If you are a seasoned meditator, you know that there isn’t really a right way to practice meditation. The point is to find a practice, any practice, that allows you space to cultivate that ever important relationship with self. Some use their living room floor, while others find permission to focus inward when in nature. Many, however, are beginning to recognize the power of a labyrinth when it comes to meditation.
Suzette Martinez Standring, in this recent MyZeeland post, takes a look at the difference between a maze and a labyrinth and how the latter can have a profound effect on helping a person to achieve balance.
According to Standring, a maze is a network of paths and dead ends, while a labyrinth has a beginning and an end. Walking in a labyrinth helps to activate a person’s right brain, a much needed experience for those of us who spend a majority of our days engaged in logical and rational thinking.
Twenty years ago in San Francisco at Grace Cathedral, I walked a labyrinth on its marble floor, a replica of the famous design found at Chartres Cathedral in France. It was an exercise that gave me profound calm and unexpected answers, all from just putting one foot in front of the other.
I discovered there is a scientific reason for why this happens. The left side of the brain, which governs rational, logical and linear actions, is often overworked. Walking a labyrinth allows that side to rest, while the right side of the brain, which is associated with non-verbal, non-rational and the intuitive, is exercised, according to “The Healing Labyrinth,” an article in Barron’s by Helen Rafael Sands in 2001. After walking a labyrinth, the two hemispheres of the brain become balanced.
Read more about the healing power of a meditation labyrinth here.