The Labyrinth Walking Meditation Part 2

Part 1

* All information (in italics) is taken from the print out given to me during my retreat at the Cenacle Sisters Retreat House in September 2014. No reference site/s in the print out.*

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Labyrinth at Cenacle Sisters Retreat House

Experiencing the Labyrinth

People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you do it. There is no “right” or “wrong” experience. Some people feel a sense of peace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed or, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight, or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. others have very small experiences or none at all. the experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time. whatever you experience, it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.

Suggestions for Walking

  • The labyrinth is a path for prayer and meditation.
  • Collect yourself before you start. Think of different people, events, situations, places or things in your life to develop a specific intention if you wish to use one in your meditation.
  • Get centered.
  • There are two common ways of walking: the way of silence and the way of image.

(1) In choosing the way of silence it might be helpful to focus on your breathing.
(2) The way of image might be done by reciting a prayer or name for God over and over to yourself.

  • Ask yourself: How am I loved? How do I love? In either case or in some other manner best suited to you, be open to your heart and mind. Pay attention to your thoughts as they rise and then let them go.
  • The labyrinth is a place of presence; allow yourself to be present to yourself and to God. 
  • The labyrinth is a teacher; let it teach you through the mysterious power of God.
  • As you walk the path, thoughts and ideas may rise up for you and in you — often in refreshing and startling ways.
  • One way to feel more connected to the experience is to walk barefoot and slowly. There is no need to rush. Some people feel a sense of confusion as they first star, remember there is only one path in and one path out. you will not get lost. For some people running as quickly as possible to the center, resting there, and then running quickly out is a powerful experience. 

OR
(3) Use the basic walking meditation. The whole experience consists of three parts — a letting go, a letting in and a letting out.

  • Prepare yourself for the walk by pausing at the entrance to clear your mind and become aware of your breath. You may offer a prayer/intention for the walk you are about to make.
  • Letting go (surrendering) — The walk around the design to the center is a time to quiet thoughts, worries, lists of tasks to do and a letting go — emptying your mind, being present to your body, and surrendering yourself to God.
  • Letting in (receiving) — As you reach the center, you may find your heart opening. Stay as long as you need. This is a place of meditation, prayer and illumination. Receive what is there for you.
  • Letting out (returning) — When ready, take the walk out — back to your life, now refreshed and empowered by the Spirit to live and renewed faith and hope.

I’ll share my personal experience of the labyrinth in another post.

The Labyrinth Walking Meditation Part 1

* All information (in italics) is taken from the print out given to me during my retreat in September 2014. No reference site/s in the print out. *

labyrinth_cenaclesistersph

Labyrinth at Cenacle Sisters Retreat House

What is a Labyrinth?

A labyrinth is an ancient human symbol known to go back at least 3500 years and probably much older. They appeared on most inhabited continents in prehistory, with examples known from North & South America, Africa, Asia, and across Europe from the Mediterranean to Scandinavia. The labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the twelfth & thirteenth centuries. The most famous extant design is the example in the nave floor of the Cathedral of Notew Dame de Chartes outside of Paris.

Why Do We Walk the Labyrinth?

A labyrinth is not a maze, but a walking meditation device with a single winding path from the edge to the center. The labyrinth represents the journey inward to our own true selves and back out into the everyday world.

Walking a labyrinth is a right brain activity (creative, intuitive, imaginative), and can induce or enhance a contemplative or meditative state of mind. It is a tool which can clear the mind, calm our anxieties during periods of transition and stress, guide healing, deepen self-knowledge, enhance creativity, allow for reconciliation, restore feelings of belonging to a community, and lead to personal and spiritual growth.

For many walkers, the labyrinth becomes a metaphor for the journey of life: although full of twists and turns, each of us is on a single path through his or her life, and yet each person’s journey is a separate and distinct qualitative experience. In walking labyrinths, modern seekers are emulating and recapturing the pilgrimage tradition of many ancient faiths.

Benefits of Labyrinth Walking

Research conducted by Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School’s Mind/Body Medical Institute has found focused walking meditations are highly efficient at reducing anxiety and eliciting what Dr. Benson calls the ‘relaxation response’. This effect has significant long term health benefits. Regular meditative practice leads to greater powers of concentration and a sense of control and efficiency in one’s life.

Part 2

Fully Loaded Saturday

My friend and I squeezed in 2 activities into our schedules yesterday. In addition, I have another event to go to in the evening while my friend needs to go home to do some house chores. To help us manage our time well, we specified the exact time we should be spending for each event.

Confucius Institute Day

My friend took up Chinese classes at the Confucius Institute in Ateneo so she learned about this event. I was expecting that there will be Chinese food so I went with her hahaha! When we got to the place, I felt a little awkward because most were students (high school and college) hehehehe. Anyway, there was an exhibit of everything related to the Chinese culture. There were also several activities like games, photobooth, making Chinese lanterns, and videoke featuring Chinese songs. Food? You need to complete the stamp before you can have siopao and siomai hehehehe. Since we were feeling out of place, we just tried one game, hoop, where you throw a rounded wire into a bottle of water. You have 3 tries. I did not get any. But I got one stamp hehehe. We left after a few minutes.

I also took a brochure of their short courses. Side story: I have this crazy plan of wanting to try to study in UP Diliman, La Salle, and Ateneo, either taking up full courses or just short courses hehe. I have started the MTM program in UP with the intention of finishing it. For Ateneo, and La Salle, maybe short courses will do :).

