Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Finding Labyrinths Along the Way

While walking the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth early last Friday morning - it occurred to me that I should try to find labyrinths to walk along the way - while on my upcoming journey to the Haliburton School of the Arts to take a course on Soul Collage®.

I checked both the Labyrinth Society's Worldwide Labyrinth Locator and the Ontario Labyrinth Locator for some possibilities. Of course - I only did this on the morning of the day I was leaving. 

And here are the labyrinths that I found and some notes and photos about my experience.

Between Friends - 730 Inglis Rd., Renfrew, ON. Private, outdoor, always open, Chartres design. Wild flowers.

I sent an email and tried to call ahead - but could not connect with the owner - so did not get to walk this labyrinth.

Rocky Bear Labyrinth - located at the Teddy Bear B&B in L'Amable, ON.  Public, outdoor, Cretan design. 7-circuit, 50 foot diameter. Pebbles and quarry rock.

I called and spoke to Diane (one of the owners of the bed & breakfast) - and it was no problem to walk the labyrinth.  Diane was very warm and welcoming on the phone. I saw a sign for the Teddy Bear B&B as I was getting closer to Bancroft - and was delighted to find it quite easily.  I knocked on the door - but no one was home - so I explored the labyrinth path on my own.
I had a very peace-filled walk at the Rocky Bear Labyrinth, located right beside a wee lake.
Grail Springs Labyrinth - Bancroft. Please call in advance if you would like to visit and walk the labyrinth. Also inquire about our Sacred Labyrinth Sacred Life retreats. Private, medieval, inner 5 circuits of the Chartres design, 33 feet diameter, rock, garden, hemlock. 

Unfortunately - I was not able to make arrangements to walk this labyrinth.

Hello Chris,
Grail Spring is a private retreat centre. There is a small window of opportunity for you to meet with Barb Shaw at 6:30 at the front desk. Without an escort it would not be possible. Please answer if this is okay for you and I will inform Barb who will be glad to meet you.
Kind regards,
Grail Services team

Hello Chris,
Sorry I skipped over the answer for Saturdays... Saturdays are not possible because guests would and could very likely be using the labyrinth.
Kind regards,
Guest Services

Haliburton Highlands Tranquility Trail - a labyrinth healing park located at Haliburton Highlands Health Care Facility. Public, outdoor, wheelchair accessible, Cretan design, 5-circuit, 30 foot diameter. Crushed stone path & perennial sedum.

Sadly - this labyrinth has been removed (possibly because it was neglected and needed tending?)  - and has not yet been rebuilt.  However I was able to find out about the Minden Hills labyrinth from a staff member at the Health Care Facility.

Minden Hills Labyrinth - Minden - Public, outdoor, shaded by trees, 7-circuit. 42 foot diameter. Gravel pathway. More than 1000 stones mark the walls. Tree stump shaped into a stool in centre for restful contemplation. Peace pole, “May Peace Prevail on Earth", in English, Finnish, German, French & Spanish. Located across the Gull River bridge on grounds of Minden Hills Museum.

We drove to Minden one evening looking for this labyrinth.  We stopped at the Cultural Centre and I went through to the library.  There I was directed to find George at the Agnes Jamieson Gallery who would be able to tell us more about the labyrinth. Another sad story about a lonely labyrinth.  The stones are being removed, in effect the labyrinth is being dismantled, again because it seems there is no one to tend it.  However, we could still find the path, and George made an exception and unlocked the gate close to the labyrinth so we could come in to walk it.

Some lessons from the labyrinth: he/she loves me; remember to make an exception; can still find and follow the path despite perceived difficulties; let there be light - shimmering through a crystal!
A lovely location for a labyrinth - on the grounds of the Minden Cultural Centre.
I pause and find a crystal along the path.
Labyrinth at Kennisis Lake - Haliburton - Private, appointments can be made via email to Belinda Beer, Petite Chartres, 7-circuit, 24 foot diameter.

When I sent the email to Belinda inquiring about walking her labyrinth - I heard back within minutes!
And synchronistically, we were even taking the same course.  A group of eight of us ended up having a wonderful evening at this labyrinth while we were in Haliburton.

Hi Belinda: I am about to leave Almonte – and will be travelling to Haliburton to take a one week course (on Soul Collage® at the Haliburton School of Arts. I am hoping to walk a labyrinth or two while on my journey. Would it be OK to make an appointment to walk your labyrinth at some point while I am in Haliburton? I look forward to your reply. Thanks Chris

Just left you a voice mail. I'm on that course too. You are welcome to walk whenever you would like. Belinda
We are so fortunate to visit this sacred space, called Cathedral in the Woods

We place our Soul Collage® cards on the labyrinth - what a powerful combination.

The beauty and energy of the forest surrounds us.

