Mary Hamilton, teen author of this page, speaks with the creator of the MVUUF Labyrinth
When I first started on this project of creating a webpage to showcase the Labyrinth, I immediately wanted to ask some questions to the woman who came up with the whole thing, Gail Cyan. So I did, and here is what I learned.
What inspired you to create a labyrinth at our church?
Ever since walking a huge Chartres Cathedral grass cut Labyrinth at a time when I was seeking peace in the midst of tumultuous life events, I have sought to recreate this sacred space. At first I created what I called temporary yarn labyrinths in the grass at our former Oakwood church. I studied the many prominent ancient and more recent designs and discovered some universal qualities of how they were laid out. When we built our current building with this expansive grass lawn, I proposed the idea of creating a grass cut labyrinth. It took a full season for the path to fully establish.
How did you choose the design?
The design is a uniquely Unitarian Universalist layout that is responsive to its proximity to the beautiful wetlands on our property. The MVUUF Labyrinth retains the basic elements that are universal to labyrinths, a single path with no “choices,” a distinct beginning, middle passage, and end. The center is offset to be closer to the wetlands and positioned on the gentle slope to be able to view nature. Unique to this labyrinth is an asymmetrical meandering design that also contains an inner spiral where you cross over a Yin Yang symbol.
Why is the labyrinth important to the church?
A walking meditation space deepens a person’s connection with the divine and brings awareness to our internal conversations about the meanings of life. When you approach a labyrinth walk, you enter a heightened state of consciousness, often invoking a question. Shedding the mind chatter on your way in, the walking meditation focuses your thoughts and calms your spirit to a place where gentle revelations can happen.
Anything else you would like to tell me about the Labyrinth?
This labyrinth is ever changing and I would like to invite people to contribute to the space as they are moved. I would love to see “altar” spaces set up along the path that are representational of the many sources of spiritual wisdom. Native plants could be planted. Art sculptures or wind chimes would enhance the space. Anything that moves your heart into action would be welcome. This is a shared space that is open for creativity.