When I tell people I follow a Minoan spiritual path, one of the first things they ask about is the labyrinth. Often, all they know about the labyrinth is what they've heard from the Theseus-and-the-Minotaur story. The thing is, the Greeks invented Theseus as a culture hero centuries after Minoan civilization had ceased to exist, so the Minoans never even knew about him. In Theseus' tale, the labyrinth is a deadly maze full of confusing twists and turns, impossible to escape with the help of Ariadne's thread. In reality, the labyrinth is very different from that.
If you have a look at the labyrinth design at the top of this post, you'll see that it has a single path that leads unerringly to the center. Sure, there are twists and turns. These are designed to disorient the person walking the labyrinth so they can enter altered states of consciousness and reach their own inner spiritual understanding. But there's only one way in and the same way back out. This is called a unicursal (one-route) maze. And it's not a tricky trap. It's a spiritual tool.
Here is a 13 minute basic mindfulness meditation that I created which can be incorporated into your daily practice. I also use it before prayer and ritual, to ground and center myself, preparing for the work.
Jews in Britain celebrate their heritage and their survival in the face of centuries of persecution. A Taoist offers perspective on mourning and facing death. And an interfaith calendar is provided which outlines some of the most important holidays and festivals of the year. It's Faithful Friday, our weekly segment on news about faiths and religious communities around the world! All this and more for the Pagan News Beagle!
Whenever I’ve gone to a quiet place in my head, it’s been the same. I find myself on a path in the woods. It’s always fall and always leads to a pool with a waterfall. There’s a stone there large enough for me to sit on or lean against. For years when I sought out a quiet, centered place in my mind, inevitably this is where I’d end up. I could feel the crisp coolness of the autumn day, smell the fresh air with a hint of drying corn (yes I grew up on a farm where we did this), and feel the bite of winter.
The other night when I sought out my center, my balance.I didn’t go there.I tried.I was tired, wanted to destress and wanted the familiar and the comfortable of this scene.My mind didn’t go there.Even when I tried to visualize it, I couldn’t find it.It was like a door closed in my mind.
Warm water bubbles beneath my knees. I feel weightless. The pool is just deep enough that I can't sit, so I let my feet touch the sandy bottom while the rest of my body floats. The water must be the same temperature as my blood for I feel neither warm nor cool, as if heat and cold were a foreign concept. In these hot springs it is easy to forget where my body ends and the water begins. I run my hands up and down my legs. I expect little bubbles to rise to the surface, the way they do in the hot tub, but instead I feel a thin slimy film upon my skin. I wonder about the mineral content of the water. The smell of rotten eggs announces sulfur and I wrinkle my nose, then quickly re-frame my association from disgusting-gaseous-anomalies to miraculous-healing-waters and manage to enjoy the odor.
The sure sign that something new wants to happen, is boredom. Discover how you can let the inner opening happen as you stay present within your existing practice.
There's this sweet place where we do whatever we've been always doing- yet do it from a different place. More aware, less muscle tension, less distancing... As you reach this place, you find it's a very physical experience. How you make your movements literally physically changes. In that place, You feel the effect: as you literally bring less tension to the situation, there is less for others to react against. You become more pure, more aligned. People listen, join. It's a grace that comes after repeated practice of mind and body. Find a practice that includes both body and mind, and do it regularly. Don't forget to open your awareness to note the inner shifts when they happen.