  And the labyrinth journey continues. 
What a special gift to walk this labyrinth in the woods today. 
Lessons learned:
Believe and receive all that you need.
Trust your path (supported by our newly created Soul Collage® cards).
Continue to step inside the Circle - and step up to new opportunities that present themselves.
"Listen to your heart"
"Help me find and keep my humble self"
I feel supported by the labyrinth and the group of soul sisters that are here - in this moment!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Finding Peace Within Ourselves

Thanks to all who joined us at the Walk in Peace & Native Teachings event at the labyrinth on Thursday June 18th.  These special photos were taken by Kay McKay, and truly capture the spirit and feeling of the event. Interspersed with the photos are comments from our labyrinth committee members and some of the people who attended.
Smudging clears any negative energy and is healing for the mind, body and spirit!

Francine Desjardins, Sunflower, Watching Woman of the Bear Clan, shared teachings on peace and the medicine wheel.
We are reminded to find peace within ourselves, as a way of bringing to the rest of the world.
"What a wonderful gathering in the gardens and at the labyrinth last night! And at the impromptu Circle gathering in the Museum afterwards – during the rain storm…

I was able to finally walk the labyrinth first thing this morning. It was so beautiful to be able to watch the dreamcatcher moving in the breeze as I was walking – and to see the details of the items added – once I got to the centre."

Debby Lytle tells the story and teachings of the dreamcatcher.
We all participate in creating a peacewalk dreamcatcher.
Immersed in the creative process!
"Wonderful event. Everyone really enjoyed doing the communal dreamcatcher."

 "What a lovely picture of the Dream Catcher, it is certainly a great memory of a wonderful walk."

Chris Hume tells the story of the labyrinth and how to get the most out of your walk.
Cedar is one of the four sacred medicines given to the First Nations people as a means of communicating with the Creator. Those who wish to, carry a piece of Cedar with them on their labyrinth walk.

Chad Clifford, Blueberry Mountain Flutes (maker) plays his native-style flute during the labyrinth walk.

Going with the flow on the labyrinth - just before the storm.
"I enjoyed walking the labyrinth during the rain storm. Great circle of flute playing in the museum afterwards!"

"I ended up getting to the car just as it really started raining, and then sat for a while. I really wanted to thank you and your fellow Committee members for another memorable labyrinth event!  You had gone to a lot of trouble to make it a success and I loved being able to add to the dreamcatcher, plus I really appreciated the talk, drumming and singing by Francine.  Doing the walk to the flutes with the dark clouds looming was very atmospheric. All in all, a special day."

Rattle and tapping sticks, part of the Drum Circle tradition.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Native Teachings at "Walk in Peace"

From  5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. on Thursday June 18th, the Labyrinth Committee will present "Walk in Peace" at the Community Labyrinth in Carleton Place.

With this early evening event, the Committee hopes to focus attention on the need for peace in the world and within ourselves. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools and have even been used for bringing peace and reconciliation between individuals in conflict.

"If we can learn to find peace within ourselves, we can bring this peaceful energy into our community and the world." says Phyl Drennan, a volunteer for The Labyrinth Committee of Carleton Place.

Special guests have been invited to address the theme:
Francine Desjardins, Sunflower, Watching Woman of the Bear Clan, will share teachings on peace and the medicine wheel.

Chad Clifford, Blueberry Mountain Flutes (maker) and soundscapes recordist will play his native-style flute during the labyrinth walk.

Bring along a picnic supper, a chair or a blanket, and be prepared to enjoy the gardens and find inspiration from our guest speaker. Participate in the making of the peace walk dream catcher and enjoy a labyrinth walk accompanied by native-style flute music.

All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is located beside the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, at 267 Edmund St.

For more information contact Debby 613-257-1014 or
facebook: /carletonplacecommunitylabyrinth

Monday, May 4, 2015

A World-wide Celebration of the Labyrinth

Our World Labyrinth Day walk turned out to be a great success.  Just minutes before one – people started arriving!  And there were 22 people walking as 1 at 1 PM! 
We placed a globe and World Labyrinth Day poster as a focal point on the labyrinth.
We placed a globe and an enlargement of the World Labyrinth Day  poster on the labyrinth too – and we could see people pausing to look at this setup as they were walking.  It was a good thematic focal point to have - and a reminder of that we were walking together with hundreds of other people in celebration of the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace.
On a labyrinth walk today. Boy was it fun!
New this year, we had a "reflection table" - where some children (and adults) coloured before the walk – and some labyrinth walkers gathered afterwards to draw or journal while reflecting upon their experience in the labyrinth.
We had a "reflection table" for labyrinth walkers to gather at after their walk.
There was a short talk - at the standing stone - about World Labyrinth Day, the difference between a labyrinth and a maze, the story of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth and tips about how to walk a labyrinth.
Work of art created after walking the labyrinth.
And then people started by standing quietly on the pausing stone at the labyrinth entrance - and then walking contemplatively. Afterwards – we invited anyone who wanted to be in the group photo to head to the entrance of the labyrinth.
Greetings from the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth!
Walking the labyrinthine way of my life 
No thought, no time, no place, no rhyme or reason for it 
But this step forward 
And this one next 
Feet on ground, heart stone in hand 
Held in the vast emptiness 
Let go, let go
(by Christine Dixon, WLD walk participant)

