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Background page 13 designed by kate prothero davies Pauls Illuminated Celtic font designed by Paul Kodi graphic on page 21 courtesy of Tom Graves photograph page 18 courtesy of H. Peter Aleff images on pages 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 49 from Wikipedia Commons images page 16,29 artist unknown

The content of this issue of PEA GREEN BOAT is the sole intellectual property of the author/artistsnd not to reproduced or distributed in any form without the express written permission of the author/artist. The Pea Green Boat (PGB) e-zine is a product of Cathy Weber of the CR & K Group, LLC. The PBG e-zine is copyright CR & K Group LLC, 2011, and each contributor retains their copyright to their own works. For further information, please write Cathy Weber (P.O. Box 3568, Carmel, IN 46082) with your questions, comments, or suggestions. [August 13th, 2011]

pronounced /izin/

HISTORY 7 LINK Minoan Crete 8 VIEW POINT9 POEM String 11 ESSAY Medieval Castles12 PHOTO ESSAY10 LINK Sacred Geometry 13 POEM Circular Thinking14 ESSAY The Mystery of the Goose & Labyrinth16 POEM Ants in my corn meal19 HOW TO Surviving the Skills Learning Labyrinth20 POEM Centering25 ESSAY Touching the Sky27 HOW TO Bulb Labyrinth30 ART Visions32 DESTINATION Labyrinth Locator34 INTERVIEW June Hanson36 HOW TO Christian Meditation40 OPINION Christian Meditation42 FICTION The King of Charade44 INTERVIEW Michelle Normand46 MANDALAS48 POEM The Second Coming49 THOUGHT50 INTERVIEW Thaneeya McArdle52 LINKS53 COVER ART
Front Cover detail of painting Find Your Place by Cagney King Back Cover detail of Wandering the Path by Steven Newlin
PEA GREEN BOAT Summer 2011: Center

The Bridge and the Well may pass as landmarks along a path, and the Inn, too -- but a Prison and a Death square? ...p15


t was announced in May the theme for this issue of PEA GREEN BOAT would be Center. It seemed a simple idea, but it began to unfold in all directions and make unexpected twists of thought much like a labyrinth. Not to be confused with a maze -- complex puzzle with a choice of paths a labyrinth has a unicursal, or single, nonbranching path, leading to the center and is designed to be simple to navigate. The key idea: designed to be simple to navigate. In my opinion, a maze can be a frustrating puzzle of dead ends, but a labyrinth requires patience and persistence to reach the center. Once at the center, you must turn around and go back the way you came,

basically undoing all you have just doneor are you experiencing something new? Is the journey to the center and from the center of a labyrinth the same? Once you have made that journey, are you the same? As you will see in this issue, even when you are striding forward, you can find yourself turned around by a labyrinth. And life. For your perusal pleasure, this issue contains labyrinths as art and the art of labyrinths; how to build labyrinths and how to survive them; internal labyrinths and labyrinthine connections with the universe and beyond.

ATC by Danny Bates

...the opportunity to simply be in awe of something for a brief moment to connect with the natural world, with the universe, in a very personal and very profound way...p 27

The more I learned about mandalas and the connections to Buddhism, old Celtic religions, and American Indian ceremonies the more interested I became. P 47



Photo by Dana Driscoll


he Labyrinth lies a little above Lake Moeris, in the place called the City of Crocodiles. I visited this place, and found it to surpass description; for if all the walls and other great works of the Greeks could be put together in one, they would not equal, either in labor or expense, this Labyrinth; and yet the temple of Ephesus is a building worthy of note, and so is the temple of Samos. The pyramids likewise surpass description, and are severally equal to a number of the greatest works of the Greeks, but the Labyrinth surpasses the pyramids. The Labyrinth has twelve courts, all of them roofed, with gates exactly opposite one another, six looking to the north, and six to the south. A single wall surrounds the entire building. There are two different sorts of chambers throughouthalf under ground, half above ground, the latter built upon the former; the whole number of these chambers is three thousand, fifteen hundred of each kind. The upper chambers I myself passed through and saw, and what I say concerning them is from my own observation; of the underground chambers I can only speak from report: for the keepers of the building could not be got to show them, since they contained (as they said) the sepulchers of the kings who built the Labyrinth, and also those of the sacred crocodiles. Thus it is from hearsay only that I can speak of the lower chambers. The upper chambers, however, I saw with my own eyes, and found them to excel all other human productions; for the passages through the houses, and the varied windings of the paths across the courts excited in me infinite admiration as I passed from the courts into chambers, and from the chambers into colonnades, and from the colonnades into fresh houses, and again from these, into courts unseen before. The roof was throughout of stone, like the walls; and the walls were carved all over with figures; every court was surrounded with a colonnade which was built of white stones exquisitely fitted together. At the corner of the Labyrinth stands a pyramid, forty fathoms high, with large figures engraved on it, which is entered through an underground road.




