Thursday, March 24, 2011


There’s a labyrinth on the grounds of Ojo Caliente Resort in New Mexico.

I returned from Ojo Wednesday night. My two companions were going for a simple, fun spring break. That was something I wanted as well but I also knew that I must heal some emotional wounds. I enjoyed and savored soaking in the springs and eating the wonderful food and the massages. But neither the waters nor the entrees nor the rubbing seemed to touch the wounds.

One morning, taking a walk with no purpose other than to walk, I wound up at the entrance of the labyrinth across the road from Ojo’s historic circular barn.

I’ve walked labyrinths before. They are powerful meditative tools. The circular path is clear; you cannot get lost. You walk deep into the center, pause, then circle back out.

I entered. With every step, I focused on the word/verb/prayer ‘heal’. At first, only that single word. Later, names coupled with the verb. I named my sons, my brother, his wife, my friends, my parents, other ancestors. I took them all with me to the center, then circled back out.

The next day was cold but, again, I was drawn to the labyrinth. And again my steps focused on the people I loved. Early morning moisture caused the sandy surface to record the pattern of my soles. I saw my footprints move toward the center, then overlap as I moved out, occasionally creating odd sort of butterfly patterns.

In the spa, there was a sauna that my friend compared to a sweat lodge. And it drew me. As I sat amid the steam, I again silently named the people I loved, wishing them/ praying them healing and well-being.

And I was lighter.

And I was reminded of the power of names, of thoughts, of prayer.

And I was grateful.

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