Monday, April 20, 2015

World Labyrinth Day Walk

Join us on Saturday May 2nd for our first public event of 2015  as we "Walk as One at 1" in celebration of World Labyrinth Day.  If you are new to the labyrinth experience, this Saturday walk will be a perfect introduction for you. Information about the history, benefits and unique aspects of the labyrinth will be available onsite.
First public event of 2015, join us as we "walk as one at 1 PM" on Saturday May 2nd.
World Labyrinth Day, declared in 1998 by The Labyrinth Society, brings people together globally to recognize the labyrinth as a symbol, a tool, a passion, and a practice. This will be the 7th annual World Labyrinth Day, as we join labyrinth societies from around the globe who will walk their local labyrinths at 1:00 pm. in their local time zones.
By walking a labyrinth, we are rediscovering an ancient tradition, which is still relevant today. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth is designed as a single path. There are no dead-ends or tricks. The path on which you enter is the same path on which you exit. A walker is free to focus on a thought or a prayer, or to simply enjoy the energy of the walk itself. Many walkers find that the circular pattern holds them in a type of walking meditation long enough to let their problems and worries fall away. In a busy world, walking a labyrinth can provide an opportunity to foster connection, support healing, and promote well-being.

Labyrinths exist in many forms, in places as diverse as Peru, Iceland, Egypt, France, and the United Kingdom. There are more than 4,000 labyrinths active today. Some labyrinths have been built on private lands, while others, like the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth, have been created as a public space for all to enjoy. 

People of all ages enjoy walking the labyrinth!
The Community Labyrinth is located at the corner of George and Baines Streets, beside the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum. The stone-bordered grassy path is the focal point for Labyrinth Park, a peaceful garden filled with ornamental grasses, native trees, benches for sitting, and a wheelchair-accessible contemplation ring that encircles the labyrinth. The labyrinth construction was made possible by the Town of Carleton Place, individual, business  & community sponsors, and a Trillium Foundation grant.

For more information contact Debby: 613-257-1014
Facebook: /CarletonPlaceCommunityLabyrinth

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Awakening the Labyrinth

 "The first day of spring holds a promise of new beginnings 
and the energy to make them happen. - D. Lytle"
On the eve of the Spring Equinox, our community labyrinth committee gathered to discuss our plans for the coming year.  We always enjoy getting together - sharing stories and our enthusiasm for all things labyrinth!  And as the snow continues to melt - and the grass path emerges - we are looking forward to welcoming previous and new participants to walk the path at our peaceful labyrinth park.

Events 2015
  • Wednesday, April 22nd - "Earth Day Sunrise Walk" 6 AM
  • Saturday, May 2nd - "Walk as One at One" 1 PM
  • Saturday, May 23rd - Murals at the Museum unveiling 10 AM - 4 PM (labyrinth keeper on site)
  •  "Weekly Walks" - starting Tuesday, June 2nd until Tuesday, September 29th - 9 AM - 10 AM (labyrinth keeper on site)
  • Thursday, June 18th - "Walk in Peace", picnic supper, speaker & music, labyrinth walk - 5:30 PM
  • Friday, July 31st - "Blue Moon Walk", 8 PM
  • Friday, Sept. 11th - "Light up the Labyrinth", 6:30 PM gather and setup; 7:30 PM walk
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27th - "Full Moon Walk", 8 PM
Other Events at the Labyrinth
A special place for all your celebrations... birthdays, weddings, family gatherings, group walks, outdoor meetings or company team building and problem solving sessions.  For ideas on how to incorporate the labyrinth into these occasions and/or to reserve the labyrinth, contact: 

Debby Lytle
613 257 1014
Wedding at Labyrinth Park, Carleton Place, ON - July 2014!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Light up the Labyrinth - a Collaborative Event!

We asked for your help - and you listened!  We are a small committee and asked for help this year to Light up the Labyrinth starting at 6 PM.  Another challenge presented itself - when the temperature dropped and we had to make sure to dress warmly.  Despite everything it turned out to be a wonderful evening. We couldn't have done it without your support.  The photos and comments below help to tell the story!  A special thanks to our photographers: Robert McDonald and Veena Balsawer.

View of the labyrinth luminaries being set up - through the trees.

Many hands make setting up the 600 luminaries effortless.
"What a lovely evening!  It was the first time my friend Judy had been to a labyrinth at all and she liked it a lot.  It was fun with all the kids...a great family and community time."
The enthusiasm of the children helping was contagious!

"The event was wonderful... I loved how the community all pitched in to help. Very special."

Our strolling minstrel musician, Kerron Lamb, added to the spirit of the evening.

"I especially enjoyed the singer/guitarist and the digery doo player as added ambiance."
At dusk the glowing luminaries lit the path.
"The luminarias were gorgeous and the kids had a lot of fun."
Kids often start joyfully running upon entering the labyrinth.
Some jugglers joined in the happy celebration of light!
So thankful to all who attended our Light Up the Labyrinth event to celebrate light, harvest, gratitude, peace and joy.