he labyrinth symbol has appeared as petroglyphs, classicform, medieval-form, pavement, turf, and basketry throughout most parts of the world, from Native North and South America to Australia, Java, India, and Nepal.
Silver coin from Knossos representing the labyrinth, 400 BC. -- Ancient Greek Knossos silver coin 400 BCE Labyrinth Photo by Al Mare, 2009.

A prehistoric petroglyph on a riverbank in Goa, India shows the same pattern and has been dated to circa 2500 BC.


The Palaces of Minos at Knossos British School at Athens Virtual Tour of Minos

ow many labyrinths in the world? Well, the Labyrinth Locator currently lists over 3750, but that is by no means all of them - there are hundreds in remote locations not currently listed, and lots of examples in private locations, not listed on this 'public' website. Simple math says there has to be over 5000, and depending on whether you are an optimist or a pessimist concerning the percentage of labyrinths that are actually listed on the Labyrinth Locator, the actual number, of various types, currently in existence could be double that.
Jeff Saward publisher, Caerdroia - the Journal of Mazes and Labyrinths


ur globe, a solid, motionless ball, surrounded by air and by fire is the CENTER of the material world. About it turn the nine successive skies, transparent, shell-like, hollow spheres, bearing the sun, the moon, the planets, and the fixed stars, which together constitute the force called Nature. Professor Charles Hall Grandgent


Photos by C. Doerbeck


In these minor tragedies We call our lives Remain stories untold. Are paths we travel together, But those turning inward Wound deep within us, We walk alone. In the silence We hear so much. Each step forward Unspiraling what is concealed -What is forgotten. These paths that lead us to ourselves Unravel And are done.
by C. Reed Weber


Medieval Castles:


In the twelfth century the purpose and building of mazes changed and many churches and castles were designed with Medieval Castles: mazes that were built right into the floor or Their Mazes and Labywall. These mazes were used as a way to rinths meditate, undertake spiritual contemplaBy Will Kalif tion, or to simulate a pilgrimage. This type of maze or labyrinth was very popular in edieval castles were mysterious twelfth century Italy and France. The earliplaces and often times they est surviving maze of this type is the labyhad a maze or a labyrinth. This rinth at Chatres Cathedral in France which article looks at the uses of thewas built into the stone floor of the cathese structures and takes a look at some of the more famous ones. dral around the twelfth century. Labyrinths and mazes have a long In Great Britain the style of religious and interesting history and everybody is famaze never was very popular but they did miliar with the story of the Mindevelop their own form and style of outdoor otaur in the Labyrinth at Knosmaze that used hedges, trees, or grass. Thesos. This is the famous myth of se served a variety of functions including the labyrinth that people would recreation and the testing of horseback ridbe sacrificed into. The hero Theseus killed ing skills. This tradition of hedge mazes the Minotaur and found his way back out by continues today and there are many castles following a line of string that he unwound that still have them that are open to the on his way into it. public. Some of the more famous ones inRegardless of how true this myth is clude the Hampton Court Palace Maze and or whether the labyrinth of Knossos actually the Leeds Castle Maze. existed mazes and labyrinths hold a place of Turf mazes are another style of outmystery and have often been integrated into door maze that was very popular in Great the building of castles and cathedrals both Britain. These were mazes or labyrinths that indoor and outdoor. And there is a lot of were created by using grass or turf and bespeculation as to their purpose. There are ing only a few inches tall it wasnt possible actually several different theories and it is to get lost in them. They are much like a probable their purpose changed over the cross between hedge mazes and painted centuries. mazes. One of the more famous turf mazes One of the most important aspects of that still exists today is the Saffron Walden a medieval castle was security. They were maze located on the grounds of the ruins of built with the utmost in security and safety Walden castle in England. in mind and this is where a labyrinth or Medieval castles have a long history maze can further this need. It is theorized, of being places of safety, security, and mysand it makes sense, that mazes were often a tery and it is only natural that this mystery way to confuse attacking forces. Soldiers is furthered by the use of mazes and labyentering a labyrinth could easily get disoririnths. And these interesting structures had ented and lost. a wide variety of purposes from military to Another use of the labyrinth is spiritual; and while not a whole lot is really shown by the labyrinth under Buda Castle in known about the why of these structures it Budapest Hungary. It consists of a network is rather fitting because mystery and secret of caves and tunnels that total over six miles is, after all, at the heart of every labyrinth. in length. An extensive network like this served as a good hiding place in times of attack and a good place to meet in secrecy. For more by Will Kalif visit

