Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Walking the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral

I took some time on my day off last week to go to Grace Cathedral to walk their new and improved labyrinth.  As you can see, they replaced the wool tapestry labyrinth with a stone inlaid labyrinth that looks more like the original 11-circuit Chartres labyrinth in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres, France.

While I walked, it was very crowded as people came to walk after work.  Staying for a while, walking slowly as people rushed through their experience, allowed me to remain later to have most of the labyrinth to walk by myself.  This is one of my favorite places on earth, having taken the Facilitator's Training in 2002.  Imagine walking in this space with a live harpist and rose petals falling down from the ceiling!  More information is available at


More Labyrinths:

The last labyrinth I helped create is another indoor seven-circuit modified Chartres style labyrinth at Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, CA.  This is also painted on the floor of the Fellowship Hall, protected by a laminate.  Having a labyrinth in the midst of a theater and multipurpose room is a great way to add depth to a room, while increasing the opportunities for creating programming in the spiritual discipline of group walking of the labyrinth.  Of course, I can't take credit for this wonderful labyrinth because Rev. Catherine Oliver was not only the inspiration for it, but she also helped draw, tape, paint, and organized all the volunteers who helped create this special space.  If you are in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, drop by for a walk.  

More Labyrinths:

I helped make a seven-circuit modified Chartres style labyrinth made with local materials at Westminster Woods.  Across the river from the green and cafeteria, this labyrinth is nestled into the hillside with a small retaining wall that doubles as a bench.  The path is redwood duff, divided by rocks from the riverbed nearby.

(picture coming.)

More Labyrinths:

This is a seven-circuit modified Chartres style labyrinth I painted in the back yard of a friend's house when her house was a part of a garden tour.  I have made similar temporary labyrinths at my church – Community Presbyterian Church of Pittsburg, CA ( – at various times over the last four years.

More Labyrinths:

This is an 11-circuit modified Chartres style labyrinth inside Duncan Hall at First Presbyterian Church of San Anselmo, CA.  Accross the street from the seminary, this labyrinth is the only permanent indoor labyrinth in the area and is perfect for rainy days or lazy afternoons.  We have led evening Lenten services on and around the labyrinth, with candles, and a creativity table for journaling or drawing about the labyrinth experience.  The indoor space also makes it more intimate for times with live or recorded music.  

More Labyrinths:

This Cretan style of labyrinth was made by planting concrete pavers into the grass.  This is the oldest style of labyrinth in the world, and can be found on coins from the Mediterranean and even in some stone labyrinths in Britain and some Scandinavian countries.  We added a Celtic circle to the interior axial cross of this labyrinth.  The secluded spot between Baird Hall and the Lloyd Center at SFTS is very private.  Take off your shoes and spend some time.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Labyrinths I have helped build:

This seven-circuit modified Chartres style labyrinth is on Geneva Terrace at San Francisco Theological Seminary.  We tested a version of this labyrinth in chalk during holy week when I was a chaplain's assistant at SFTS.  A classmate suggested turning the entrance toward the mountains and it has made all the difference in the walking experience.  I drew this labyrinth, which was then created with an acrylic Portland cement applied by Rob Cowger, and then sealed to protect it from the sun and rain.  The acrylic cement bonded with the regular cement, and even exhibits the same pattern of cracking with the cement underneath.  The purple color today is closer to gray, perhaps because it hasn't been sealed as often as it needs, but it is still the most accessible labyrinth on campus.