Article | Category: Glossary Terms

A meditative path found in many ancient civilizations.  Labyrinths can often be confused with a maze, but unlike mazes, labyrinths have no dead ends or intersecting paths. When one walks a labyrinth they will always be lead inward to the center and then outward, back to the place where they began. 

 

BACKGROUND

 

Other Names:

Labyrinth Meditation, Maze, Maze Meditation

 

Definition of Offering

The Labyrinth is often a complex and unicursal designed path used for meditation or reflection.  There are two primary varieties to the Labyrinth; the Maze and the Meander.

 

Description of Offering

Relax, focus and reflect as you take both a figurative and literal "journey" to the center of the Labyrinth each step leading you closer to peace, to acceptance and understanding.  The journey does not end at the mouth of the maze but extends out into the present moment.

 

This offering has its roots in ancient practices.

 

Origin of Offering

Early Greek and Minoan Civilizations (4-5000+ years ago)

 

Brief History of the Offering

While the Labyrinth's exact beginnings are unknown, the seven-circuit Cretan Labyrinth was first spoken of in the ancient Greek myth of Ariadne, Theseus and the Minotaur.  Images of the Cretan Labyrinth were seen on currency as early as 2500-2000 B.C.E..  Interestingly the Labyrinth patterns emerged in multiple cultures and religions including use in cathedrals of the Christian Middle Ages, artwork of the Native Americans, and architecture of the Ancient Egyptians.

 

Fun Fact

In the Middle Ages the devotional activity of walking a Labyrinth was considered a symbolic substitute for a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

 

BENEFITS

 

Primary Benefit Received

Stress Reduction

 

Other Benefits

Energy Alignment, Stimulate Mind, Sense of Escape/Solitude, Enhance Sense of Focus and Calm

 

Research Publication

Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-Being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, Berger Z, Sleicher D, Maron DD, Shihab HM, Ranasinghe PD, Linn S, Saha S, Bass EB, Haythornthwaite JA

JAMA Internal Medicine (2014) 174(3): 357-368

 

Comments about research selection

While not a direct study and evaluation of the use of a Labyrinth, this study did focus specifically on one primary practice: meditation.

 

Primary Findings of Research

The authors of the study found small to moderate reductions of multiple negative dimensions of psychological stress through meditation programs.

 

DETAILS

 

Typical Length of Offering

45 - 60 minutes

 

 

The offering is most often provided to small groups (3-10).

 

Offering is primarily suited for:

Resort/Hotel/Cruise Ship Spa, Destination Spa, Medical Clinic/Spa, Hospital/Rehabilitation Center.

 

How many treatment providers are needed to produce the offering?

One

 

Common License/Certification or Training necessary to provide the offering:

Facilitator trained in the purpose and procedure of the Labyrinth and/or trained in facilitating meditation.

 

Comments about Offering Protocol

1.  Stand at the entrance of the Labyrinth. 

2.  Internally or externally state your intention. 

3.  Take a few deep breaths and center yourself , acknowledging your presence in "this moment". 

4.  Begin your walk.  You set the pace based on your intention and your mood.  There is no right or wrong pace. 

5.  Continue your walk, following the path in front of you one step at a time focusing only on your breath and your step. 

6.  As you reach the center, pause and reflect on your "journey".  Is there something that you wish to symbolically "leave behind".  Take the time you need in the center of this positive energy as you prepare for your journey out. 

7.  Begin your walk out. As you walk, reflect on what you felt or may have come to understand in your journey and arrival to the center.  Carry that with you for the remainder of the walk. 

8.  Exit the Labyrinth with the understanding that the journey does not end at the mouth of the maze.  Your journey continues in every step of every day as you carry your peace, understanding or acceptance that you found in the Labyrinth.

 

Type of space/facility most often used for the offering:

Specialty Space (labyrinth, infusion room, color therapy, etc.)

 

Type of space/facility that can be use for the offering:

A temporary Labyrinth can be made in most open spaces.  Pocket Labyrinths are also made so someone can trace their path with a finger or stylus in the same way.

 

How many towels are used?

N/A

 

Does the guest generally use a robe and/or a wrap for the offering?

No.

 

How many sheets are used?

N/A

 

Does the offering require the use of products (i.e. lotions, lacquers, scrubs, cleansers, etc.)?

No.

 

Does the offering require the use of disposable supplies (i.e. cotton squares, balls and swabs, lancets, etc.)?

No.

 

Equipment and supplies needed to provide the offering:

N/A

 

Beyond labor, linens, disposable supplies and products, please list any other direct costs associated with the offering?

N/A

 

Including only the following items (products, disposable items, linen laundry, and other direct costs---not labor), what is the typical cost of the offering?

$0 USD

 

Comments about offering costs.

The only related cost to this offering is the building or creation of the labyrinth.  This can be achieved inexpensively through chalk on a concrete surface, stones or bricks serving as the perimeter of the path, or can be more costly through the use of stone, concrete, or many other building materials.  This is all dependent on the location, the intention and the length it is anticipated to be used.

 

Typical single session price of the offering.

$0 - $169 USD

 

Comments about offering price.

Most often when offered in groups this activity is complimentary or carries a small fee ($5-$10 per person).  It can also be offered as an individual "Guided Meditation" where the guest and the facilitator spend 60-min together privately. For a guided meditation, a fee would likely be charged.

 

SOURCES

 

Publication used to prepare this submission.

The Labyrinth: A Brief Introduction to its History, Meaning and Use

John Algeo

https://www.theosophical.org/publications/1276 (2001)

 

Meditation Programs for Psychological Stress and Well-being: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Goyal M, Singh S, Sibinga EM, Gould NF, Rowland-Seymour A, Sharma R, Berger Z, Sleicher D, Maron DD, Shihab HM, Ranasinghe PD, Linn S, Saha S, Bass EB, Haythornthwaite JA

JAMA Internal Medicine (2014) 174(3): 357-368

 

History of the Labyrinth

Georgiana Lotfy

www.sacredwalk.com (2016)

 

Walking a Sacred Path (1996)

Lauren Artress

 

Author Information

Robert Vance

Managing Director, Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

 

Author Biography

Bringing more than 15 years’ leadership experience in the luxury resort spa, salon and wellness industry, Robert has developed a strong vision for spa operations and brand development.  Robert has held Leadership positions in such recognized brands as Golden Door, Elizabeth Arden Red Door Spas, Mii amo and is now the Managing Director of the Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess.

 

Editor Information:

Mary Wisnom

Professor, School of Resort & Hospitality Management, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA