LAFAYETTE, Ind. | Amy Paget spent the last Saturday in April volunteering at Waycross Camp and Conference Center in Morgantown. The day was overcast and Paget decided to take a walk before the rain came that afternoon. She meandered through the outdoor labyrinth, something she has done several times before.
While walking this time, the Christian woman posed a question to God, "Am I doing what I'm here for?"
Paget wanted to bring that same opportunity for spiritual reflection to Greater Lafayette. She is organizing a local observance of World Labyrinth Day today at St. John's Episcopal Church, which she attends. The celebration is the second event in a series of quiet day observances held throughout the year.
"The idea of quiet days really (provides) the chance to pull back, take a moment, take a breather and find time to recharge, stop and find ways to reconnect with God," the Rev. Bradley Pace, rector of St. John's Episcopal Church, told the Journal & Courier.
World Labyrinth Day is an initiative of The Labyrinth Society, a nonprofit organization that promotes labyrinth use for introspection and spiritual connection. The day is set apart to promote labyrinth walking all over the world. It also aims to promote unity as observers join others walking at the same time around the globe during Walk as One at 1.
For the event, St. John's temporarily installed an indoor portable labyrinth. This World Peace Labyrinth was first used in the Olympic Village Chapel during the 2002 Winter Olympics. With hues of green, brown and blue, the labyrinth represents harmony with the Earth. It also features symbols of peace such as a handshake, a dove with olive branch and dolphin. In the center lies a picture of a tree symbolizing the tree of life.
Paget said there's only one way to enter and exit the labyrinth, which she believes is a metaphor for faith in Christ.
But labyrinth walking is not exclusive to Christianity, she said.
"We are not proselytizing," she said.
John Ridder, owner of Paxworks in Indianapolis, built the labyrinth. He said that it differs from a maze because it lacks dead ends and wrong turns.
"If you focus on the path, you'll find your way to the center," he said.
He said the experience depends on the walker's approach. "When I first walked the labyrinth, it reminded me of walking in the woods," he said. "I love walking in the woods. That's how it made me feel. It may be that simple."
Pace said the labyrinth is similar to the Catholic rosary. "It's a physical thing that allows you to direct yourself. Some people find it particularly helpful because you get to walk."
Other events include an outdoor labyrinth, finger and sand labyrinth activities and films shown throughout the day.