Heather Conn Blogs

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Labyrinth provides solace during winter solstice

— iPhone photos by Heather Conn

The candle glow in circles fell, arcing row upon row, in lines of light, stillness in the dark.

This week,  I walked the indoor labyrinth, created temporarily to mark the winter solstice, at the Creekside Community Centre in Vancouver, BC. It was one of five such labyrinths installed at community centres across the city by the Secret Lantern Society.

I was the first one to walk the labyrinth, after sitting in the dark room for a half-hour, listening to a recorded chant of Om that filled the room. (I had sneaked in early, watching a photography class set up their tripod shots.) I walked in my stocking feet to gain a greater sense of connectedness to the floor and earth. Several young children behind me, clutching handmade paper lanterns with candles inside, whispered in the darkness. I beckoned them to pass me along the circular route.

A man in a wheelchair moved parallel to me in a different row. Some people walked slowly, as if contemplating every step.

A woman sat on the floor, eliciting melodic tones from large white crystal bowls by running her hand repeatedly around their top surface. These higher sounds joined the low drones of the recorded Om, which continued to waft throughout the room.

It was wonderful to join in such a meditative flow within an urban place, surrounded by dozens of others. We all respected each other’s space and distance, each managing to find solo walking time within a group event. One of the organizers ensured that only a small number of people entered the labyrinth at a time, to prevent crowding.

As I walked, I focused on what I wanted to draw to me within the coming year, feeling open and centred, ready to let go of the darkness of the year and make way for light. What a great way to celebrate the shortest day of the year, the ebb and flow of light and life.

Drawn to mandalas and spirals as ancient symbols, I seek out labyrinths wherever I go and walk them in gratitude. I was married in an outdoor labyrinth and have co-facilitated workshops on labyrinths and SoulCollage. For more information, see my website Sunshine Coast SoulCollage.


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December 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm Comment (1)