What is a Labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a circular pattern with a circuitous pattern within it. It can be any size, from a few inches across to large enough to walk on. While historically the terms "maze" and "labyrinth" have been used interchangeably, in modern usage they are different. See below.
What is the difference between a labyrinth and a maze?
Although sometimes used interchangeably, in modern usage a labyrinth has a single path and is intended for meditation and reflection. In the Medieval Chartres pattern, the path turns on itself a number of times, making it difficult to know how close one is to the center. This makes a powerful metaphor for life, and other journeys. A maze is a puzzle with many paths, false leads and dead ends.
What should I expect when I walk the labyrinth?
It is best not to expect anything. Some people feel an immediate sense of peace, some people don't notice anything for a few days, some people have revelations, some people walk the labyrinth several times before they discover an insight. Walk your own walk.
How can I find a labyrinth near me?
Veriditas and The Labyrinth Society (TLS) sponsor The World Wide Labyrinth Locator. You can find labyrinths by city and state or country. Click here to go to the WWLL.
Who is Lauren Artress?
The Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress is the founder of the modern labyrinth movement. In August, 1991 she and a group from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco cleared the chairs off the labyrinth in Chartres, France, and walked it for the first time. Click here for a short biography of Lauren.
What is Veriditas and what does the word Veriditas mean?
Veriditas is a 501 c3 not-for-profit organization incorporated in the State of California in 1995 by Lauren Artress. It is dedicated to introducing people to the healing, meditative powers of the labyrinth. The vision of Veriditas is to activate and facilitate the transformation of the human spirit. The work of Veriditas centers around the Labyrinth Experience as a personal practice for healing and growth, a tool for community building, an agent for global peace and a metaphor for life.
Veriditas is a word used by Hildegard of Bingen to signify the greening of the human soul. It signifies the divine power within Nature and all human beings, combined with the human ability of discernment.
Why does Veriditas hold programs in Chartres, France?
The cathedral in Chartres, France, has the last remaining medieval Christian labyrinth in Europe. People have been walking this labyrinth since it was created in 1201 when the cathedral was rebuilt after a fire. Chartres is thus the spiritual home of the labyrinth movement. Many people find that programs in Chartres are especially meaningful, especially combined with the evening candle-lit labyrinth walk that is a traditional part of Veriditas programs there. Click here for more information on our Chartres programs.
Why is the Veriditas office located in Petaluma, CA?
Veriditas moved to the wharf area by the river in downtown Petaluma in the Fall of 2017. We are still near our beloved Deer Heart Labyrinth on the Earthrise Retreat Center.
What does walking meditation mean?
Many people have trouble with traditional meditation postures, which require sitting still for long periods. Walking the labyrinth literally circumvents this, by creating an easy method of focusing. Following a simple path, with many turns but no decisions, allows the mind to concentrate in a meditative state. For more information see our handout, Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth.
What is an Urban Retreat?
An Urban Retreat is a program that is designed to take one out of the concerns of daily life, without being physically removed from the city environment. Our premiere urban retreat is the Labyrinth Pilgrimage, held annually at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. See Grace Cathedral Pilgrimage.
How does the labyrinth relate to Pilgrimage?
Some historians believe that labyrinth walking in the Christian tradition became an accepted substitute for the Jerusalem Pilgrimage in the Middle Ages, when the costs and dangers became prohibitive for most people. Many people find that walking the labyrinth is a natural metaphor for Pilgrimage.
What does the labyrinth have to do with World Peace?
Walking the labyrinth can be a type of prayer. As we pray for World Peace, so we also walk for World Peace. Many churches and other religious groups hold special walks dedicated to a special theme, such as Peace, or disaster relief.
How can I build my own labyrinth?
Building a permanent labyrinth is a complex project. Generally, you should consult an expert. Veriditas hosts labyrinth building expert Lars Howlett for a Labyrinth Building workshop at least once a year. There are are also several books written by Robert Ferre on how to build various labyrinths available to order by clicking here.
What is the Global Healing Response?
The Global Healing Response (GHR) was introduced to a network of worldwide labyrinth facilitators on August 9, 2005 by Ellen Bintz Meuch, Certified Labyrinth Facilitator. It is a Veriditas (www.veriditas.net) sponsored program. The GHR is a simple plan using the labyrinth in a unified response to promote stress management, grief integration and healing in case of an emergency or disaster from any force. The intent was to create a plan with clarity and vision before a disaster occurs rather than when everyone is distressed. The GHR was first implemented in response to Hurricane Katrina on October 15, 2005. Click here for the GHR website.
Is the Labyrinth Christian?
The labyrinth is sacred in many traditions. Christians have been using the labyrinth since the fourth century, most notably in the great medieval cathedrals of Europe. The last remaining labyrinth in one of these cathedrals is in Chartres, France.
Can wheelchairs go on a labyrinth?
Yes, depending on the surface of the labyrinth - a flat surface where the path and walls are inlaid works well. You line your feet up with the path and proceed through the labyrinth by keeping your feet over the path.
What is a finger mediation tool?
A finger mediation tool is a hand-held or desktop labyrinth, often with an incised path, that one uses by tracing the path with a finger or stylus.
What is a facilitator? How do I become one?
A Labyrinth Facilitator introduces others to the labyrinth in an articulate, professional and effective way. Walking the labyrinth is being embraced as a spiritual practice throughout the Western world mostly because of Veriditas trained facilitators. The Veriditas Facilitator Training -- which began in 1997 -- remains the most rigorous and comprehensive training offered. Some people take this two-day course to deepen their knowledge of labyrinths. Others take it with the goal of becoming a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator.
To date, Veriditas has trained more than 2,500 labyrinth facilitators -- therapists, clergy, hospital administrators, parish teams, doctors, artists and labyrinth enthusiasts -- who are introducing the labyrinth to their communities.
Our experience has taught us that if a person does not have a satisfying first experience, they do not easily return to walk again. Over the years a body of knowledge about labyrinths, their history and how to use them effectively has developed. The labyrinth seems deceptively easy to introduce to others. However, common mistakes have begun to appear: presenting a 'right way' to walk a labyrinth or interrupting someone's experience due to the presenter's discomfort with emotion are just two examples.
To become a Veriditas-trained Facilitator, you must apply to take the training. Once accepted, you attend a workshop before the intensive two-day training. Workshops and trainings are held all over the world. For a list of currently scheduled trainings, see our calendar. For more information on Facilitator Training including topics covered, and the application, see our Facilitator Training page.
Why do I need to attend a Qualifying Workshop prior to Facilitator Training?
Its important for you to have an embodied experience of the labyrinth as Veriditas presents it, which will give you a solid experiential foundation from which to share the labyrinth with others.
How can I get Lauren Artress and other Veriditas speakers to come to my area?
Veriditas is the premiere organization for labyrinth workshops. Ranging from introductory workshops of several hours to several days to more in-depth retreats, Veriditas will customize the workshop to meet your needs. We regularly hold programs in schools, hospitals, retreat centers, spas, churches, and many other types of organizations. We can even develop a program for you in conjunction with our Walking a Sacred Path program in Chartres, France!
For more information, including rates, possible topics and available dates, contact our Executive Director, Dawn Matheny, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Sacred Geometry?
Sacred geometry is geometry used in the design of sacred architecture and sacred art. The basic belief is that geometry and mathematical ratios, harmonics and proportion are also found in music, art and architecture. These proportions can be seen even in prehistory. It is considered foundational to building sacred structures such as temples, mosques, megaliths, monuments and churches, and the creation of religious art (including labyrinths).