Walking a labyrinth has been described as a 'liminal' experience. 'What is a liminal space", and how is this question relavent at this time.
I reflect on our first Friday Night Live in the beautiful new building of Lynn Valley United Church. The production team of FNL had developed a new format, and the team was experiencing it in a new way. The FNL production team was all a little nervous about this change. We were letting go of the old way we did FNL and stepping into a completely new experience with no idea if it would work at all. This is what it means to be in a liminal space.
“… It is when you have left the tried and true, but have not yet been able to replace it with anything else. It is when you are between your old comfort zone and any possible new answer. If you are not trained in how to hold anxiety, how to live with ambiguity, how to entrust and wait, you will run…anything to flee this terrible cloud of unknowing.” - Richard Rohr
So how does a Labyrinth work? As I have learned from my dear friend Marilyn, at the start you only need to choose to walk the path. The walk to the center is an act of letting go of things - sounds like Kenosis to me. Then reaching the center is a time of meditation, you know, finding your center. Finally as you walk the path out of the Labyrinth, you feel empowered by the experience, ready to transform your life.
So how is FNL a liminal experience for me. Beforehand there is always anxiety about 'will people come' - which is really me hoping that others like FNL as much as I do - hoping we all decide to continue walking this path. As things get started, for me FNL is an experience of 'letting go' of all the stuff from a busy week, now added to that is letting go of the old FNL itself. Then experiencing what the guests have to offer is like being transported to another place, a familiar place but always with something new. Afterwards spending time with everyone in this shared experience truly empowers me to face whatever comes next.
Ever since we started FNL there has been this question asked over and over. What exactly is FNL and why do we do this? I have never really had a good answer for myself, much less one I could easily explain to others. Finally in this new building, in the middle of the Labyrinth, in this 'liminal space', I understand the FNL experience and why, like walking a Labyrinth, it is truly a spiritual experience for me.
This is my experience...there are no correct ways to walk a Labyrinth or experience FNL...all are welcome.