One of the amazing experiences I had while assisting a Peace Awareness Training at Prana West in July was walking the labyrinth at Peace Awareness Labyrinth & Gardens each morning before the training started.
The first morning as I started on my journey through the labyrinth, a beautiful cat showed up. I coaxed her to come over for a little rub and then continued on. As I walked, I noticed that I wasn’t alone anymore, Tiger (as I later learned was her name) decided to join me and started walking along beside me. I could feel her energy joining with me and felt very uplifted. How exciting to find an unexpected companion for my morning walk.
I decided to walk the labyrinth in a different way than I had in the past. I used to keep a particular question in mind as I went into the labyrinth looking for answers. This time I decided to just go into the experience with the intention of awareness. So, what I noticed on my first morning walk were the cracks and imperfections in the stones. I began to picture the path of the labyrinth as life itself and realized that life if full of cracks and imperfections. We are in the 10% level after all. As I walked, I noticed that everything would be smooth and unblemished, and then a tile would show up with five cracks in it. My life is kind of like that, it goes smooth for a while and then there are challenges and obstacles.
On the second day I arrived at the labyrinth, looked around for my new friend, and made my start on the path of life. Within a few minutes, Tiger showed up and joined me again. This time she let me pick her up several times and walk while I held her. She was just such a joy. As I walked I had one of those very simple, incredibly powerful insights that always amaze me in their simplicity. I noticed that I really had to pay attention to the path I was traveling in order to stay on track. “I have to pay attention to where I am going, if I am to get where I want to go.” It seems so simple, but I noticed that in my life, I am constantly getting off track with little distractions and lack of focus.
Day three…I noticed that in the beginning of the labyrinth, the path heads directly towards the center, or the goal, then turns away a little, before coming back, right next to the center, after which it moves far away for a long period. That’s how life feels at times – like I am really close to getting “it” and then I feel like I’m moving farther away from it. I realized that morning that no matter how my path looks to me, whether it appears to be moving forward or backward, I am always moving towards my goal.
Well, I showed up, day four, but no Tiger. As I started out alone, I saw how many people come into my life and leave as I continue on my journey. Some of these people help me learn certain lessons, while others give me support and help lift me up to my next steps. It did take me a while to stop looking for Tiger instead of paying attention to my walking, though. Eventually I let go of Tiger and came present with my path again.
Day five was my last trek in the beloved labyrinth. As I started off on my new journey, I saw someone approach. I started to realize that they were headed for the labyrinth…and I would not be alone on the path anymore. I know that there is only room for one person on the path and I started thinking about how we were going to cross and stay on the path. And then I realized that I was not paying attention to the path anymore, but was trying to figure out how to pass them. So, again I had to let go of something, and get present with what was directly in front of me. Then it came time to pass…I stepped off to the side and allowed my fellow traveler to pass and then quickly got back on track. As always, it went smoother than I expected, without having to figure it out ahead of time.
After finishing, I went over to sit on one of the benches next to the labyrinth. As I looked at the design of the labyrinth I realized that I was only noticing the light part of the design…I was not looking at the whole thing. So I shifted my focus to look at just the dark part of the design, and voila, I saw something completely new and different! I realized that I could not have the light part without the dark part. For the first time, I saw how both parts worked together to create the whole.