StJ Public Labyrinth
St John's has a labyrinth open to the public on the West side of State Street
St John's Labyrinth
St John’s has a permanent public labyrinth installed in front of the church on State Street for meditation and contemplation. The Labyrinth is available to all. Walking the labyrinth is a way to pray and meditate, just as kneeling is, or folding one’s hands and bowing one’s head. In walking the labyrinth in prayer, we seek to know God’s presence in our lives.
St John's Public Labyrinth is located at 115 State Street; Kirkland, WA 98033
St John's labyrinth was installed on August 19th, 2011 and was designed by Myra Ryneheart/The Laughing Flower Labyrinth Co. It consists of painted concrete and is 35 feet in diameter in a public courtyard with nearby memorial garden and memorial statue with water fountain.
St John's public labyrinth is a Medieval style with 11 circuits, also known as Chartres style, named after the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in Chartres, France with construction completed in the year 1220. The labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral is a medieval design, consisting of eleven concentric paths that wind toward a central interior circle. Both St John's and Chartres Cathedral labyrinths have decorative elements that add to their beauty and symbolic nature. It is also possible to draw a simplified version that maintains the same pathways, but leaves out the decorative elements.
What is a Labyrinth?
Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used by many different faiths for spiritual centering, contemplation, and prayer. Entering the serpentine path of a labyrinth, you walk slowly while quieting your mind and focusing on a spiritual question or prayer.
A labyrinth is not a maze. It has only one path to the center and back out, which is called unicursal (one line). It has no blind alleys or dead ends as mazes have. The path twists and turns back on itself many times before reaching the center. Once at the center, there is only one way back out.
The labyrinth symbolizes a journey to a predetermined destination (such as a pilgrimage to a holy site), or the journey through life from birth to spiritual awakening to death.
Tips on walking the labyrinth
It may be helpful to think of walking the labyrinth in these three stages:
1. Purgation: releasing, letting go of the details of your life. This is an act of shedding thoughts and emotions. It quiets and empties the mind as you walk into the labyrinth.
2. Illumination: may occur in the center, or anywhere along the path. Stay as long as you like. It is a place of meditation and prayer. Receive what is there for you to receive.
3. Union: Each time you walk out of the labyrinth, you become more empowered to find and do the work you feel your soul reaching to do.
For more labyrinth information
Please see these links for more information on historical labyrinths, the benefits of walking a labyrinth and other labyrinth locations in our area.