A Moment of Mindfulness: Tracing a Labyrinth

I am making a commitment to mindfulness in my life.  For me, this means I am doing my best to spend more time being present, in the moment, concentrating on single tasking, as opposed to multitasking.  Mindfulness is challenging for anyone, but especiallly those of us with ADHD. Studies are showing that mindfulness can benefit those with ADHD and books like The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD by Lidia Zylowska, MD explain how.    When I find myself getting worked up about something and in a less mindful place, I am learning to step back and take a grown-up time out of sorts.  This might involve taking a series of deep breathes from my core, reading a brief meditation, or listening to a short meditation.

When I have more time, I have found a wonderful means of practicing mindfulness is walking a labyrinth.  Walking a labyrinth per Wikipedia, “help[s] to achieve a contemplative state” as “walking among the turnings, one loses track of direction and of the outside world, and thus quiets the mind.”  The Labyrinth Society says of labyrinths, ” a labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.”  There is a wonderful outdoor labyrinth at the Unity Spiritual Center in Westlake, Ohio that I have walked many times.  I have also been lucky enough to walk Labyrinths in San Francisco and Chartres.   Click here if you’re interested in locating a labyrinth near you.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a labyrinth in my home, or my backyard, or even my community.  That is where the above image comes into play.  I have found that I am able to capture a little of that same contemplative state by tracing a labyrinth on paper.  It is hard to focus on other things while you are tracing the labyrinth.  Tracing within the lines along the path forces one to slow down and focus on what the they are doing.  This “one mindedness” is key to mindfulness.  In addition, it is very peaceful and fulfillng to see the pattern of the labyrinth appear as you trace over it.  Feeling frazzled? Give it a try and share what kind of impact it has on you.

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2 Responses to “A Moment of Mindfulness: Tracing a Labyrinth”

  1. Geralin Thomas November 5, 2012 2:00 pm #

    Andrea, I’m currently enrolled in a mindfullness study at Duke University. On campus, we have access to a permanent Labyrinth for use while practicing our walking meditations. It’s a classic 7-circuit labyrinth with 3 large rocks on the right and one on the left at the entrance. It’s not a maze. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this post!

    • admin November 5, 2012 2:05 pm #

      Geralin, Thanks for sharing. There is something so incredibly peaceful about a labyrinth. How lucky that you have ready access to one! I’d be interested in learning more about the results of the mindfulness study. I recall you saying something about it at ICD conference. Best, Andrea

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