Their Mazes and Labyrinths



Sacred Geometry

Sacred Geometry in Art

Sacred Geometry & Number Theory

Extraterrestrial Geometry



Circular Thinking
So many choices stand in front of me I dont know which way to turn so many voices outside beckoning me so many things that I could learn. So I go ahead and take steps but nothing seems to be opening up and Im not sure if Im doing this right, I just feel like giving up. Im pushed and pulled by unseen forces to the left and to the right my heart and soul lie open and my mind prepares to fight. Empty punches are what Im swinging as I fight against the air and Im scared if I keep talking those I love wont stop to care. Some days I feel Im crazy is this right or is this wrong and any path I choose to walk down I know I must walk alone. Yet Ive family and friends beside me supporting me all the way their love is infinite right? I dont need to fight to make them stay? So which path do I choose to walk down which choice do I decide to make? which life do I go and live and which opportunity do I take? The one repeated phrase I hear is do whats best for you how do I choose whats best for me what I want whats best for them too? So I stand at a crossroads with a path I have to choose and yet I know whatever choice I make their love I cannot lose. Im back at the beginning, right back where I started from Im trusting Gods direction on this journey Ive begun. To some this circular thinking seems like an awful waste of time but for me its called stress relief and settles down my mind.

by Megan Twietmeyer


Breeze ATC by Tanya Balding


The Mystery of the Goose & Labyrinth

by H. Peter Aleff

he first mention of the Game of the Goose comes from Francesco dei Medici, Grand Duke of Florence in Italy from 1574 to 1587. He sent a copy to King Philip II of Spain where it caused great excitement at the court, and the game spread rapidly to other parts of Europe. From its first appearance, the Game of the Goose has appealed to people and has The Prison responded to some widespread need, because people played it everywhere and every when. To judge from the number of variations and new editions in the many countries where it was popular -- not just for a few years, like some passing fad, but for many generations -- and if one adds up the number of copies that must have been printed of this game through all that time, then the circulation of the Game of the Goose must by far surpass the largest circulation figures of any modern-day board game. The Museum of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia listed in its 1895 inventory 146 different editions of Game of the Goose in just this one museum, in many languages, and some from as far away as China and Japan.

The Goose Game

For all its historical prevalence, no one seems to know whence this game "of the Goose" materialized, or what is so special about it to make it such a long- running success. We may appreciate geese for their down or for dinner, but why for a dice game? And why these odd "special fields" on the board? The Bridge and the Well may pass as landmarks along a path, and the Inn, too -but a Prison and a Death square? And the Maze is strange not only by its very presence

The Bridge


but also by what it does: you would expect to get lost inside the maze and not find your way out for a while, but instead you are whisked back to the field just before the Well!

