The Labyrinth is a powerful tool, a rich field of metaphor in which we do not get lost, but rather we are found!
We spend lifetimes “looking for” our spiritual path as if it is something lost that we must find—we seek, rather than see that we are always on a spiritual journey. While we can not step off the path, we can certainly get lost and disoriented. For many, it is common to experience loneliness, confusion, sadness and chaos from the drama, stress and busy-ness of daily life. Way of the Winding Path offers simple practical steps for experiencing life as a spiritual pilgrimage and serves as a map, guiding you to find your way with ease, grace and clarity.
Through exploration of the labyrinth as a metaphor for life, discover how to:
• Remove the obstacles blocking your well-being
• Realign with who you really are
• Appreciate the journey, each step of the way
• Listen to the voice of God
• Take inspired action
• Celebrate transitions
• Ritualize everyday tasks
Way of the Winding Path will provide you with the tools to experience peace, happiness and love regardless of your external circumstances. The light for illuminating the path already burns within you. Reading this book will make your light glow more brightly so that you may more easily see your way.
Table of Contents
Part 1: The Sacred Journey Begins
The Path of the Pilgrimage
The Path of the Labyrinth
The Path of Life
The Magic of Metaphor
Expanding the Boundary
Removing the Obstacles
Part 2: Lessons from Labyrinth
1. Remember Who You Are
3. Appreciate the Journey
4. Let Go
5. Trust the Process
6. Listen to the Voice of God
7. Take Inspired Action
9. Find Your Perfect Pacing
10. Celebrate Transitions
11. Ritualize Everyday Tasks
Part 3: Taking the Pilgrimage Home
A Matter of Perspective
Walking the Heart Path Every Day
Home Sweet Om
Excerpt from Way of the Winding Path:The important message for us as pilgrims on our spiritual path is not that we must have a labyrinth in order to experience God — or our sacred path; rather, the labyrinth is a wonderful tool within which to practice hearing God or experiencing the sacred journey. After using the labyrinth as a “laboratory” for practicing the skills of self-observation, gaining awareness, letting go, getting centered, and taking action from the heart, then we are in the position of being able to expand the boundary of the labyrinth to use these skills all the time.The point of looking at metaphors is that what we experience on the labyrinth is seldom about the labyrinth experience itself but, rather, about something else in our lives we are invited to see. While in the “lab” (labyrinth/laboratory), we can master the art of recognizing that our thoughts and judgments about others are not really about them, but are opportunities for us to look at ourselves and our desire to love. Our judgments about others have nothing to do with those whom we judge and everything to do with our need to love — which, if observed, can be released, allowing us to return to being loving. Our fear of judgment from others is really about our desire to be loved. Once released, we can return to heart and move forward on our path in union with the Divine. When we let go of the need to be loved and to love, we find that we truly are loving and loved. Love is our true nature, and the need for love is an ego-based fear that we are not already so. Once we remove that obstacle, we are able to settle into our hearts, into our center, and simply be the love that we are. When we let go of the obstacles, love fills the void.Everything we encounter on the path is really a metaphor to mirror to us what we need to see to bring us closer to the Divine, closer to love, closer to our hearts. The labyrinth acts as a magnifying glass to help us with this process; but if we don’t have a labyrinth at our disposal, we can still achieve the necessary awareness to master these skills. Gaining this mindset requires that we practice self-awareness by setting our intention. We can begin by looking at our everyday lives through a “labyrinthine” filter. Every encounter with others is an opportunity to look at ourselves, to observe ourselves, to let go of the obstacles between us and love.
In actuality, the labyrinth design itself is a metaphor of our spiritual journey. Where does the boundary of the labyrinth, our sacred path, actually begin? At the edge of a forty-foot circle? What if the three-fold pilgrimage of your sacred path actually begins when you leave home on your journey to a labyrinth, the sacred destination is your time on the labyrinth, and your journey completes when you return back home the way you came?
What if, for those going on a pilgrimage, the sacred journey begins when they fly across the globe to the sacred center — Jerusalem, Lourdes, the Himalayas, Mecca, Chartres — and then completes as they fly back home the way they came? Where does the sacred journey begin?
What if we expand the boundary of the labyrinth even further to recognize that our sacred journey begins with the process of birth, and that we spend our lives in the sacred center of life on this heavenly planet and then we return back out through death?
What if the boundary is even larger than that? What if we were to live our lives as if we were always on a pilgrimage — on a journey toward the Divine, with the Divine, as the Divine? We are already on the path. We are on a pilgrimage; life is a pilgrimage! Our sacred journey has already begun, and we are always on it, as the Divine presence is always with us — whether we are in a shopping center parking lot, stuck in traffic, praying in a church, or sitting in meditation on a mountaintop in Tibet. All of our daily encounters are metaphors to bring us closer to the Divine. We just need to raise our awareness, to expand the boundary, so that we can see our lives from this perspective.
A man at a sunset labyrinth walk recently shared that he had been actively seeking his spiritual path, but was disappointed he hadn’t found it yet. I gently reminded him that he was already on it, and was now merely trying to make sense of it.
So, how can you make sense of it? The following pages will describe to you how to achieve divine alignment through self-observation and letting go — tools that will guide you on your path through life. If you have a labyrinth to practice these skills on, wonderful. If not, rest assured that your life serves equally well as practice ground! Imagine, if we expanded the labyrinth to include our very lives and applied these skills every day, how different our lives would be!
“Way of the Winding Path will etch a path into your heart. Here is a rich and rewarding guide to bringing your life into harmony. Eve Eschner Hogan masterfully turns the labyrinth into a metaphor for awakening. This unique book touched me.”
—Alan Cohen, author of I Had It All the Time
“Insightful, accessible and wise, Eve Eschner Hogan sets her gaze on the winding path of the labyrinth, and then broadens her focus to reflect upon the challenges of the spiritual life. If you have been walking the path for a while, it refreshes the spirit, if you are new to the path, start here!”
—Lauren Artress, author of Walking A Sacred Path
The Rediscovery of the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Tool
“Eve Eschner Hogan has written a simple yet comprehensive guide for spiritual journeying. With easy to use activities she brings the text to life in practical terms. Eve has integrated the ancient into our modern lives with a useful tool that anyone can put into practice. You’ve got a great one here!”
—Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D., A.T.R.,
author of The Power of Your Other Hand and The Creative Journal
“A different kind of labyrinth book. This is book for the spiritual pilgrim in which the labyrinth acts as a metaphor for the path, the thread that ties it all together, and the author returns to this metaphor consistently throughout; however, unlike most books with a central focus on labyrinths, it is not even clear what kind of labyrinth she uses! And, intriguingly, that doesn’t actually seem to make any difference. It’s the path that is important, and its form appears differently to each of us.”
—Sig Lonegren, author of Labyrinths: Ancient Myths and Modern Uses