Entering The Labyrinth
4th January 2022
My wife has built a labyrinth in our garden. It is a work of wonder measuring some 7 metres across. The path is defined using stones form the ramblas (dry river beds) around where we live in Andalucia in Southern Spain. The cardinal points of the compass are defined using crystal stones from the old Roman mine a couple of kilometres from our house. The labyrinth is grounded in the energy of where we live and infused by my wife’s spiritual energy.
To use the labyrinth you stand at the entrance and think of a question you want to ask or an issue you want guidance on. Once you have that in your mind you step off and start walking the path to the centre. The path winds round and back numerous times—it is surprising how long it is, not something you realise at the beginning. As you walk you hold the question or issue in your mind.
Once you reach the centre you stand and wait. If you are completely present and focused on what you are trying to deal with, something should happen. It could be a thought, it could be something happening around you, it could be anything. The crucial thing is that you are open and receptive to allow the guidance or answer to reveal itself to you.
Once you feel that you have this guidance or answer you walk back along the path, winding around the centre and back again. This gives you time to absorb what has come to you so that you feel it deep down. On finishing your walk you carry on with your life and surrender to your revelation. Whatever it is is important and will guide you to solutions you had not previously thought of.
It is vital that you surrender and don't question what is going on. It is not for you to know whether what is happening is right or not. Your conscious mind is seeking a solution, your unconscious mind is giving you one. Let it happen.
You may be aware of labyrinths or you may not, but why am I laying one out for you? Well for me it is a great lesson on how to lead a spiritual life, even living life itself. The keys are not knowing where you are going to end up and the act of surrender when you get there.
Sticking to it as a metaphor for a spiritual life it is important to engage in walking your path with complete trust and without expectation. A spiritual life is one where you live from your heart and soul and let go of trying to constantly control your life and what happens to you. The direction you take at any point in your life is often one you don't expect and couldn't anticipate.
Most of the frustration of life comes from the fact that it doesn't go the way people want. People work hard to stay in control because they 'know' what they want out of life. The problem with this is that their 'knowing' comes from the limited nature of their understanding rooted in their past experience. When you add to this the fact that there is little a person can control outside of themselves, you are heading for potential disaster. This is what people so often experience.
The solutions to your problems and issues frequently come from outside your understanding, and require shifts in thought that can't be anticipated. So, if you can't 'know' what to do or where to go how can you deal with the many pivots and blind alleys that life throws at you?
The answer, for me, is to treat what life puts in your way as if it is one great labyrinth. You start by opening yourself up to whatever is standing in your way or whatever you need clarification on. This needs openness and an acute awareness about yourself and what is happening around you. You then sit with this in a way that works for you. It could be a labyrinth, it could be going out for a walk or it could be just sitting in silent meditation.
In going through this process you open yourself up to your thoughts or signs around you. You let them come, unasked and unfiltered.
The final step on this journey, once you have sensed, or felt, or heard a solution, no matter how random or strange it may be, you enter into the phase of surrender. This step is the most important one. A spiritual life, whatever that might mean for you, has surrender at it its core. A spiritual life is one where you let go of control and follow the flow of life.
Surrender is about saying yes to whatever comes up. Surrender is about knowing that you don't know the answers. Surrender is about feeling an excitement about life and desire to follow it to wherever it might lead.
This idea scares people to the extent that mostly they won't follow it because they don't know where it will lead. People look for the certainty of knowing what is unknowable, that takes them nowhere.
Trust this process, let go, let spirit lead you and then carry on with your life. You will be amazed where this will lead. As my wife often says, "It will be beyond expectations!"