Iona Weekend labyrinth at Dopersduin (NL), outlined in flour
The labyrinth may be a set path, but it does not offer a set experience. Instead, it offers a door that anyone may go through, to discover realities that meet each person where each most needs to be met.
– An Altar in the world, Barbara Brown Taylor
The labyrinth in the photograph was created by Mineke during an Iona Weekend organised by the Dutch Iona regional groups in mid-September 2021.
Mineke is a pastoral worker at a psychiatric hospital in The Hague and is currently involved in establishing a labyrinth (maybe two) on hospital grounds. During the weekend Mineke led a labyrinth workshop, offering participants the experience of walking a labyrinth and getting their feedback on her design. Weather conditions were very favourable, and the labyrinth, outlined in flour, lasted till well after we all left Dopersduin.
I was leading a collage workshop at the time, so I couldn’t take part in Mineke’s workshop, but I was curious and later visited the labyrinth with Mineke and my friend, Margriet (seen here in the photo), and took some photographs.
Unique to Mineke’s design is the option to take the longer way round or move straight to the centre. It’s also easy to follow the longer route as many times as you like before exiting.
Here is a longer excerpt from Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, An Altar in the world, also on the subject of the labyrinth as a spiritual practice.
This truth is borne out by the labyrinth – an ancient spiritual practice that is enjoying a renaissance in the present century. For those who have never seen one, a labyrinth is a kind of maze. Laid out in a perfect circle with a curling path inside, it rarely comes with walls. Instead, it trusts those who enter it to stay on the path voluntarily. This path may be outlined with hand-picked stones out-of-doors or painted right on the floor indoors. Either way, it includes switchbacks and detours, just like life. It has one entrance and it leads to one center.
The important thing to note is that the path goes nowhere. You can spend an hour on it and end up twelve feet from where you began. The journey is the point. The walking is the thing.
More on labyrinths
- A Sacred Walk: Receiving the Wisdom of the Labyrinth
- An invitation to walk
- Walking the Labyrinth: A Spiritual and Practical Guide