Monday, April 25, 2016

World Labyrinth Day Walk - Saturday May 7th at 1 p.m.

Join us at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth on Saturday May 7th for our first public event of 2016  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.

World Labyrinth Day, declared in 1998 by The Labyrinth Society, brings people together globally to recognize the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace.  This will be the 8th annual World Labyrinth Day, as we join individuals or groups from around the globe who will walk their local labyrinths at 1:00 pm. in their local time zones.  This world-wide event included walks in over 20 countries last year, and it is estimated that more than 5,000 people participated.

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.
Carleton Place Community Labyrinth - a peaceful and welcoming space
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. 

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 was built starting in 2010, and 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

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Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Opening the Labyrinth

 The first day of spring is one thing, and the first spring day is another. The difference between them is sometimes as great as a month. —Henry Van Dyke
"Listen to your heart" Octagonal Labyrinth Mosaic (detail) by C. Hume
My heart filled with joy the other day - to see the paths of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth finally revealed as the snow has melted away and Spring is upon us. (I am choosing to ignore the fact that we may have another 15 cm of snow tomorrow!)

We have a series of events planned throughout 2016 - and hope that you will be able to join in.

And if you prefer to experience discovering and walking the labyrinth on your own - feel free to come and do a meditative walk any time. There is an informational sign that will guide you on your way! And you can also find some labyrinth walking tips here.

Earth Day Sunrise Walk -  at sunrise 6:00 a.m., Friday, April 22.

Saturday, May 7th - World Labyrinth Day - join us at 1:00 p.m. Annual global event celebrated each year on the first Saturday in May. You are invited to “Walk as One at 1” to effect a rolling wave of peaceful energy as the world turns.

Biweekly Walks - the 1st and 3rd Tuesday mornings, June through September,  from 9:00 am to 10:00 am. Labyrinth keeper on site.

Thursday, June 16th -  “Finding Inner Peace on the Labyrinth” Join us at 7:00 p.m.  at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth for an evening labyrinth walk, gather afterwards to collaboratively create a large collage mandala. You are welcome to picnic in the garden beforehand.

Tuesday, July 19th  - full moon walk at 8:00 p.m.

Friday, September 9th - "Light up the Labyrinth" Gather at 6:30 p.m. to prepare and place luminaries, walk at 7:30 p.m. Bring or wear your lantern/light creations and be part of the fun!

Sunday, October 16th - full moon walk at 8:00 p,m,

Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is located at 267 Edmund Street, on the property behind the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

For more information contact

Debby Lytle 613-257-1014

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Labyrinth was all Aglow!

We want to thank everyone that came out to our recent "Light up the Labyrinth" event. It was definitely a case of many hands helping to create a magical space and a wonderful community gathering! Photos of the evening, taken by local photographer Robert McDonald, and comments from participants and our labyrinth committee members help to tell the story.

Here are some of the pictures I took at the event. The children were a great help in providing the 'painting with light' effect in some of the photos.

It takes many hands to help light up the labyrinth
I wanted to congratulate & thank you and members of the Labyrinth committee on another successful Light up the Labyrinth Walk! Great evening and turn out of people and children, fun had by one and all—I am sure wakening up this morning  you are so grateful the weather cooperated !
Kerron Lamb, local musician, opens the labyrinth walk playing the didgeridoo.
I love Kerron Lamb and her music!!  Yes: I found myself singing or whistling along to her songs while walking in the labyrinth.
The labyrinth was all aglow and "painted with light".
Saw the pics of Light Up in the EMC- looks like it was just beautiful!!
"Glow in the dark" jugglers added a special dimension.
It was just wonderful.....I'm still feeling the glow! 
The laughter of children filled the air, as they joyfully danced on the labyrinth.
With thanks to the Carleton Place Labyrinth Committee for sharing ways to have a lighted labyrinth walk. 
A beautiful energy on the labyrinth tonight.
And finally, thanks again, to Jeff Mitchell, owner of CP Independent Grocer for the kind donation of 640 paper bags for the luminaries!

See you next year!

Friday, September 25, 2015

A Feeling of Accomplishment

I first took my Veriditas Facilitator Training with Lauren Artress at the Sacred Pattern, Sacred Path Workshop - May 2010 – Ottawa, ON.  After taking the facilitator training, we had two years to gain more experience in working with the labyrinth, and to then prepare a report and apply to become fully certified.
Leading a walk at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth.
I was fully immersed in being a volunteer with the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth and definitely was gaining the experience that I needed to become certified. BUT I just did not take the next step of preparing the report and the deadline came and went.

