Glendalough Hermitage

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Labyrinth

A significant part of the meditation garden is a very beautiful labyrinth. The labyrinth is an ancient religious symbol and throughout time has reflected human beings’ search for meaning and for the source and centre of our lives.

Going on pilgrimage is also part of many religious traditions. For centuries, people have walked to holy places in search of peace, healing, to reflect on life or to deepen their spiritual experience. In the Christian tradition, many people have sought to make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

In the Middle Ages, when pilgrimage to Jerusalem was difficult or impossible because of wars and poverty, many cathedrals created labyrinths which people walked as the “road to Jerusalem.”

A labyrinth is a sacred path leading to the centre and out again. To walk a labyrinth is a form or walking prayer or meditation, a way of becoming more aware of the Source of our Being, the eternal presence in which we live.

As we walk, we experience that, as in life, there are many twists and turns involving changes of direction and perspective. At times, the sense is that one is going backwards yet each new phase brings one closer to one’s goal. Having reached the centre of the labyrinth, we pause to receive from our Source and are nourished and renewed to turn again and face outwards towards life’s challenges.