WellesleyWeston Magazine

WINTER 2012/2013

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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CHERYL BALIAN SCAPARROTTA writer Labyrinths Exploring the Path ofLife do youever feel like you're going in a hundred different direc- tions at once? Do you struggle to find that ever-elusive quiet time? Are you looking for a fresh—or deeper—approach to life's daily challenges? Then consider the power of a labyrinth. Often confused with a maze, a labyrinth is a walking meditative path, and serves as a moving alternative to sitting meditation. "A labyrinth is a metaphor for life," explains the Reverend Kathy Musser, Associate Pastor for Pastoral Care at the Wellesley Congregational Church (also known as the Village Church). A typical prearranged path, with only one entrance, requires no "figuring out," so one can simply walk a labyrinth to its center, trav- eling its bends and turns, while allowing the mind to quiet. And there is no right or wrong way to navigate a labyrinth. "The ancient pattern of the labyrinth has crossed time, cultures, and reli- gions throughout history and has become a universal metaphor of peace, harmony, contemplation, and healing, " Musser says. Reverend Musser has facilitated a labyrinth ministry at the Wellesley Congregational Church for almost a decade, including monthly walks and various workshops. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Labyrinth Guild of New England, which educates people about the 114 origin of labyrinths, and brings meditative walking experiences to churches, schools, and hospitals throughout New England. "It's a simple way to demonstrate that, as humans, we are all on the path of life," adds Beth Burnham Mace, a cohort of Musser's and a co- founder of the Labyrinth Guild. "We all have a beginning and end, but life can take a circuitous path." Mace points out that there are no dead ends in a labyrinth—all paths lead to the center. "The way we teach people to walk is to start at the beginning, follow it at your own pace and rhythm, and if you stay the course, you'll come into the center," she says. "I call it the 'path of shedding,' because it's a chance to slough off the distractions in your day-to-day world and come into a quieter mindset. When you arrive at the center, it can be a moment of insight into yourself or others." Labyrinth designs have been found on ancient coins, embossed on pottery, etched onto cave walls, and embedded into tile floors from Roman times through the Renaissance. Perhaps the most famous labyrinth in the world today is found 50 miles outside of Paris at Chartres Cathedral, which fills the Cathedral's nave and is open to the public. Other notable labyrinths are found in Glastonbury, England; WellesleyWeston Magazine | winter 2012/2013 PHO TO BY PETER VA NDERW A RKER

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