Sunday, September 25, 2016

A Magical Evening at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth

Thanks to all who came out to help "Light up the Labyrinth"! Amazingly all of the 600 luminaries were aglow, with time to spare, before dusk set in. The submitted photos and comments from my fellow committee members really help to capture the special feel of this event!

Musician Kerron Lamb playing her new spiral didgeridoo.
Many hands (large and small) help to light up the labyrinth!
Kerron opens the labyrinth, and others start to walk the path.
As dusk settles in, the labyrinth is all a-glow!
Lanterns hung and placed with care surround us with a special warmth.

We are so thankful for the friends and families that gathered at the labyrinth this evening.
To the Awesome labyrinth keepers of the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth... I am so grateful to know you all.  Thank you for being a part of this wonderful gift called labyrinth that we have brought to this community.  A perfect night... A spectacular event ....congrats to all and thank you.  Debby

Agreed it was an especially magical evening - and wonderful to have spent a lot of it at the centre of the labyrinth! Chris
I agree as well, we have such a great team and it was so nice to see everyone.  It was a wonderful and fun evening and such a great turnout with lots of help too.  Stephanie

It was a beautiful night with awesome people.  I wish we could order that weather for every event!  The turnout was inspiring.  What would we do without that awesome teacher and her international students too:  I'm still laughing thinking of how the one (male) student blew out the candles in the bags.  The only unfortunate part of the evening is that we can't speak to everyone we would like to greet. Mary

That was really a spectacularly successful evening.  At one point I looked up and there was a crowd of people, round the stones and on the Labyrinth.  It has certainly become a community event! My daughter saw a man and two young children on bikes riding by and one of the children said "Dad, what is going on at the Labyrinth".  They were  aware of the Labyrinth, it is truly part of the community now.  Julia

Local media are very supportive! We make the front page after the event.


Monday, September 5, 2016

Your Help Needed to Light up the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth

Let's "Light up the Labyrinth" together - from 6:30 – 9:00 PM on September 9th, 2016.
On Friday September 9th, 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. This year, we are fortunate to once again have live guitar and digeridoo music by local musician Kerron Lamb.
Enjoy live guitar and digeridoo music by local musician Kerron Lamb.
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.

Debby Lytle, Chairperson for the Labyrinth Committee, explains:  “As a very small committee we need many hands to help us light up this spectacular display on the labyrinth.  Join us at 6:30 PM and be part of the assembling and placing of the luminaries, bring along your bbq lighter to help us light the candles before the walk.  The dismantling at the end of the walk is a huge job and extra help is very welcome then, as well!

Our candlelit labyrinth walks have become a popular fall event, as individuals and families from across the region come to enjoy an evening labyrinth walk.  "Children and those young at heart can be part of this festive labyrinth walk by carrying a lantern, wearing their glow-in-the dark-apparel, glow necklaces, glow sticks, and more. Be creative!" say Julia Heathcote, a volunteer labyrinth keeper. Parents should be cautioned that the luminaries are real flame and to please consider clothing and lantern choices carefully.
How about bringing your glow-in-dark balloons to the labyrinth?
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. 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, Ontario.

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

Monday, August 29, 2016

Full Moon Labyrinth Walk

I was a bit hesitant about heading to the Full Moon Labyrinth Walk on July 19th, 2016.  I was quite overwhelmed with life stresses that day: my long commute, a lot going on at work, and more.  And we have been coping with having only a very small volunteer committee to keep the events at the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth running smoothly.

I wanted to prepare a very short welcome and opening prayer - and felt I didn't even have time to put that together. So I sent a quick note out to the Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitators forum - and trusted that the inspiration I needed would come.

However, the moment I arrived at the labyrinth - I felt a great sense of calm and knew that I was in exactly the right place at the right time!

Here is the full moon labyrinth walk report I sent to our committee members the following day.

Hi All:

We had a small turnout – but a very a special full moon walk last night. At the beginning I met Brittany, Amelia (her toddler daughter), Phoebe (German Shepherd) and Maui (black cat). They live in the neighbourhood – and go for walks most evenings (the cat walks everywhere with them).  They especially like to walk at the labyrinth.

Maui decided to stay and attend the full moon labyrinth walk too (after his humans went home)! He didn't like walking on the grass though – so he stepped carefully all along the stone path. We even called him – and arranged for him to sit on one of the benches under the full moon! We walked the labyrinth once, gathered at the standing stones to chat and share – and then walked once more when the moon came out!