Ancient Labyrinths
One similarly intriguing mystery is the Labyrinth of King Minos and his famed Minotaur. We know from Apollodorus the Athenian (115 BC) that Daedalus had built a labyThe Inn rinth at Knossos on the Mediterranean island of Crete, and he had built it on the lines of the Egyptian Labyrinth but on a smaller scale. The Egyptian Labyrinth was the mortuary temple of pharaoh Ammenemes III (1800 BC) at Hawara in Northern Egypt. This marvel of Antiquity so impressed the Greek historian Herodotus (445 BC) with its intricate design and the complexity of its white marble courts, as well as with the splendor of its decoration, he said it was beyond his power to describe and even more astonishing than the pyramids in labor and materials consumed. The layout of the Cretan Labyrinth is familiar from many ancient carvings and coins, and from graffiti like the one shown above. But no one has ever found a building, cave, quarry, or other ancient Death structure in or near Knossos that
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The Well

The Labyrinth
The amazing popularity of that game through all those centuries in all those different countries is quite a mystery, as is its origin, The Maze and as is the fact its distinctive spiral track and even the rather odd designations of certain fields have been preserved intact since the Renaissance era. It is fascinating to discover these characteristic details have apparently been preserved since even much earlier times. To find the clues to this mystery, we'll have to stride back through the centuries not just a couple of millennia to Antiquity, the period where much of the European Renaissance found its inspiration. We will take a third thousand-year step or so, all the way back to the Golden Age of Minoan Crete -- that fabled time whose long-gone splendors had inspired the highest achievements of the Classical Greeks and Romans.


(Continued from page 17)

even remotely resembled this layout, and nowhere else in Crete or the rest of the world, either. The archaeologists say they would have found by now a building of that size if it had existed at Knossos, so King Minos and his Minotaur are myths. Labyrinths of the same basic design, and sometimes also spirals, persist in England as turf-mazes of great, but undatable age, similarly along the Scandinavian coasts as rockand-pebble mazes, and in many other places as well as media. The most impressive examples of this mysterious pattern are found in France and Italy as elaborate marble mosaics at the central crossing of many medieval church naves. The CENTER of these church labyrinths was called "heaven" or "Jerusalem," and pilgrims often followed the long winding path on their knees as substitute for a real pilgrimage to the Holy Land. For added mystery, many of the labyrinths in Christian churches from the early (zealously pious and anti-pagan) times openly show their pagan origin in the Cretan tales about King Minos, without even trying to hide these heathen roots. The inscriptions mention Theseus, Ariadne, Daedalus, and Crete, or a little Minotaur appears in the CENTER.

The Phaistos Disk ("fie-stows") is currently in the collection of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, Crete, Greece Photo:Aleff The Disk still awaits its decipherer. The two sides which never fail to attract the eye, and not only invite new attempts at decipherment but also afford the layman a visual pleasure exempt from all speculation, remain mute but eloquent, as they must have appeared to the discoverer. Possibly a professional investigator will sooner or later win the laurels promised to the one who solves the riddle of this clay plaque which can be seen today in the Heraklion Museum. Perhaps a brilliant amateur will solve the mystery of these spiral images and, like a modern Theseus, find the way out of this new labyrinth of the island of Minos. Or has fate decreed that they shall remain silent and guard their secretpreserve a mystery in this world where mysteries become ever more rare?" To read more by H. Peter Aleff visit

The Riddle of the Phaistos Disk

Another famous mystery, and also from Crete, is the Phaistos Disk ("fie-stows"). The things known about this clay disk are few: It was made around or before 1600 BC; there is nothing like it anywhere else in the world; and someone stamped the signs into the wet clay with movable printing dies, about three thousand years before Gutenberg invented that process. The signs were in all probability pressings of individual seals. They number fortyfive. ... If we refer to specialist literature we find a host of theories and attempted interpretations for nearly all these forty-five signs. Sir Arthur Evans concluded a hymn of victory and suggested the whole was the text of a sacred song. We are no nearer to a solution of this ancient Cretan riddle (if it is Cretan, as has been questioned) since Evans' day. People have tried to recognize in it Philistine, Lycian, Carian, Cypriote, Libyan, Anatolian and Semitic origins.

