Come Walk the Labyrinth!
Want to relax on a Friday afternoon? Find some peace in the midst of Davidson’s chaos? Learn more about labyrinths and their purpose? Then come Friday, November 11th, 2011 at 4:30pm to Hobart Park and learn about Davidson’s labyrinth.
At its most basic level, walking in and out of the labyrinth is a metaphor for the journey to the center of our deepest selves. When you leave the labyrinth, you return to the world with a broadened understanding of yourself. It combines the image of the circle and the spiral into a symbol of our meandering but purposeful life paths. Labyrinths have long been used as meditation and prayer tools.
“The poet Marianne Moore famously wrote of ‘real toads in imaginary gardens,’ and the labyrinth offers us the possibility of being real creatures in symbolic space…In such spaces as the labyrinth we cross over [between real and imaginary spaces]; we are really travelling, even if the destination is only symbolic.”
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
Hardly the tiniest grain’s worth of honor
Comes through bathing, austerity, pity, and charity.
Hearing, acceptance, love in the heart
Show the place for true bathing and cleansing within.
These observations by Guru Nanak, the first Sikh guru or “teacher, ” struck a chord within our EnRoute group’s meditative world. Instead of dedicating oneself to ritual, Nanak claims the purest form of worship is to love and understand one another. He encourages us to go beyond the world and reach inside ourselves to find sincerity. In the words of Kelsey Wilson, “You do not have to love to perform charity. Charity is a worldly virtue often with other motives. But love is cleansing and true. It is a virtue of the heart that surpasses virtues of the world.”
Nanak loved others through his thoughtful words. While reading the selected passages, we found many Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist nuances. Nanak’s universal teachings incorporate and elucidate different faiths, which in a way is an act of love. Through sincere love, we can connect with each other, and begin to connect with the creator. To love freely; what a rebellious thought! As Yet as Nanak writes, “through His great love, [we are] made free.”
-Jessie Blount ’13
Addresses the struggle to find open, creative ways to explore meaning in life.
Every Monday at 1:30 pm in the 900 Room
All are welcome.
Davidson sophomore, Paul DiFiore, reflects on his experience volunteering at the Shambhala Meditation Center while on Davidson’s Interfaith Fall Break Trip.
I was fascinated by all of the places we went on the Interfaith Fall break trip, but after reflecting I discovered that one of my favorite parts was the service work at the Shambhala Meditation Center. It was a beautiful fall day in Atlanta, and a few of us got to work outside. The best thing about the whole day, service included, was the simplicity of it all.
During the meditation that we did we were instructed to take step back from our own minds and let our thoughts pass by, not stopping them to judge or ask questions, but to simply acknowledge that “I am thinking thoughts” and then let them go on. It was this perspective that stuck with me for the rest of my time at the pleasant, clean meditation center.
Our task outside was simple: to help create a path for walking and meditation through the small piece of grassy land that the center owned. The movement of my arms and shoulderblades, twisting and straining as they shoveled dirt and leaves into the wheelbarrow, was simple. “I am using my body (a gift) outside on a gorgeous day (a gift)” – Just this, I thought. “I am moving and breathing;” I appreciated being human, simply. And in doing so I understood why humans came to meditate at the Shambhala center: to step outside of the worries and craziness of life and just be breathers for a while. And if they can do this better while walking on a path that I helped make, God I am thankful that I could be of use. Just this, as I turned my face to the sun with a smiling gratitude.”