Labyrinths: leading you in circles for peace of mind

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Proponents of these walks say it's a practical way to clear the mind using the body's natural rhythms.

For thousands of years and in different cultures, people have built labyrinths for this purpose. A labyrinth is a system of paths with many turns and interconnecting passages. It is like a maze. However, unlike a maze, it is not a puzzle to be solved, but rather a path to be followed to the centre of the pattern and then out again.

Writer Joe Kissell followed his curiosity about stress relief to a sanctuary in San Francisco, where he took part in a labyrinth walk. He then wrote about it here. The subtitle of his article is interesting: "The twisty path to clarity."

The photo above shows an example of a medieval labyrinth. It's from the French cathedral in Chartres, the site of many pilgrimages. You can read more about that labyrinth here.

The benefits of walking to clear the mind have been promoted by many great men and women throughout the ages. I like a quote by Saint Augustine that I found on one site:
"Solvitur ambulando" -- "It is solved by walking."

The photo from Chartres Cathedral is used under a free documentation licence made available by Wikimedia Commons
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