Fast forward to late 2014 and an auspicious email arrived in my inbox from Veriditas.  In honour of the 20th anniversary of the organization - they were offering a "Certification Amnesty Program" to anyone who had been trained and not yet completed the certification process.  I realized that this was a great opportunity - and I took it! I now had 8 months to prepare my report. What a good feeling it was to take that first step to get started.
I take the first step towards becoming certified!

The preparation of this Certification Report was a wonderful process. I actually started working on it in December – and spent many hours pulling all of my labyrinth files together, sorting through photos, reminding myself and reflecting on all of the interconnected events and activities that I have felt drawn to participate in since the early stirrings of my interest in the labyrinth. I was also very thankful that Gracie Amirault, a Veriditas Council Member checked in with me from time to time to see how I was progressing.

And how rewarding to eventually receive this email (& certificate) notifying me of my certification!

Hello, Christine
I have had the privilege to read your certification app. I'm glad you decided to fulfill this process. Your passion for and commitment to the labyrinth certainly come through in your extensive materials presented for your application. You went above and beyond providing materials, but certainly gave much insight into your work and heart, and the development of the community project.

I enjoyed visiting the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth website! An exciting project, for sure. There may be ways you can share  your organizational and planning templates for others.

I appreciated your aha! insight of holding and developing your creative expressions. We often can ignore that for all the other factors in our lives. As well as your recognition of your own growth since you began the work. May that continue.

The office will be officially informing you of your certification.

Best wishes in your work. I hope to visit your area at some point, and would enjoy visiting the site. I will be in Nova Scotia for a retreat/training in September, hosted by Gracie Amirault, your regional rep.

Continued blessings on your work,
Kay Mutert
Veriditas Master Teacher
Tuscaloosa AL

What an amazing journey this has been so far - I will be continuing to "trust the path".

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Light up the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth

Let's "Light up the Labyrinth" together - from 6:30 – 9:00 PM on September 11th, 2015.
On Friday September 11th, the warm glow of more than 600 candlelit luminaries will flicker along the path of Carleton Place's Community Labyrinth for this year's "Light up the Labyrinth" event. The labyrinth is located at the corner of George and Baines Streets beside the Carleton Place & Beckwith Heritage Museum, 267 Edmund Street in Carleton Place.

To make this event more collaborative - organizers are asking participants to gather at 6:30 PM at the labyrinth to prepare and place luminaries for a 7:30 PM candlelit walk.
Bring out your lanterns, glow sticks or flashlights and join our evening walk.
Debby Lytle, Chairperson for the Labyrinth Committee, explains: "We are a very small committee and really need some extra hands to make this event happen.  Join us at the labyrinth at 6:30 PM to help assemble and place the luminaries, then everyone will have a chance to be part of lighting up the labyrinth at 7:30 PM before the walk begins.  If you have a BBQ lighter bring it along and if people are able to stay and assist with the dismantling of the luminaries at the end of the night, that would be a great help as well!"

The Labyrinth Committee of Carleton Place invites you to bring out your lanterns, glow sticks or flashlights and join our evening walk. This year, we are fortunate to once again have live guitar and didgeridoo music by local musician Kerron Lamb.
Walk accompanied by live Guitar and Didgeridoo music by local musician Kerron Lamb.
Our candlelit labyrinth walks have become a popular fall event, as individuals and families from across the region bring along their festive lanterns, and enjoy an evening labyrinth walk. "Children love this particular night-time event. It's a chance to bring along one of their own lantern creations." says Julia Heathcote, a volunteer labyrinth keeper.  To add to the after-dark fun, Carleton Place jugglers Michael and Kayla McNeely will be doing a “glow in the dark” juggling demonstration.

For those who wish to relax and watch the candlelight, garden benches and a wheelchair-accessible contemplation ring encircle the labyrinth. If you would like to sit for a while and take in the candlelight glow, bring along a lawn chair too.
Thanks to support from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the Town of Carleton Place and individuals and businesses within our community, this permanent labyrinth exists for people to use at any time.

For more information or if you would like to help prepare the luminaries,
please contact Debby Lytle: 613-257-1014 or
Facebook: /CarletonPlaceCommunityLabyrinth

Sunday, August 9, 2015

New Split Rail Fence for the Community Labyrinth

Recently volunteers, Chris Hume and Debby Lytle (CP Community Labyrinth committee members), and Shelly Sammon (labyrinth neighbour) erected a mini Bunk-style split rail fence at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth. 