Sending you all full moon energy and blessings!
Trusting the path!
Chris :)

I meet Maui the cat, who decides to stay and take part in the full moon walk.
Deb even called him – and arranged for him to sit on one of the benches under the full moon!
We walked the labyrinth a second time when the moon came out!
And the next day I found these emails (via the Labyrinth Facilitator network) in my inbox. I found it particularly sychronistic to hear from Eve in Maui, after meeting Maui the cat!

I’ve been doing a full moon labyrinth monthly on Maui for 20 years…….are you looking for specific words or time flow or ….…..or what exactly? We have a harpist play for 30 minutes while everyone is gathering (volunteer) then I do about 30-40 minute talk on labyrinths history and how to utilize them to transform your life and relationships and guidelines, then we walk by moonlight and torchlight……and finish up with sharing…. BEAUTIFUL every time!

We live in a place where we get 80 inches of rain a year and in 20 years have never been rained out. It will rain all through the talk, clear up while we walk and rain through the sharing…..quite miraculous!

Let me know if you are looking for something more specific….
Much aloha

Sacred Garden Maui

My first introduction to the labyrinth was nearly 20 years ago at one of Eve's lovely facilitated walks upcountry Maui; it was the beginning of a special part of my life.  She does a terrific job...

Since then I've had the privilege of facilitating my own walks and have done several around the moon.  One of the things I like to highlight is how the labyrinth mimics the cycles of the moon in terms of beginning to fill as we walk in (new moon waxing), circle center (full) and releasing/letting go as we walk out (waning moon). Helping people consider how this rhythm is at work in their life and guiding them to raise consciousness about what they want to grow in themselves can be an interesting focus for a walk.  

So opening could be an invitation to what they would like to be filled with (peace, joy, courage etc.) and closing could be what they are ready to let go of (tension, anger, fear etc.)  Also simply being open to absorbing the's such a mysterious, mystical energy that fits so well with the labyrinth!

Good luck.
Kathleen Maxwell
Chagrin Falls, OH

Saturday, July 9, 2016

A Beautiful Evening

We were so blessed to have perfect weather once again as we walked and found inner peace on the labyrinth on Thursday June 16th. Following are some photos and comments that truly help to capture the feeling of the evening. It was wonderful as well - to introduce the labyrinth to many people who have never had the experience before!
Peonies grace the focal point on the labyrinth.
Smudging to clear the labyrinth and set our intentions for the walk.
Gathering to listen to short talk about the history of the labyrinth and walking tips.
Walking and finding inner peace on the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth.
Taking time to pause and receive all we need at the centre.
After the walk we collaboratively created a collage with a "finding inner peace" theme.
The completed collage - full of inspirational messages.
I'd like to thank you and Debby for asking the choir to be part of the event. Some of the singers mentioned to me that they had been very moved while singing and watching those walking the labyrinth.  I loved being able to hear your short talk, sing, then walk the labyrinth. The turnout of walkers and singers was fabulous. The weather was magnificent. 

We should make it an annual event. There are no shortage of songs about peace. And we need to sing them whenever possible!

Jennifer Noxon, Choir Director - Rhythm & Song Community Choir
Rhythm & Song Community Choir performing Dona Nobis Pacem during the labyrinth walk.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Finding Inner Peace on the Labyrinth on June 16th

                                      "There is no path to peace, peace is the path." Gandhi

From 7:00  - 8:30 p.m. on Thursday June 16th, 2016, the Labyrinth Committee will present "Finding Inner Peace on the Labyrinth” at the Community Labyrinth in Carleton Place.

With this summer 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.

"I believe that walking the path of the labyrinth can bring peace to those who seek it," says Debby Lytle, a volunteer for The Labyrinth Committee of Carleton Place.

Join us for an evening labyrinth walk and be prepared! The committee is keeping tight lipped about a special event that will be happening at some point during the evening.  Then gather afterwards to collaboratively create a large collage

Christine Hume, Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator & Mosaic Artist will share her experiences with mandala and collage creation and will facilitate the creation of a collaborative collage with the theme “what helps to bring you inner peace”?
Help create a collaborative collage, with the theme "what brings you inner peace?"
All are welcome. Refreshments will be provided. You are welcome to picnic in the garden beforehand.

