RCWMS has three portable labyrinths that can be used for workshops and retreats. Two of them are 40’x40′ canvas replicas of the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in France, which was laid into the stone floor in the thirteenth century. The center of the labyrinth is a simple, open rose, which invites people from all backgrounds to create their own meaning. The rose is also an ancient symbol for Mary. The third is a small rainbow labyrinth.
In April 2019 the Raleigh News & Observer filmed a wonderful feature on Jeanette Stokes and the RCWMS labyrinth while it was set up in Duke Chapel. Click on the image to view the video.
Labyrinth Workshops & Retreats
RCWMS has led dozens of labyrinth walks, workshops, and programs. The labyrinth has traveled to Virginia, Georgia, and California. These days, we take the labyrinth to Duke University Chapel and to Binkley Baptist Church each year and to other places as invited. Visit the Resource Center’s Calendar for upcoming labyrinth walks.
Workshops are from three to six hours in length, and retreats can be up to several days long. A three-hour workshop allows time for a group of twenty to thirty to learn about the history of the labyrinth, walk the path, meditate, and reflect on the experience. A longer workshop can include several times for walking, guided meditation, simple art projects, and journaling. Charges for labyrinth workshops depend on the number of participants and the budget of the sponsoring organization.
Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss fees, travel expenses, and the availability of our staff to lead programs with the labyrinth.
Hosting the Labyrinth
Walking the labyrinth is different for each person, but there are some general guidelines. Walking towards the center can be a time of letting go, quieting the mind, and releasing the details and worries of your life. As people reach the center, they often sit or stand for a while—resting, meditating, or praying. Walking out from the center can be a time for integration, for absorbing the experience.
If you are hosting a labyrinth walk or a labyrinth workshop with one of our 40’x40′ labyrinths, here are some details which will aid you in your planning:
- Room size. The labyrinth needs a room that has 40’x40′ of unobstructed floor space.
- Floor. A wooden or carpeted floor is best for walking the labyrinth. A concrete floor can be used. The floor needs to be very clean. Please sweep or vacuum the floor right before we lay out the labyrinth.
- Journals. Ask people to bring a pen and something to write on, a journal or some paper. Please provide extra paper and pens for people who forget them.
- Socks. We ask people to walk the labyrinth with socks and without shoes. Heavy socks make the walking more comfortable. Please ask people to bring socks. Please provide extra socks for people who forget theirs.
- Scarves. People often enjoy walking with a scarf in their hands or over their heads. You may want to provide scarves or ask people to bring scarves with them.
- Candles. Candles help create a calm atmosphere. They can be placed on a table or around the edges of the room.
Lauren Artress, who created the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral and has been teaching people how to use it for years now, has written a book that has become a classic, Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Sacred Tool. You can find it and many other books and resources in your local bookstore or online.
Labyrinths can be found in many locations, such as churches, hospitals, conference centers, public gardens, and backyards all over this country and elsewhere. To find out more about labyrinths or to discover where they are located, check this website: www.labyrinthlocator.com.
For more on the history of labyrinths, locations of labyrinths, organizations, and products, visit Veriditas (the worldwide labyrinth project) at www.veriditas.org or The Labyrinth Society at www.labyrinthsociety.org.