2015 Work at Home Expo

wahexpo2015From Makati, we went straight to Bayanihan Center in Kapitolyo, Pasig to catch what’s left of the Work at Home Expo. We reached the place at 11:30 AM and fortunately, there were still talks at the main hall in the afternoon so we registered and spent some time to check out the sponsors’ booths. We went for a quick lunch at Jollibee Pioneer Center (we were shooting for a non-fastfood place that’s also cheap but this is the best option we had so….) and back to the events place few minutes before 1 PM in time for the afternoon sessions. We were able to listen to 5 resource speakers.

  • Joe Maristela of Katalyst.ph: His talk focused on how he started and operated his business in the US, right in his bedroom. He is a proponent for work at home because it is more efficient that way. He moved his operations to Manila recently and is now also into angel investing.
  • Marilen Montenegro of Marilen.ph: Her topic was on Balancing Business, Home and Heart. She shared her tips on how to balance your business, home and family. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take pictures of her presentation slides but I think all the things she shared are also in her blog.
  • Impact Hub Manila (I forgot the name of the speaker): The focus of his talk is about coworking. It’s basically sharing a space with other people, instead of working at the confines of your home or in coffee shops. With this setup, you get to network with other freelancers.
  • Anna Meloto-Wilk of Human Heart Nature: She shared how they started with Human Heart Nature. Right now, their main focus is social entrepreneurship and supporting/putting up foundations. Her dad is Antonio Meloto, founder of Gawad Kalinga.
  • Teresa Dumadag of FullLifeCube.com: Her topic was on time management for the work at home parent. She discussed 3 success strategies in managing her time and living a full life: 1) PLAN how she uses her time; 2) Manages her time based on her PRIORITIES; 3) manages her time based on her clearly defined GOALS.
After listening to all these talks, paying the Php 100 entrance fee to the main hall was really worth it. I was somehow inspired. There were a lot of lessons that’s not only applicable to work at home parents but basically to everyone who would like to find balance and live their lives to the fullest.

I want to attend more similar events so as to get inspiration to go into entrepreneurship. I have always been an introvert so I always have self doubt that I can make it but it is one area that I want to venture into eventually. One little step at a time, even though sometimes, I feel that I am running out of time already. That’s too many “times” in one sentence so I’m reminded again haha. Whew.

Beloved: A Journey of Love Concert

cenacleconcerticketAnd before ending my day, I went to a concert. I have talked about this in my previous post. No regrets about going here. It’s like having a date with the Lord, serenaded by world-class singers. This was what I shared in my FB post few minutes after the event. “My reward for attending the fundraising concert of the Cenacle Sisters? Was serenaded by none other than Basil Valdez, Noel Cabangon, the Cenacle Sisters, Hangad, Himig Heswita, Bukas Palad Ministry, and the Ateneo Chamber Singers! Thanks Ed for sharing this event. Thank you Cenacle Sisters Retreat House for doing this and reminding us all that we are beloved. Bitin!!! Hoping and waiting for a repeat. 🙂

I felt all sorts of emotions, and some parts of my life’s journey flashed back depending on the song hahaha. But most importantly, I felt that I truly am beloved, despite all my flaws. Amazing.

Loved all the songs, and related them all to my life hahaha. Here were some of the songs, on top of my head:

  • Ikaw – for someone who came into my life just recently 🙂
  • Hindi Kita Malilimutan – for Mama and Daddy, who are now our angels 🙂
  • Lead Me Lord – our elementary graduation song, which I almost always remember when find myself at a crossroad
  • Kanlungan – true, pana-panahon ang pagkakataon
  • I Will Sing Forever – indeed, I will sing forever of your love Oh Lord (and cling forever to Your promised love)
Thank you, Lord for the gift of time.

Beloved: A Journey of Love Concert

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Image from Cenacle Retreat House’s FB account

A friend shared the photo above in his Facebook timeline and I did not hesitate to buy a ticket because it is a fund raising concert which will support the ministries of Cenacle Sisters. I’m sure it will be a lovely night because the concert goers will be serenaded by Basil Valdez, Noel Cabangon, Hangad and Himig Heswita, Bukas Palad Music Ministry, Ateneo Chamber Singers and the Cenacle Sisters themselves!

It’s happening tomorrow, September 26, 2015 starting at 6:00 PM at the B.F. Rooker Auditorium, St. Paul College, Pasig City.

Tickets are available at the following:

  • Tanging Yaman Kiosk – 5F SM Megamall
  • Tanging Yaman Store – Ateneo de Manila University
  • Cenacle Retreat House – 59 Nicanor Reyes Street, Varsity Hills Subdivision, Loyola Heights, QC (Tel. #s: 0947-194394/0917-9932204/Jesuit Communications – 426-5971 local 113)

Ticket prices (free seating within each section):

  • Upper Box – Php 300.00
  • Balcony – Php 500.00
  • Orchestra – Php 1,000.00
  • Loge – Php 2,000.00

Side story: The Cenacle Retreat House was my refuge when I was hit by depression in 2014 (more on this in another post). I spent several days there last September 2014 to break away for a while from the reality that I had back then. After that personal retreat, I came out more hopeful that things will become better eventually. Going to this concert then is just a small way of giving back and saying my thanks to that community. Also, Sr. Susay who was my retreat master last year, will be singing so all the more that I want to go!  🙂

cenacleconcerticket

All set for the concert!

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