The ancient spiritual ritual of walking mindfully through a labyrinth came to Nielson Park Beach at Bargara today.
With clapsticks in hand, Cynthia Hoogstraten and Kay Shelton walked a labyrinth on the sand, expressing their gratitude for the day as curious onlookers joined in.
“A labyrinth is a metaphor for our life’s journey,” Cynthia said.
“It's a mindful walk which can represent the many twists and turns we encounter like rough roads, smooth roads, ups and downs, the warmth on our bodies from the sun the shadows of our past behind.
“As we enter a labyrinth, we can set our intention. Each person’s experience can be different, and there are no hard and fast rules.
“While we take our walk, we are focused in the moment. We can reflect on our thoughts and our feelings.”
Cynthia said for some people it can be quite emotional, and an opportunity to release tears; for others, it may be fun filled with a joyous step.
“As we meet others on the path, we can connect and engage, and respectfully pass each other by, with the knowledge that each one of us is on their journey,” she said.
“In time the path leads to the centre where one can stop and absorb the atmosphere and internally focus on the intention.
“It might be to express gratitude for the start of a beautiful sunny day with much to look forward to. It could be a thought process of our life before us and how we visualise our place in the universe.
“In our own time, we can then turn around and follow the path back to the beginning. We can leave behind any negativity, any issue and symbolically walk to new beginnings.
“One can walk at their own pace, with sound or in silence.”
Bargara labyrinth attracts interest
Activated on the beach at Bargara, Cynthia said some onlookers were keen to walk the path.
“It was rewarding to see participants connect within the circle,” she said.
“They walked with purpose and exited triumphantly. Labyrinths date back to the 12th century, with a famous one at Chartres Cathedral in France.”
According to the Labyrinth Society, a labyrinth is a meandering path, often unicursal, with a singular path leading to a centre.
Labyrinths are an ancient archetype dating back 4000 years or more, used symbolically, as a walking meditation, choreographed dance, or site of rituals and ceremony among other things.
Labyrinths are tools for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, also thought to enhance right-brain activity. Labyrinths evoke metaphor, sacred geometry, spiritual pilgrimage, religious practice, mindfulness, environmental art and community building.
The Bargara labyrinth might start a new trend with old meaning in the Bundaberg Region.