Just half a mile from the rush of traffic on Bustleton Avenue in Northeast Philadelphia is a permanent outdoor labyrinth with the purpose of inviting visitors to seek inner peace. A labyrinth is a meditative tool, a singular winding pathway that enables the walker to center oneself in thought or prayer. It can be a means of finding peace, answers to troubling questions, or communion with God.
“Our Labyrinth is used by a range of visitors from nonprofit professionals to overnight directed retreatants to local neighbors,” said Cranaleith Program Director, Cathy Maguire, RSM. “The walk to the center of the labyrinth represents a journey toward inner peace, wholeness, and healing.” Cranaleith’s labyrinth is open during daylight hours to visitors who wish to explore its calming and effects.
There is no right way to walk a labyrinth. Adults are often serious in the labyrinth. Children most often run in and out as fast as they can in a playful manner.
Some general guidelines for walking a labyrinth:
- Focus: Pause and wait at the entrance. Become quiet and centered. Give acknowledgment through a bow, nod, or other gesture and then enter.
- Experience: Walk purposefully. Observe the process. When you reach the center, stay there and focus several moments. Leave when it seems appropriate. Be attentive on the way out.
- Exit: Turn and face the entrance. Give an acknowledgment of ending, such as “Amen.”