The word “labyrinth” usually brings to my mind a mysterious, intriguing set of twists and turns at best, and intertwining passages so complex they lead to frustration and despair at worst. The current state of the world feels like a labyrinthine mixture of health, political, environmental, and social turmoil—overlapping in such a disorganized, maddening way that it feels we’ll never find our way out.
Several months of this have led to an overwhelming need for mental health services, with a shortage of resources to help many suffering from anger, confusion and hopelessness in this dark stretch.
Labyrinth images are featured in many ancient cultures, without my negative slant. Maze type labyrinths—with some paths ending in dead ends, others leading to a desired destination—function as entertainment. Meander type labyrinths have a starting point that leads along a set path. It twists and turns, but those who walk it will be guided to a set destination point.
Aside from offering entertainment and aesthetic beauty in their patterns, labyrinths are sometimes used for spiritual meditation purposes. Walkers might choose a single thought, focusing only on that as they make a mental and physical journey following the labyrinth path.
Perhaps if we treat the current troubled times in this calming, meditative way—walking our way over a path while focusing on one issue we wish to come to terms with—challenges will feel less out of control and more within our power to process.
We don’t need a formally laid out labyrinth path to do this. We can pick a thought to focus on, close our eyes to embrace that idea, and keep that focus while walking a distance we’ve set for ourselves, whether it be outdoors or on an imaginary path in our living room.
Real labyrinth paths can be found in surprising places, though. This week’s Hike Notes are from the archives, Labyrinth at Lands End, a special spot on a cliff above San Francisco’s Mile Rock Beach, with grand views of the Pacific, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge.
The long list of Hikes can be found on the Quick View Hike List and on the main Hikes page. All past Insights posts can also be viewed in the Insights/Hike Update News archives.
Check the Home page for the broader background story. If you’re not able to take one of these Northern California hikes, hopefully you can enjoy the photo galleries at the bottom of each hike page! Click Insights/Hike Update News for inspiring reflections. Please feel free to share.
This week’s Hike Notes from the Archives:
(Original Hike Notes 43): Labyrinth at Lands End
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Sharing insights and hiking highlights (Hikes, Hike Search by Area) from the special needs caregiver front in San Francisco.