If you’ve ever walked a labyrinth path, then you know how meditative and soothing an experience it can be. And if you’re reading this post you may already know about how relaxing and centering a Zentangle® practice is.
A couple of months ago, as I was both preparing to teach a Spiritual Retreat Day for CZTs and preparing to teach Zentangle at a large Quaker conference, I found myself looking at the patterns in Labyrinths themselves. To my delight, I also found references to ‘Finger Labyrinths’, which compelled me to try drawing them myself. Well of course, I had to also try adding some Zentangle to it! I began adding hand-drawn labyrinths to my journaling and found that the act of drawing even a simple labyrinth alone is nearly as focused as drawing a Zentangle tile.
Labyrinths show up in many social and faith cultures (no they’re not just for pagans!) and you can find oodles of historical, social and faith references, discussions on sacred geometry and aspects of design on the internet and at your local library.
Below you’ll find a sample step out for a simple labyrinth I shared at the Spirituality Retreat Day. It’s based on a classic 3 circuit labyrinth that uses a starter “seed”. 7, 11 and 15 circuit labyrinths all work the same way, except there are extra “auras” within each quadrant.
The 3/7/11/etc circuit labyrinth is of the type where you enter and exit in the same spot. So you follow the entrance all the way into the center, turn around and follow the same path out. To draw it will take a bit of focus in how you connect the lines and dots. Start with a the 3 circuit example above and then you might try more complicated 7 circuit or 11 circuit labyrinths. Use a broad sweeping gesture as you draw out larger and larger. Try drawing labyrinths alone before adding anything else to it.
7, 11, 15 circuit ‘seeds’
I found that doubling my lines made a good string for adding tangles, I also found it fun to overlap some of the tangled labryinths…
Try drawing some labyrinths of your own, and make a labyrinth even larger and try combining it with one of your more quieting and focused tangles… not only do you get a double meditative experience in the creating, but you will have your own personal labyrinth to ‘walk’ your fingers or pen through when you can’t get outside for a physical labyrinth walk.
For those close enough to southern VT, I’ll be offering another Tangled Labyrinth workshop later this winter complete with the pdf I developed. Meanwhile, you might want to explore these resources:
In Part II, I discuss the interesting effects you can get depending on your choice of tangle, plus more on the act of “following the path”…