Labyrinth Walk Returns to Duke Chapel March 18

Winding pathway imitates medieval cathedral

Duke community members are invited to take part in the labyrinth walk in the Duke Chapel nave on Tuesday, March 18, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The self-guided walk takes 30 minutes to an hour to complete.

The labyrinth, a 40-foot circle containing a winding path, is an ancient spiritual practice of meditation and self-centering found in religious traditions from around the world. This particular canvas floor labyrinth belongs to the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South, and is a copy of the labyrinth in the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France from around 1220.

"Walking the labyrinth is a wonderful way to set aside some time for quiet retreat, unwind and listen for our deepest wisdom," said the Rev. Jeanette Stokes of the center. "While physically engaged in following the curving path, the mind can be free to rest or focus on a particular thought or issue, and the heart can be free to listen for the leading of God. The labyrinth is a wonderful container for our hopes, questions and concerns. As we walk, new insights often arise."

Participants follow a single winding path inward to the center of the labyrinth. Pausing for meditation and prayer in the center of the labyrinth, visitors then follow the same circuitous path outward. The serpentine path and communal practice can be understood as a metaphor for life's journey.

The labyrinth walk has become an annual Lenten tradition at Duke Chapel. Handouts explaining the three-stages of the labyrinth walk will be made available to guests. Duke Chapel and its congregation are co-sponsoring the event.