Thursday, August 20, 2009

Walking Into Peace

This labyrinth is part of the Messiah Lutheran Church in Lindsborg. I've become a devotee of walking labyrinths. The idea is that you enter and walk the path that twists and turns, using the time for prayer or meditation.

I didn't know this was in Lindsborg until a few weeks ago when I went to see Ellen Goodman speak. I happened to park in this area and saw the labyrinth, but didn't have time to walk it then. Sunday when I was coming home from Kansas Dialogue I decided to detour through there and walk it.

I find the repetitive nature of following the path in a labyrinth to clear the mind. That's a huge deal for me because quieting my mind is difficult. A doctor said to me a long time ago that he thought my difficulties with sleep could all be traced to how my brain works, and that it has to let go of thoughts when I'm trying to go to sleep.

At any given moment I have dozens of thoughts going on. Each is traveling along its own path - kind of like spokes on a wheel - but all simultaneously. When I think of something in that line of thought that requires my attention I bring it to the front of my mind and have to keep reminding myself of it. That's why I make notes. Only once it's on a note can I let that thought process continue logically, along it's path, to its natural conclusion. Keeping that thought uppermost in my mind is exhausting. Once it's written down I can just let it go.

It has been too long since I walked a labyrinth. I just walked this one into the center and back out again. It was enough time to clear a few cobwebs, but not sufficient time to really find a peaceful place in my brain.

It seems there are so many things to think about every day. And some of them are falling by the wayside every day. I need some time to quiet my mind, to find some peace. Walking into it is one way to get there.

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