The Unity Church of Sun City will dedicate a replica of the labyrinth of Chartres, France, on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.
Fewer than a dozen replicas exist. The first in the United States was at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco.
Labyrinths have been known to the human race for more than 3,500 years. They have been used in many different religious ways by many peoples and as solar and lunar calendars. In Arizona, the Hopi use a form of the labyrinth in their religious symbolism, and the Tohono O’odham “Man in the Maze” is actually a seven-circuit labyrinth and is part of an elaborate creation myth.
Medieval pilgrims, unable to fulfill their desire to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, went instead to many pilgrimage sites in Europe or Britain. In many cases, the end of their journey was a labyrinth formed of stone and laid in the floor of the nave of a Gothic cathedrals. The center of the labyrinths probably represented for many pilgrims the Holy City itself and thus became the substitute goal of the journey.
The labyrinth is a path for prayer and meditation and is available to the Sun City community at any time.
People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, the experience will grow and deepen the more one does it.
Some people feel a sense of peace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. Others have very small experiences or none at all. The experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time.
The labyrinth is in the garden at 10101 W. Coggins Drive (101st Avenue in Sun City). It is open at all times, including nights, when it is lighted.[via AZ Central]