:

    I once interned at a Girls’ Center in Walpole,MA. This place had a labyrinth in the backyard, and I remember that it was one of those Places we always gravitated to when needing to be alone but also to do some tough group building/storming exercises. Then I went to Palestine/ Israel and I’m sure I hadn’t been in one since the TGC. Even then, walking it in the church of the annunciation I thought of TGC but of my questions while being there. Just reading about it this morning made me think and wonder where one is where I live. I think I know and I’m going to take my interns there today! Cheers!

    • Pat Daniel says:

      Jessa, I have walked that labyrinth in Walpole many times, and always enjoy the quiet and beauty of the natural oasis in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. I’m glad you had a chance to remember it during your trip to the Middle East. If you have trouble finding a labyrinth in your area, check out the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator at

  4. Holly Haines says:

    I was pleased to find this article. I have walked this in Hardwick as a arts students at JSC. It has always been very magical to me, and stayed with me over time. In an effort to become re-inspired i had been looking back of sorts and stumble upon this page…….

    • Pat Daniel says:

      Hi, Holly. I discovered the labyrinth in East Hardwick during one of my writing residencies at the Vermont Studio Center in Johnson. It has become one of my favorite labyrinths, and I try to visit it whenever I’m in northern VT. Thanks for your comment.

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