Constructed with donated materials and under the expert guidance of Eugene Fytche,  local author of "400 Years of Log Fences" (see article on pg. 3),  the fence will help provide a bit more privacy for Labyrinth walkers.
The pieces of the split rail fence (kindly donated to the labyrinth) ready for assembly.
Split rail fence expert, Eugene Fytche, measuring twice to make sure the fence is in the right location.
A tough job - digging the holes for the support posts.
Debby and volunteer Shelly, laying the fence rails, narrow end first.
The final step - wiring the fence posts together. No fence wire wasted - by the master!
The finished "mini-bunk" split rail fence. We have a new respect for the hard-working pioneers of Lanark County that built these fences back in the 1800's!
The labyrinth is always open and is situated behind the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum on Edmund Street in Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada. We hope to meet you on the path sometime soon!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stewart Park Community Labyrinth

Our Carleton Place Community Labyrinth is providing inspiration to other communities!  We are so happy to be able to report that Perth, Ontario now has it's own community labyrinth - and Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator - Vanessa Compton is leading the way to make this a reality.  She has kindly agreed to having us publish the story here.

It didn't happen overnight... here's the story. (By Vanessa Compton)

Year 2 of the Stewart Park Community Labyrinth.
After the success of last summer’s Stewart Park Festival labyrinth, a one-day installation immortalized by Perth Community Police Officer Bird as “some seniors’ spray-paint graffiti vandalism,” I was encouraged by Stewart Park Festival workshop organizer Julie McIntyre and my fellow members of Transition Perth to plan a more durable version for the summer of 2015.

Surveyor's tape - laying out the medieval 7-circuit labyrinth in Stewart Park.
It would need to be easy and cheap to maintain, of minimal cost to the Town of Perth, and in harmony with the aesthetics and community guidelines of Stewart Park. With the help of the Town of Perth’s Karen Fox, Director of Special Events, Shellee Evans, Director of Community Services, Jim Niblock, Supervisor of Parks and Facilities, and Kari Clarke, Coordinator at Downtown Heritage Perth BIA, who helped steer the project through Council, we were put in contact with Kat Watson, Coordinator of the Youth Action Kommittee (YAK) Skills Link program, and Rick Woods, the Parks and Facilities go-to guy and keeper of the keys to the lawnmower.
Enthusiastic YAK team members, help to make the Stewart Park Community Labyrinth a reality!
Kat arranged for me to visit with the spring cohort of the YAK Skills Link program, to explain about labyrinths in the community, and what the project would involve. The young people were so enthusiastic about it, they were ready to haul stones and make a permanent masonry version that afternoon, and were annoyed to have to wait for Council approval. I had to laugh – they reminded me so much of my impatient younger self.

On a cold sunny day at the end of April, a team from YAK helped lay it out using surveyor’s flags and tape, and fence staples, a generous donation from the Perth Home Hardware store. We had decided on a Medieval 7-circuit with x and y axes to make U-turns on the path. We made mistakes and laughed a lot and had to make emergency trips for more supplies, but finally the CAUTION tape went up and we waited for the grass to grow.
First mowing by Jordan Lye-Lee, a YAK member planning to start his own landscape business.
First mowing was May 8th. Jordan Lye-Lee, a YAK member planning to start his own landscape business, was our first volunteer. The lines are just starting to show!
Perth Parks crew mow the labyrinth every Friday - the labyrinth starts to take shape!
The mowing was scheduled for every Friday, when the Perth Parks crew would be on site. We alternated just mowing the path and mowing both the path and the lines at different heights. It was such a rainy spring and early summer that it sometimes took three passes to get the whole thing done.
An information sign is installed at the entrance to the labyrinth.
Thanks to Image Printing in Perth, an information sign was installed at the entrance to the labyrinth. By mid-July, we noticed that the path hardly needed mowing because it was getting beaten down from being used so much!

Two weeks before Stewart Park Festival, YAK was between Skills Link cohorts, so “Sherpa” Mike Fletcher mowed the thick vegetation. It looked like a scalp job, but by Festival weekend, the grass had grown in and the labyrinth looked serene and lush.
By Festival weekend, the grass had grown in and the labyrinth looked serene and lush.
Festival weekend dawned – rainy and hot. By Saturday the weather had cleared, and the labyrinth provided a cool sanctuary for people of all ages, over 500 by one account. During the hot afternoons, the labyrinth was a magnet for kids and families whether playing make-up-your-own-games or taking a break from the crowds and noise. It was a pleasure to walk barefoot on the cool springy clover turf… or run races, reinvent hopscotch (one of the historical origins of the turf labyrinth), stand on your head… even check your FaceBook!
During the hot afternoons, the labyrinth was a magnet for kids and families.
We’re looking forward to seeing the labyrinth through the fall, and experimenting with some judicious application of slow-release fertiliser. While the long term goal is to put a stone paver labyrinth in place eventually, mown turf labyrinths can last for decades, with a little maintenance. In the height of a hot summer day, there really is nothing more delightful than walking a fragrant clover labyrinth in your bare feet.
There really is nothing more delightful than walking a fragrant clover labyrinth in your bare feet!