|Labyrinth in Visually Impaired Communities|
|New Mission and Vision Statement|
|Special Offer from our Product Partner, iSpiritual|
|Global Healing Response|
|Little Miracles on the Path|
By Dolores Hanley McDiarmid
My professional life has been spent teaching people living with blindness and visual impairments to navigate safely in their homes and in the community. I had no idea of how my own introduction to walking the labyrinth would lead me onto a new path in my professional life.
While working toward completing the requirements to become a Certified Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator, it was natural for me to begin exploring the benefits of walking the labyrinth for people living with no sight or impaired sight. Having absolutely no idea of what to expect, a labyrinth walk was planned for several clients and their friends and family members.
On November 27, 2010 several clients of Lighthouse of Broward, an agency in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, providing comprehensive services to the blind and sight impaired participated in their first labyrinth walk in the Schofield Chapel at the Duncan Conference Center, Delray Beach, Florida. Participants able to see the color contrast in the labyrinth design navigated independently while others needed to hold onto the arm of a sighted guide.
Later, a telephone interview was conducted with each participant to evaluate their first labyrinth walk. The results indicated that everyone found the experience
|to be positive and meaningful and were interested in future labyrinth walks. Having the desire to create an opportunity for them to walk with people who are sighted, I decided to put my creative talents to work.
I met with two friends who work in women’s ministry at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Ft. Lauderdale and asked if they were familiar with the labyrinth. As many people are, they were unfamiliar with the labyrinth but interested in learning about it. Once the ladies learned that the labyrinth experience provides a way to quiet the mind so the Divine can speak to the heart their interest level peaked.
Those interested attended an evening presentation that that included personal testimonies from two facilitators of labyrinth walks and a video explaining the history, application, and benefits of the labyrinth. On Saturday, April 28th we all went to the Lighthouse of Broward to convene with several people who are sight impaired and blind before carpooling to the Duncan Conference Center. Most of the clients were able to walk the labyrinth without assistance. Two required a sighted guide.
Following the walk everyone met for lunch and conversation. Great community building took place between the ladies from St. Anthony Catholic Church and the clients from Lighthouse of Broward. The ladies could see the Divine spark in each client and they walked the journey together - those who are sighted and those who see with their hearts.
The ladies and the clients look forward to their next community labyrinth walk!
Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.
We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation.
Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.
Less than 50 days remain until our auction goes live! Thank you to those of you who have already donated items - we are building a really exciting catalog! AND we still need a lot more items. Now is the time to let your creative energy flow in support of this life-changing work!
Here is the link for the auction site. You may go online any time and donate your items. You will be responsible for shipping your items to winning bidders at the close of the auction.
Please contact Phyllis Carlisle if you have any questions or need assistance with placing your items on the Bidding For Good website.
by Rita Canning, Development Coordinator
It has been a joy to do this next interview for the
e-newsletter with Vicki Bailey, a Veriditas donor and a philanthropist who describes herself as a pilgrim on the path of the labyrinth.
Rita: When did you first encounter the labyrinth?
About 25 years ago I used to do retreats at the Angela Center in Santa Rosa. They have 2 labyrinths there and that was the first time I walked one. It was very calming and made complete sense to me as a metaphor for how life is. I remember very clearly that it helped me psychologically at that point in my life. All the twists and turns, you don’t know what’s ahead and you just have to keep going until you come to the center.
Rita: How did you get involved with Veriditas?
I had heard of Veriditas about 15 years before I went to Chartres for the first time in 2011. A friend of mine showed me a brochure about walking the labyrinth at Chartres and I was very intrigued by it. It was in my mind all those years. When my daughter was living in London I decided to go to Chartres when I went to visit her. The Thursday night experience of walking the labyrinth was just amazing for me – life changing and transformative.
Rita: I understand that you have made a labyrinth on your property. What was your inspiration for doing this and what has been your experience?
The inspiration started with walking the labyrinth at Angela Center all those years ago. Then when I first went to Chartres I was so enthralled by that Thursday evening experience of walking the
labyrinth that I thought that I had to have a labyrinth on my property, which is 12 acres.
It was the easiest thing I ever had done. Every one who comes has a similar experience of calm and peace. I walk it 4-5 times a week as an important part of my spiritual practice. I also do solstice or equinox walks with people when I am in town,
usually once a year. About 6 months after it was
built I felt the inspiration to color it with sparkly stones. It is a very soothing and calming experience and I love to share it with friends.
Rita: Why do you donate to Veriditas?
I think there are two parts of donating to Veriditas for me.The first is about the transforming experience I had at Chartres which was so incredible. I loved the way they do the ritual, the candles and the music with such thoughtfulness and responsibility. They create a safe container for people to have the opportunity to have quite an extraordinary experience. And I see all the work that goes into making it such a transformative event. Every part that Veriditas does validates the vision and work. Donating is a way for me to support that because it is quite special. The Chartres experience was so beautiful that it opened my heart and my inner vision. It opened a portal to a space that I don’t get to be in that often and touched me very deeply. Being able to assist with money is really my honor. The vision that came to me is one that I would like to have as I’m passing over. It was so beautiful and comforting. I was looking at the stained glass and the light in the Cathedral was fading, and the colors were still there. It touched me so deeply that I got teary. I thought that this was the light that I would be going into when I pass, as the light in this life fades. It was extremely comforting to me. It clarified it like nothing else would have. Quite a moment!The second part of why I donate to Veriditas is that relationships have always been very important to me. And I feel that Lauren and Dawn are very trustworthy, and that matters. I don’t give money if I don’t feel that it will be used well. The experience of walking the labyrinth is so important and really helps people that I don’t want to see Veriditas having to close their doors from lack of funds. What they do is really special and this is my way of assisting. It’s transformative for people to work with the labyrinth. We can’t have the doors close on something that is doing that much good.
Chartres 12 inch finger labyrinth in Cream with a green path.
Through September 20th, enter coupon code verid08 and you will receive a $5 discount on the 12 inch cream/green path labyrinth. (please enter the coupon exactly as written at checkout to get discount).
Order directly from iSpiritual by linking here.
News from the Veriditas Council
The Global Healing Response, founded in 2005 by Council member Ellen Bintz Meuch, offers an annual theme and quarterly ideas and information to enrich labyrinth walks. The GHR theme for 2013 is Truth and the focus for this quarter is Authenticity. The quote is by Eckhart Tolle, “Only the truth of who you are, if realized, will set you free.” If each of us could host or personally take the time for a GHR labyrinth walk, think of the unified healing energy we could create! The third quarter is posted on the website, www.globalhealingresponse.com. We encourage you to visit the site soon and often. All resources since 2005 are listed.
Each month, Linda Mikell, secretary to the Veriditas Council and New England Regional Representative, emails a Little Miracles on the Path story to 439 facilitators who have signed up for them. Facilitators from all over the world send her stories about interesting, touching events that happen at their labyrinth walks. If you would like to receive these stories, please contact Linda (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please don’t forget to send your story when you have one. Little Miracles are archived on the Facilitators Portal of the Veriditas Website.