Concentrate on the path,

not on the distance.

There are ants in my corn meal Ashes in my coffee Here I am Broken in two Invisible today Lonely Dark and hollow Smoke it anyway Were all going to die Smoke your dreams Live your nightmares Eating Melba toast With green butter chips In a blue caf Crying green Through red eyes Dead birds Hanging themselves Near the clothesline My empty thoughts Are rockers On a sunny porch Im NOT nave You can cut your hair And grow your past There are such things as Slow cigars and fast women Dead grass still grows It grows and grows It wont stop growing Growing grass Hiding jagged rocks Broken ankles Drinking and driving only Gets you there on time Pour me a drink Liquefy my tension

Poetry Pants Painting by Cagney King after Ants In My Corn Meal Poem

by Cagney King



Surviving the Skills-learning Labyrinth


by Tom Graves
with identifiable periods of practice needed to achieve distinct levels of skill: Whilst thats largely true, the learningprocess within each of those overall stages is nothing like a simple linear progression. Instead, thinking side-wise, it follows a pattern thats more like the classic seven-turn single-path labyrinth found in ancient Crete and many other cultures around the world.

ow do you and your staff learn new skills? And what can be done to make it quicker and easier to learn those needed skills? One answer is to explore the patterns in the skillslearning process. On the surface, each skill is different, and different for every person; yet there are also patterns in the learning-process that are the same for every skill. The most common view, perhaps, is that skills-learning occurs in a linear sequence,

Theres only one path in a labyrinth: as long as we do keep going all the way, well achieve the endpoint in this case, mastery of the skill.

Acknowledged Master

10,000+ Hours Independent Journeyman

1000 Hours Apprentice

In colloquial English labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze refers to a complex branching puzzle with choices of path and direction; while an unicursal labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the CENTER. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous through-route to the CENTER and back and is designed to be easy to navigate. But despite the simplicity, there are all too many opportunities to get lost along the way So the following is a brief summary of the various stages in the journey through the skills-learning labyrinth, using traditional names for each respective

100 Hours Start as Trainee Hours 0 Pick up the basics










Starting from Beginnings, we move almost immediately to a point where we seem to have a kind of mastery but only for a moment. We often succeed, in fact, because we know so little about what were doing which itself can be a source of many difficulties further down the track. We then have an explicit choice: to back out, avoiding any commitment to the skill; or ask How did I do this? and start on the


1: Third loop: Control

This phase emphasises Training, moving slowly towards the Apprentice stage. Much of the time the focus will be on rules the Simple domain, in Cynefin terms and on analysis the Cynefin Complicated domain. Those rules and analyses do seem to give a sense of control, though its nothing like the instant mastery we achieved back at the very beginning. Yet every now and then things seem to break down the best-practice rules somehow dont work for us, in our own specific context and it becomes clear that we are part of the process. At some point, then, we must change direction, and look inwards. Until this point, everything weve done should (in principle, at least) have been the same for everyone; this change in direction is also the moment at which the practice changes to a true personal skill.


2: Second loop: Self

In this circuit we explore our own involvement in the process the parts of the skill that are specific to us alone. Often there theres an new emphasis on patterns, on emergence the Cynefin Complex domain. But despite the increasing experience, and despite knowing more and having to face challenges of our own that we now need to address we find our mastery seems to be getting steadily worse. The further we move along this path, the worse our skill will seem to get until eventually it seems no better than that of a rank Beginner. At that point, it seems self-evident that looking at self was the wrong way to go: so we change direction, trying to revert to the Rules to get our skills back on track.

