No, 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 and 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.