In honor of my birthday on August 4th, I vowed to spend time enjoying the people and activities I love: special meals with family; a mini-ice cream party with my son, nieces, and nephew; walking the labyrinth; a midnight birthday meditation; hitting the trail for a run; waking up at 4:30 AM to share my craft on the local news; and bowling with friends! Nearly every one of these last seven days has been a small celebration.
The locus of this joyful beginning: the labyrinth.
I set the intention to walk lovingly, mindfully and gently into my new year with a Sunday morning practice at the labyrinth. I invited friends to join me in this “embodied prayer” to generate the compassionate energy of mindfulness for self-care and social healing.
The small gathering was more than I envisioned! After practice, I was surprised with my favorite home-baked vegan chocolate cake (it’s so yummy, as one person joked, you “can’t taste the vegan in it!”). Then, to my delight, a new practitioner from another local sangha spontaneously grabbed tools from his car and took the initiative to dig up the overgrowth that had begun to bury parts of path. A mason by trade, he explained that he couldn’t bear to see the stonework covered due to lack of proper maintenance (it’s been mowed over but not adequately edged).
Pulling weeds and clearing the path became another embodied act of releasing what is old or no longer useful, removing obstructions, and making way for new opportunities, adventures and lessons. I am so grateful for all that I have learned this past year and excited to blaze new trails on journey before me!
The day before the practice, I brought my son and niece out to Moores Park to experience the labyrinth and burn energy on the playground.
A few silent but silly moments affecting the posture of walking meditation quickly dissolved into laughter and shenanigans — a foot race and cartwheeling.