3: First loop: Survival

This doesnt do what we expected. The turn-round takes us outward, not inward; far from bringing us back to Control, it takes us to the Cynefin domain Chaos Although the Rules havent changed, we have and its all too easy here to fall into the dreaded sophomore slump. In particular, therell have been a key personal shift, from unconscious incompetence to conscious incompetence: but an unfortunate side -effect of that increased awareness is that we can now see that incompetence hence it will often seem that nothing works. Stuck on the outer in several senses this can seem like a struggle for survival, an endless cycle of practice, practice, more #!%*&%*! practice. And comparisons with others only make it worse: everyone seems better at this than we are. This is the worst stage of the Labyrinth, and by far the longest and as with the previous loop, the longer it goes on, the worse that feeling gets. DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL Key-point: Dark Night of the Soul Then comes a key point classically the day before the exam, or just before (or after) the presentation to the Board where were brought face to face with our apparent incompetence. We realize were further away from mastery than when we first started: seems were not just worse at this than a Beginner, some raw recruit, were no good at all Traditionally described as the Dark night of the soul. this bleak moment of despair can also be called the Oh, @#!* it! point. Its crucial to understand here that this period of despair is a normal and necessary stage of the skills-learning process a crescendo of conscious incompetence that is the gateway to the beginning of conscious competence. Whilst the despair is all too real, and may well seem as if it will last forever, there is a way through if we can find the strength to keep going. The danger here is that if we give up at this point, walk straight on and break out of the Labyrinth as the steep turn encourages us to do we lose everything weve gained, except for a large dose of disillusion Instead, the key is to trust to listen to the heart and choose to care about the skill for its own sake rather than for any extrinsic reason. By accepting that we know we dont know and cant know a return to the Cynefin core domain of Disorder, a surrender to the cloud of unknowing and the cloud of forgetting, in traditional terms theres a sudden breakthrough, a change as fast as that at the beginning: from Chaos we suddenly find ourselves almost at the CENTER once more. A brief moment of calm: then the Journey continues, changing direction again.


4: Fourth loop: Caring Here, for the first time, our effective skill at last extends beyond the best of training though its been a long haul to get here. It also never falls back below that level, as if at least this level of skill has become ingrained into our very being. But theres another important twist, because, as indicated by the current scientific research on extrinsic versus intrinsic motivators, the usual external carrot and stick motivators promises of reward, or threat of punishment that pushed us to succeed at the Training levels not only cease to work here, but often make things worse, damaging the quality of decision-making and the like. (In that sense, banks bonusschemes were almost certainly a primary cause of the current global financial crisis.) What does work is caring: finding value in the work itself, and what it means in terms of personal and shared values. So to go further into the skill, we need to care about what were doing and why were doing it, and care about the skill for its own sake: in effect, a commitment of the heart as well as of the head. 5: Seventh loop: Meditation At another key point, the quiet euphoria of the previous stage fades as a new focus comes to the fore. This is a different form of observation and selfobservation which could be described as thinking about feeling a kind of meditation, a deep, often intense and personal absorption in the work and its processes, yet at the same time seemingly almost detached from it, as if observing from the outside. This sense of engagement in the context is essential for successful action in the Cynefin domain of true Complexity. For a while and especially to outsiders this may well seem like mastery: yet theres actually still quite a way to go before we get there.


6: Sixth loop: Mind In yet another disorienting shift of perspective, thinking about feeling becomes feeling about thinking, as the previous changes in practice become embedded at a much more visceral level. For some skills this will literally be embodied, as in the development of mechanics feel, or the subtle delicacy of touch so essential to true musicianship. In the knowledge worker skills that are more common in the business context, this would be embodied more as the deep-learning expressed in an experienced managers intuitive grasp of a complex real-time business process, a product-designers ability to elicit customers real unspoken needs, a traders test and trust in hunches and gut-feelings about the subtle ebbs and flows of the market. This kind of awareness and sensitivity is essential to work well in what Cynefin describes as the Chaotic domain the domain of inherent uncertainty, the salesmans market of one, this person, unique, right here, right now. The mind here helps us make the link, back through principles and patterns to everyday practice, though in a way that sometimes seems quite opposite to the way we used the mind when so long ago we thought we were in Control.