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

For more information contact Debby 613-257-1014. 
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Sunday, June 5, 2016

Connecting Labyrinths on World Labyrinth Day

The Carleton Place Community Labyrinth was honoured to host an 8th annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD) walk on Saturday May 7th at 1 p.m.   A day started by the Labyrinth Society  - as a day designated to bring people from all over the planet together in celebration of the labyrinth as a symbol and tool for healing and peace.
Thankful for the support the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth gets from local media.
As a result of our ongoing promotion about the Carleton Place Community labyrinth - we were especially pleased to have an article about our WLD walk in the Humm (our local arts & culture newspaper) and to be interviewed by Brian Perkins of Lake 88 radio station on the morning of the walk. As well, the Ottawa Citizen featured an article - Daytripping on World Labyrinth Day - in the travel section.
This year there were over 200 events in 24 countries!
This year we were inspired to try a WLD experiment - linking with two other labyrinths (one in Ottawa and the other in Columbia, South America) - to share in reading a prayer for peace at the beginning of our respective walks.
Linking labyrinths: CP Community Labyrinth, the labyrinth at St. Stephen's Church in Ottawa and Buena Vista Labyrinth in Columbia, South America.
We found that our WLD experiment deepened our connection! In Ottawa, we walked linking the St. Stephen’s Labyrinth Peace Walk with the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth Peace Walk. Unfortunately we were only able to connect with our labyrinth contacts in South America by email.
 Thank you for trying.  The Andes are big mountains so it amazes me that we can ever connect with anyone - anytime.
We will be walking with you in spirit.
Bailey and Dawn
WLD labyrinth walkers chose an "intention" stone to carry with them to the centre.
Before we began our walks, we shared in these prayers for peace via iPhone/FaceTime.

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

chinese philospher - lao-tse - 6th century bce

Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.

prayer - maya angelou
© 2005 (Last verse of Prayer)
Labyrinth walkers enjoyed the WLD walk and time for quiet reflection afterwards.
A reflection on peace - a heartfelt expression of what it meant to walk on this day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Day of Renewal and Inspiration

It was so inspiring to participate in the Renewal Day for Labyrinth Facilitators and Laybrinth walkers that was hosted by the Verditias (Labyrinth) Council on Saturday April 30th, 2016. I originally did my facilitator training right here in Ottawa with Rev. Lauren Artress in May 2010.  The Renewal Day was a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with old and new friends who all share a common interest - a love of all things labyrinth!
St. Luke's Ottawa - Healing in the Heart of the City
It was fun to head into Ottawa - knowing that I was getting away for a mini-retreat.  I even parked a distance away - so I could take my time and walk to the venue - St. Luke's Church at 760 Somerset St. W.  Some highlights and links to handouts from the day follow.
Write your intention on a river stone and carry it with you on your labyrinth walk.
The first speakers - Chris Farrow-Noble and Linda Mikell - spoke from deep personal experience about creative ideas to enhance regular and special occasion labyrinth walks. Of particular interest to me were these examples of setting an intention. And the suggestion of writing down your intention on an index card or on a river stone - and carrying it with you while you walk.
  • Find peace/inner peace/feel strong
  • Gratitude walk
  • Walk through a problem or a decision
  • Examine a relationship in all dimensions
  • Send good thoughts to someone who needs it
  • Ask for help going through a transition
  • Grieving - help feel closer to the person you have lost
  • Ask a question, find purpose, find heartsong
  • Let go of stress
  • OR no intention - simply out for a walk - that is OK too!
We then had great fun with the "hands on activity" learning how to create our very own art journaling paper. Grace Amirault shared stories and examples of her own artistic journals she has created to capture visual and written travel memories.
We created our very own art journaling paper.
It was really interesting to notice that I felt fully present and "in the moment" 
and that the day unfolded slowly - it seemed as if "we had all the time in the world"!

Other presentations of the day included hearing from Linda Mikell, author of "Little Miracles on the Path" and how she began her journey of collecting stories about labyrinth experiences.  This process eventually culminated in the publication of a collection of the stories in honour of the 20th anniversary of Veriditas.
A portable finger labyrinth and bells used to signal the start and completion of our walk.
And then the focus turned to the topics of Spiritual Practise and Pilgrimage - with a story from Chris Farrow-Noble about "Walking and Journaling a Labyrinth Walk Every Day" and a presentation about the "Six Steps of Pilgrimage" given by Gracie Amirault.

