Lessons from the Labyrinth

20180318_150017No, not David Bowie. I mean a real labyrinth. I have never walked a labyrinth until a couple weeks ago. Dave and I traveled down to Virginia Beach for an archaeology presentation. We couldn’t have gone there without visiting the all-magical Edgar Cacye A.R.E. center. (Association for Research and Enlightenment). We had first gone there back in October for a conference on ancient mysteries. It was truly one of the most enlightening experiences I’ve ever had. The place, the people, the conference itself…everything was drenched in high vibrational ecstasy. It’s hard to explain…there’s a lot to it actually- all based upon Edgar Cayce’s philosophies 20180318_145924and readings he did for people back in the early 1900’s. He is regarded as one of the most influential psychics of all time. When he did readings for people he diagnosed them and helped them with existing illnesses by prescribing many holistic, natural remedies. (Many of which you can find today!) The center itself is a mini campus…a main building, and the converted hospital where Cayce worked which is now a spa and café with a gorgeous wrap around porch that overlooks the main area and out to the ocean. And there’s another building that is a massage school. Tucked in between the buildings is a lovely bamboo garden— towering bamboo with small pathways winding through with small offerings of bird houses and stones scattered throughout. Right by the entrance to the garden is a beautiful pond area that you can walk through and stop and sit by. Look at the gorgeous flowers flowing over the stone wall, or observe some koi fish carelessly swimming through their own world.

And then there’s the labyrinth! You can’t miss it. It’s the first thing you see as you walk (if you choose to) up the set of stairs from the main building to the café. The sight of it, just aesthetically, is beautiful, reverent. It’s based of the Chartres Labyrinth in a cathedral in France. It’s like a portal unto itself. While sitting in the café, I’ve noticed people walk up and around the labyrinth so as not to disrupt the energies therein. And it’s just a simple stone pattern embedded in the earth. Yet so symbolic. Back in October, I didn’t walk it as I wasn’t sure of its purpose. So, this time around, with the absence of crowds of people, I chose to. I asked Dave what it was all about. He explained that it’s a tool for mediation. That as you focus on following the path, you can get lost in your own mind just being mindful of the path. He also said that as you walk and notice your thoughts, they can mirror your life. There were little suggestions on a handout at the center, and it said that you can enter with an intention or a question to be answered. As you walked, your answer would come from within. In the center was a pair of dolphins in the shape of a yin and yang symbol. Once there, you can pause, focus on your experience and then exit the same way you entered. When I did it, I chose to walk straight out rather than repeat the path.

I walked the labyrinth twice. The first time just to see what it was like. The first time I noticed all kinds of things…my mind wandering…looking at the path, how it was designed…I began to wonder why the design was the way it was…I was noticing how some stretches looked almost linear, and then I’d end up in a totally different place, and end up looking either ahead or back. When I told Dave, he suggested that I do these things in life like I did walking the labyrinth. I began to see some truth there.

The second time was much more profound.

I chose to ask a question. I had been dealing with a pretty heavy friendship struggle the previous week, which ended up bleeding into the beginning of our trip. Often, I have immense trouble letting go of personal struggles, especially with close friends. So, I asked, “what can I do that will help me deal with this particular situation with my friends?” As I began to walk and weave, my answer came almost instantaneously.

“Give what’s missing. Give even when you do not receive.”

I pondered for a bit. Kept thinking, and then it dawned on me that I felt that Love, compassion and peace were missing. So, I thought, I could give that. Either directly or indirectly. My thoughts eventually drifted to some of our holistic friends that we often see at the expos. There are some inspiring, powerful women in that group. I pictured them. I asked, what would they do in a situation like this? I couldn’t picture them being angry. I couldn’t picture them being sad. All I could picture is peace. They are peace. They are love. They would give that no matter what the situation. They would not be troubled. Truly a lesson I could use!

I kept walking, a slower, rhythmic pace, feeling more peaceful as I went. Confident that I could let go of my fears of losing friends, fear of judgment. I wouldn’t want to give fear, I would want to give peace. By the time I reached the center, I was almost in a trance. I focused on the dolphins. Yin and yang. Light and dark. In all of us. A balance.

I left the labyrinth feeling like I gained something that I didn’t have before. I left, and sat down on a flat stone on the outside while Dave walked it in its entirety. He wanted to walk it alone to get the most out of the experience.

When we finished, we walked to the ocean to let it cleanse us. We walked along the edge of the waves swelling and overtaking the anemone covered sand. Dave took off his shoes to feel the cold waters. I walked further inward. I touched the water, felt its chill reach into me, then flow outward- taking my fears with it.

I’m very happy I gave it a try. It’s super simple. Yet surprisingly profound. I would love to walk one more frequently. There’s a piece of land in a small patch of woods next to our house…perhaps we can create our own. In the meantime, I’ll hang on to my experience near the great blue. Until we meet again.

 

Chatres-Labyrinth-candle-lit   chartres_jeff_wp5f6a33f51

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A Blessed Cleansing

About a month or so ago, I felt deeply moved. I’m not sure by what or who, but inside me stirred a yearning to be cleansed. I’ve done small cleansing ceremonies before, either with gemstones, or sage, but this time, my soul was being pulled towards water. Water is my element. With it I feel complete, part of it and in awe of it as it is both a creator and a destroyer. There’s a small stream across the street from our house and that’s where I decided I wanted to be cleansed. Dave came with me and we performed a beautiful ritual. He brought sage, and a turtle shell that he got from a native american powwow. Before I stepped into the chilly, trickling water, I was smudged…the smoke from the slowly burning sage blown across my body. Then once in the water, I carefully chose my intent of what I wanted to gain out of the little ceremony. Dave and I had been talking about a lot of different things, and some from the past, so one of the things I wanted to be freed from was those attachments. I desired to be free of the emotional attachments to my family who I recently surrendered in trying to create any kind of positive outcome with; I knew the time had come that I could no longer cling to memories, or heart-aching attempts to have them in my life or to get them to understand my life. So, with a scoop of cool, gentle water in that turtle shell, Dave poured it over my head as I declared I wanted to be free. It felt so amazing to symbolically solidify my intentions. After that, I chose a couple other things I wanted to be released from, and again, the water came over me with grace. With every wash, I could feel the “dirtiness” be rinsed away and carried far beyond me. Finally, the last thing I wanted to be cleansed of, was my sexual past. All that I’ve done to myself and to hurt others. With being with Dave and slowly reclaiming my innocence, in that moment, standing in a stream not too far from the street, I wanted to completely reclaim it. I returned to innocence in that time, when Dave and I hugged and cried and then when he poured, once more, the water over my head. I felt it trickle down my entire body, I felt it seep into me and my soul. I wanted that water to reach every dark part of me and eradicate any traces of darkness that were left. And that, I believe it did.

I proceeded to cleanse Dave afterwards, as he had some things he wanted to be freed of also. Overall, it was a beautiful, sacred, and moving time. But, it was also a time of enlightenment and joy…freedom and bliss. We spent time after the cleansing searching for special stones for each other. Appropriately, Dave found for me a pure white one. For him, I found a white one as well. It was a simple gesture that held so much meaning.

I would suggest this type of cleansing for anyone who is going through an emotional struggle. You may think that it wouldn’t have an effect, as you could pour water over your head at any given time…but if you truly believe and set the intention that whatever you want to be washed away is being washed away, then so shall it be. What you believe is real.

I am free and hope you can be too! Happy cleansing!