Explore your spirituality by stepping onto an ancient path of contemplative practice on the Labyrinth at Lynn Valley United. LVUC has the only indoor labyrinth on the North Shore and it's open for you!
The Labyrinth is open for use by the community during office hours 11am-4pm from Tuesday to Friday (unless it's booked for a special event), and from 6-7:30pm on Wednesday evenings year round. Facilitaors are available to offer programs for community and church groups- contact the church office for more information 604-987-2114
Two live-music labyrinth walks are scheduled on a monthly basis:
- one with sacred music on the 2nd Wednesday afternoon from 1:30-2:30pm
- and another with contemplative music on the 3rd Wednesday evening from 7-8pm.
There is also opportunity for an intergenerational time on the labyrinth on the last Wednesday of the month when "Mid-Week Moments" happens - MWM is an event for families of all shapes and sizes that integrates a shared meal, gathering for all-ages community worship and activities to stimulate spiritual connection, reflection and curiosity... including this playful and exuberant exploration of the labyrinth!
So why install a labyrinth at Lynn Valley United?
There is a deep, rich history in using the labyrinth to mark rites of passage, celebrate holy days and affirm beliefs. During the recent redevelopment of the church, the question for Lynn Valley United became how the future church can remain relevant, and the idea of installing the labyrinth was put forth to help people seek the source of their own goodness, their own wisdom, their own healing... a worthwhile reason indeed.
Unlike a maze, with traps and tricks or a puzzle to be solved, a labyrinth is a single path with a clear way to the center and a clear way to the exit (often a retracing of the way in). Neolithic civilizations around the globe venerated the simple spiral form as sacred. As cities and communities became more elaborate, evolved versions of the labyrinth emerged -in Africa, the Americas, Asia, India and throughout Europe. The tradition, purpose and meaning of how or when the labyrinths were used was lost along with these ancient cultures, as there was no written language to describe or instruct. With the introduction of Christianity, labyrinths were integrated into worship and spiritual practice in Europe as early as the 4th century. Continuing through medieval times, labyrinth design continued to change, following the development of art and ornamental architechture as a way to express the perfection and inspiration of God. The 11-circuit Chartes pattern that Lynn Valley United's labyrinth is modelled after was used for sacred contemplation, prayer and worship, and was a way for the faithful to participate in the required homage of pilgrimage when the Crusades made travel to the Holy Land too dangerous.
There is no right or wrong way to use a labyrinth and no absolute rules to successfully navigate one- you simply follow its path. Depending on the intention to approach the path, a labyrinth is used to connect to that mysterious energy that some call 'God' through bodily prayer- an unconscious action that goes beyond words, beyond faith and beyond undserstanding.
The labyrinth can be used in the following ways:
Release - Letting go of painful memories, negative feelings, trauma, emotional baggage, the ending of a phase of life, and moving into a new phase, etc..
Reflection - Taking time to consider possibility, giving space or listening for an answer to a burning question, to help make decisions about aspects of your life or spiritual direction...
Connection- Increase feelings of connection to that myserious light within or with the creative force of the planet that supports you, seeking a relationship with the Holy, “listening” for God You can focus on one of these aspects or all three...
Celebration - expressing deep emotion through the action of a joyful dance or a somber walk of remembrance -in worship, in a group and/or as a private contemplation. Celebration can take a multitude of forms, from supporting or enhancing ritual to embodying creativity through movement.
Support Healing - the looping path and changing directions of the labyrinth activates both hemispheres of the brain, stimulating a "cross-hemisphere" integration that puts one into a deeply receptive state (relaxed/ reflective/ meditative), allowing for increased immune system support, regulation of breath, and improved overall well-being.
* Use of the labyrinth is offered by donation, and groups or facilitaited walks can be arranged through the church office.