Labyrinth unites passageways and community
PEACE, unity and healing is needed in the world more than ever and one special event aims to provide all three.
World Labyrinth Day is an internationally recognised event, where people around the world unite to walk a labyrinth as one.
The next event is coming to Bundaberg on Saturday.
Wide Bay representatives for the Australian Labyrinth Network (ALN) Cynthia Hoogstraten and Ramona Lane said their role is to facilitate walks.
"The purpose has always been for peace and unity, although this year we will be including healing for obvious reasons," Ms Hoogstraten said.
"It's principal aim is to walk as one at 1pm in our individual time zones to send a wave of peaceful energy around the globe."
Ms Hoogstraten, who has one in her own garden, said there are many benefits associated with walking through a labyrinth.
The process allows individuals to create their own purpose for the walk, whether it be for stress relief, mindfulness, reflection, connection, exercise or ritual and prayer.
"We have witnessed people become quite emotional after a walk as it often represents a 'metaphor of life' and they often find it healing to express how they are feeling," Ms Hoogstraten said.
"An ideal way to walk is to release or let go as you walk to the centre and then to resolve and receive as you follow the same path out."
Ms Hoogstraten said is no right or wrong way to walk and the process often involves placing flowers or objects in the centre for release.
As outdoor gatherings are still restricted, Ms Hoogstraten recommends participating in the online events available this year, through the ALN.
Situated in private or public spaces, labyrinths can be found at schools, churches, hospitals, gardens and prisons.
With the help of Bargara Uniting Church, Bargara Headlands Estate and volunteers, Ms Hoogstraten and Ms Lane were able to build a permanent labyrinth in Bargara.
"It offers a calm, reflective and sacred space between weeping paperbarks," Ms Hoogstraten said.
"Our Bargara Peace Prayer Labyrinth is at the Uniting Church in Bargara which is open to the public, but we request they adhere to health guidelines if they wish to walk it."
Ms Hoogstraten said they also often draw labyrinths on the local beach for others to enjoy.
Labyrinth walks have also occurred during special occassions such as weddings and birthdays, as memory walks for dementia.
Bundaberg has hosted walks since 2015 and has been celebrated in Australia for more than a decade.
The last public event was held on Australia Day, where a labyrinth was drawn in the shape of a koala, to symbolise bushfire season.
For more information, visit aln.org.au.