Two spots of light seemed to glow on the labyrinth path.
And then as a grand finale - the tables were cleared and the labyrinth was revealed. The room was suddenly transformed - and a great feeling of calm and peace filled the space.  Musicians and choir members from St. Luke's appeared and music started to fill the air as we walked the labyrinth.  As I reached the centre and paused to reflect - the choir began to sing "Dona Nobis Pacum" (a song I have been learning with my community choir)! I silently gave thanks for the day and this gathering and left the labyrinth feeling renewed and reassured that I am definitely on the right path!

All of us on the labyrinth!  Photo: G. Amirault
This feeling was further reinforced by this email that came in - just as I was heading back home to Almonte...

Re: Almonte Canadian Gazette Article

Dear Christine,

I just read the article in the April 27th Almonte Canadian Gazette article that not only describes the Carleton Place Community Labyrinth and the different ways labyrinths can be used…it invites the people of Ottawa to come walk the labyrinth on May 7th for World Labyrinth Day.  As a Veriditas Board member and a certified labyrinth facilitator, I wanted to congratulate you on your labyrinth work and let you know how exciting it is for me to see our facilitators at work in the world, bringing the spiritual practice of labyrinth walking to their communities.  The work you are doing in your community is inspiring and I want to thank you for participating in this important event.

Blessings on the path!

Kathleen Pilus
Veriditas Board Member

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Drum Making Workshop - A Special Experience

By: Debby Lytle, Lanark Drum Circle; Photos: Robert McDonald

I was so happy to participate in the Drum Making Workshop held on Saturday April 2nd at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum,  sponsored by Lanark Drum Circle. I found it amazing to create another drum under the teaching of Pinock - a master at not only drum making - but birch baskets, rattles, snow shoes and canoes as well. His humble and easy manner, and practised hand put us all at ease and encouraged us all to create our beautiful drums.  
Hoops (frames) for the drums, each one unique, hand steamed and bent,
secured with hide lacing.
In all 18 drums were made, the hoops constructed of bent ash and secured with lacing.   Deer hide was used for 16 of the drums and 2 were moose hide.  Seemingly yards and yards of lacing were used to secure the hide to the frame and create the impressive crossed pattern at the back of the hoop.
Lacing the drums under the watchful eye of master craftsman Pinock.
We also feasted that day, morning with a juice punch made in part with cranberry juice from the Iroquois Cranberry Growers, Wahta Mohawks in Bala Ontario.  Fresh fruit, cornbread muffins and banana bread rounded out the breakfast buffet.  At lunch we were treated to a delicious Three Sisters Soup, two types of Bannock, one plain and one cheese and some really tasty blueberry sauce all made by Francine (aka Sunflower) Desjardins' loving hand.   Debby's husband Dave smoked some trout as a special treat and surprise to those attending.
Pinock's helper Conrad cuts one end of the lacing to a sharp point
Photographer Robert (Bob) McDonald attended and snapped some great shots of participants working intently at their drums.  It was a full day where the creative energy and gratitude for the sharing of culture and teachings was plentiful.
Pinock demonstrates the lacing technique
Francine summed it up very nicely when she presented Pinock with a sketch of a small bird, a gift she said that reminded her of the sharing Pinock is doing... spreading the seeds of his culture while teaching his craft.
Pinock lacing the drum
After the drum is created it should not be played until its spirit has been awakened.  The drum is awakened on the 7th day.   An exercise in discipline and self-control.  It is very tempting to play my drum and hear her voice but I will wait for an appropriate ceremony.  This is the hard part.
One of the moose hide drums, note thicker hide and lacing.
It is believed that the voice of the drum is awakened during this ceremony, "the animal and tree from which it was made have their own unique medicine and their spirits are part of the drum", giving each drum its own unique voice and vibration.   Sometimes the drum is given a name, which is generally a female name, and its rhythm is said to be the heartbeat of mother earth or in some cultures, the heartbeat of all life.
Beautiful pattern halfway through be repeated on
remaining 2 groups of 4.
Slowly some of the cultural traditions, languages are re-sprouting. When we sing and drum, we can let our spirit soar. All part of Healing and Reconciliation.
Comments from participants:
"Oh my goodness.  It was such a wonderful day.  The people, the positive energy.  Just lovely!!"
"I am so blessed to learn the teachings."
"Thank you again for the lovely fish that you and your husband provided it was so yummy."
"I enjoyed the workshop yesterday and meeting all the new people."

Lanark Drum Circle  gathers on the 2nd Sunday of the month at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum. All are welcome!  Call Debby, 613-257-1014, for more information.

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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