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Life Arts    H3'ed 4/29/19

World Labyrinth Day: May the Fourth Be With You

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This article is part of a series on labyrinths. Additional information is available in the previous articles listed in the series, below. Author, Meryl Ann Butler, is a founding member of The Labyrinth Society and has been building labyrinths since 1992.

(Image by The Labyrinth Society)   Details   DMCA

Saturday, May 4th is the 11th annual World Labyrinth Day (WLD) and you are invited to celebrate with thousands of people around the world!

A labyrinth is an ancient, geometric pattern that has a single, meandering path that leads into the center and out again. Its design is based on a circle, the ancient symbol for healing, unity and wholeness.

The Labyrinth Society (TLS) extends an invitation to anyone to "Walk as One at 1"(pm), joining other participants around the globe in creating a wave of peaceful energy washing across local time zones. Individuals or groups can get involved in private or public walks on a full-sized labyrinth, or let their fingers do the walking on a finger labyrinth.

(Image by The Labyrinth Society)   Details   DMCA

During the 10th WLD in 2018, more than 35 countries were represented. Over 5,000 registered participants are expected in 2019.

The Labyrinth Society suggests that you can find a labyrinth to walk in your area using the World Wide Labyrinth Locator or you can learn to draw or build a simple labyrinth with links in their resources section. And yes, there's an ap for that!

This year the Australian Labyrinth Network (ALN) has initiated the first annual "World Labyrinth Day in Schools," planned for Friday, May 3. ALN offers an exceptional resource page for teachers or others who want to participate or find out more about labyrinths.

The American Cancer Society states that walking labyrinths "may be helpful as a complementary method to decrease stress and create a state of relaxation."

Research conducted by Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School's Mind/Body Medical Institute has found that focused walking meditations are highly effective at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson refers to as the relaxation response, which can:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Lower breathing rates
  • Reduce incidents of chronic pain
  • Reduce insomnia

Labyrinths in History

Labyrinths have been around for thousands of years. This labyrinth petroglyph in Galicia, NW Spain is believed to date to around 2000 BCE. It is probably one of the oldest known labyrinth images in the world, according to labyrinth expert, Jeff Saward, of the labyrinth and maze resource, photo library and archive site, Labyrinthos.

(Image by copyright Jeff Saward/Labyrinthos)   Details   DMCA

The map of Jericho in a 14th Century Farhi Bible depicts the city as a labyrinth.

(Image by (Not Known) Public domain via wiki)   Details   DMCA

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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)

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