The Oasis - July 8, 2020

Author: Pastor Dan Hollis/Sue Wierzba
July 08, 2020

July 8, 2020

First, a note from Pastor Dan:
This week’s Oasis features a submission from one of our Deacons, Sue Wierzba. Today Sue shares with us a spiritual practice that has great meaning to her, to me, and to many across the world. At her home in York, she has created an outdoor labyrinth, which is an ancient practice of meditation and prayer. I hope that her words spur you to exploring a new spiritual practice in your life, whether it be walking a labyrinth, or something else entirely! Something that renews your connection with God, and deepens your connection to self. At the close of her remarks, Sue includes details with which to connect to her if you are interested in visiting her outdoor labyrinth and wish to walk it yourself.

Psalm 19:1-4, 14
“The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard; yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world… Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” 

The labyrinth is one of the oldest contemplative tools known to humankind, used for centuries for personal and spiritual growth. This ancient design has been found as far back as 3000 years in a variety of forms and cultures. Some of the cultures where labyrinths have been found are ancient Crete, France, Hopi Native Americans, Norway, India, and the British Isles.

The labyrinth is a simple path you cannot get lost in, since there are no detours or wrong turns. It is a walking path for meditation or releasing stress. Putting one foot in front of the other you will encounter some 180-degree turns until you reach the center.  The metaphor is that you become “centered.”  This is a good place to pause. To take a few deep breaths and reflect on where you are, what has brought to this midpoint-circle.  When you feel ready to return, leave the center and exit by the way you came in, retracing your steps.   The labyrinth is a lot like life, there are twists and turns and bumps and imperfections.  As you follow the path outward, leave your concerns, anxieties and worries behind and exit feeling relaxed and at peace.  There are no rules to walking the labyrinth. If more than one person is walking the labyrinth and you meet someone on the path, it is good etiquette for the person entering to step to the right to allow the person exiting to pass by.  

I usually start with a question, a prayer for someone or something, thoughts of gratitude, concern, or meditation.  Sometimes people enter the labyrinth with a specific purpose while others simply walk the path to release the stresses of their day.  It is an experience that is different and unique each time and with each individual. 

This backyard labyrinth was created by hand, during the past 6 months, with gifts from the land and ocean with additional rocks given by friends and family and from our travels.  There is coquina from Florida, a large coral and shell fossil from the dessert of Saudi Arabia, Lava rock from Belize and rocks from along the roads and fields from many parts of Maine and New Hampshire.  It is full of life with an herb garden ring in the labyrinth, birds visiting the bird feeder, a small birdbath, gentle breezes and a patio towards the back with flagstone and fragrant thyme filling in the gaps.  Sometimes you can hear or smell the ocean. The labyrinth is a walking meditation path generally taking between 5-10 minutes to walk.  

If you are interested in walking the labyrinth, please call.  I have put aside Tuesdays, between 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. for people to experience the labyrinth.  We will adhere to social distance and will require a mask.  It brings me great peace. 

Blessings, Peace and Health,
Sue Wierzba


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