With Mary Silvaroli Daul, WBCA Instructor
Small labyrinths, called finger labyrinths, are designed to be walked by tracing the path with one finger to the center and back out on same path. These smallest of labyrinths share many of the benefits as much larger and more visible walkable ones, like the outdoor Osilas Labyrinth at White Bear Center for the Arts.
You can enjoy the benefits of walking these small meditation tools safely at home, by drawing your own finger labyrinth that shares the distinction of being the oldest and easiest to construct: the Classical Seven-Circuit Labyrinth. The steps below will guide you through the process of drawing, and suggest ways to walk that may help you journey, safe-at-home, on the path of the labyrinth. My hope is that it will inspire a curiosity to learn more and provide a way to create moments of rest and renewal in your days.
An Easy Guide for Drawing a Classical Seven-Circuit Labyrinth
Step 1 – The Seed Pattern
This is the seed pattern: a central cross made up of two lines of equal length, four corner dots and four angles.
Practice drawing the seed pattern several times. Some people find it easier to keep the lines and dots more uniform by drawing on graph paper.
Step 2 – Steps for Drawing the Labyrinth
Follow the seed pattern to complete the labyrinth as summarized below.
Image credit: Diagram by Jeff Saward, www.labyrinthos.net
Step 3 – Draw a Labyrinth!
- Draw the seed pattern. Start the seed pattern on the page slightly below the middle of the page to allow enough space to complete the pattern without running off the page.
- Make an arc from the top of the cross to the top of the first line on the right. This first arc creates the center of the labyrinth.
- The second and all subsequent connections will be in a clockwise direction as in the example because it is a left-handed classical labyrinth. Left-handed refers to the direction you move your finger upon entering the path.
- When you reach the last connection the pattern is complete! You should have a clear path into and out of the labyrinth with space to trace the path with one finger as outlined below.
- Practice drawing until you can create the pattern from memory!
- Drawing challenge! Once you know the left-handed pattern, try following the diagram in the reverse direction from the seed pattern, counter-clockwise, to create a right-handed classical labyrinth.
- Keep drawing & doodle some too! Get creative – decorate & frame one!
A SUGGESTED WALKING MEDITATION GUIDE
REST ~ RELEASE ~ RECEIVE ~ RETURN ~ REFLECT
There is no wrong way to walk a finger labyrinth but it can be helpful to consider walking as a muti-phase process. This is just one way to walk your labyrinth.
Pause & Prepare
Take time to prepare your space and yourself before beginning to move. Place your index finger from your non-dominant hand at the entrance of the labyrinth, this may help slow your movement and enhance your focus. Take a few slow, deep breaths to calm and center you in the present moment. Attention to your surroundings and a few simple rituals can enhance and deepen the meditative experience. A comfortable chair and small table, an inviting and tranquil space, indoors or out, and a journal and pen is a good place to start. Simple rituals may include a candle or instrumental music.
The Journey In
This is the first stage, the path to the center of the labyrinth. It is a time for releasing, letting go, of distractions, such as fear or other concerns in your life. Slowly tracing the path to the center helps quiet the mind.
Time in the Center
Pause in the center, open and still, ready to receive whatever insights, wisdom, guidance or peace that may come. Stay as long as you need.
The Journey Out
Slowly retrace the path back out of the labyrinth. Begin to reflect on your time in the labyrinth as you slowly prepare to return back into your day. Pause before lifting your finger off the path and out of the labyrinth the last phase of walking. Offer a simple sign of gratitude.
Following the Walk
When you are finished walking, write or draw out any thought or insights you may have had as a way to continue to reflect and begin to integrate your experience in whatever way is meaningful to you!
Walking the labyrinth is a gift of time that can benefit you, others and the world. Consider walking your finger labyrinth on World Labyrinth Day.
Celebrate World Labyrinth Day
Saturday, May 2nd, 1 PM
The intention of World Labyrinth Day is to create a rolling wave of peaceful energy around the world as people walk labyrinths at 1 PM in their local time zones. Last year over 5900 people in 30 countries took part in this annual global event with over 25 participants from WBCA’s.
In an effort aimed at preventing further spread of COVID-19 the previously scheduled public walk and celebration at WBCA’s has been cancelled. Instead, you are invited to participate, safe-at-home, with your finger labyrinth.
Please consider joining this global event and have your walk counted in the global total by taking a picture of your labyrinth and sending it in to email@example.com or posting it on Instagram with the hashtag #ArtEveryDayWBCA. Thank you!