7: Fifth loop: Communication

Another mode of thought comes through, to provide reflection and review between sessions of practice typified by techniques such as the US Armys deceptively simple After Action Review. Sometimes it may seem as if the skill-level is falling once more an apparent echo of the struggle back at the Survival stage but in fact this impression arises solely because were paying more attention to the fine-detail of the work. To help us learn more, and also to challenge us to greater competence, were also likely to need mutual support from and with our peers a community of like-minded people with similar skills and similar concerns and interests. The other key theme of communication here is that of helping others to find their own skill. Often this will spring from a kind of altruism: the renewed self-doubt, though much quieter than that in the Survival stage, leads to a sense that even if we ourselves may never reach the pinnacle of mastery, we can perhaps do so by proxy, through helping others to reach it in our stead. Yet this activity of educating others also helps us in our own process of reflection: its often said that the last stage of learning is to teach it to others. The result, usually unexpected, unheralded, and without any warning

Postlude: Mastery

is that we discover that weve reached mastery of this specific skill. Yet here we also find that the skills-learning labyrinth has an even stranger twist: its recursive, nested, fractal, in that the same overall pattern occurs simultaneously on many different levels. We can be struggling with the Survival level in one skill, or one part of a skill, whilst also experiencing the elation of Beginners Luck, the quiet of Meditation, the information-overload of Control and the despair of the Dark Night of Soul in others, all at the same time. Hence plenty of opportunities for confusion, for losing ones way even in such a simple structure with only one path. Theres also a social dimension in this. With each circuit, the path alternates from clockwise to counter-clockwise, with the result that everyone on the immediately parallel path usually either one step later or earlier will seem to be going the opposite direction. On top of this, earlier skill-levels will often seem better closer to mastery than later ones: things seem to get steadily worse as we go onward yet outward from Control to Self to Survival, for example. So others will often try to help by telling us were going the wrong way, or that were doing the wrong things; and well no doubt do the same for them. And even though our immediate cohort would in principle be facing the same way as us, theyre just as likely as we are to be confused by all of this so theyre likely to help us in the wrong ways, too. Tricky Learning each new skill takes us into the labyrinth all over again: the tangled, twisted, tortuous path that at times can seem torturous too. Yet in the end, theres just one simple rule to help us achieve mastery in any new skill: all we have to do is work with whatever comes up at each moment, and keep going, keep going, one step at a time.

Learning each new skill takes us into the labyrinth all over again: the tangled, twisted, tortuous path that at times can seem torturous too.

To read more by Tom Graves visit his business-weblog or SURVIVAL

Reprinted with permission from Thinking Sideways

Original Labyrinth Graphic by Krystal Weber



I walked you like a meditation labyrinth. I waited to reach the center of enlightenment, of us. No single path you became a tangle, a maze of dead ends, road blocks. I am not grounded in this snarl of you; I have to step outside this ancient design to find the new meaning in delicate placements of rocks and bricks.
by Amy L. Sargent



Touching the Sky

by Jeffrey E. Shokler
things that I do, share my love of the night sky with others, young and old, giving them the opportunity to simply be in awe of something for a brief moment to connect with the natural world, with the universe, in a very personal and very profound way. remember the first time I saw the rings of Saturn with my own eyes, looking through the eyepiece of a friendly amateur astronomers telescope late one night in a park somewhere in Dallas, Texas. For that amateur astronomer it was probably the eightieth time he had seen a young person, nine or ten years old, shuffle up to the eyepiece, clutch at it (which automatically creates an internal twinge of concern within the amateur astronomer as I would learn later in life), get very still, then shout No way! Thats unreal! That looks fake! Is that really Saturn? Are those really the rings? Wow! It was probably also the eightieth time that amateur astronomer smiled as he reflected back on his first look at Saturn through a telescope when he was young. Thirty-plus years later I am that amateur astronomer who initially cringes as the young man or woman clutches the very expensive eyepiece set in the focuser of my very expensive telescope, but who then cracks a broad smile as I witness their moment of discovery and then think back to that very instance in my own experience - in many ways reliving the awe, the joy, and the sheer mind-boggling realization that we can actually see such a thing. It is one of the most favorite Find Your Place by Cagney King

Today, we live in the Information Age where we have round-the-clock access to information, data, images, movies, food, consumer goods pretty much anything we want whenever we want it via the Internet. Most of us live in or around cities where we are relatively lucky to be able to see even the brightest stars in the sky, not to mention the majesty of the Milky Way, our galaxy, arcing over our heads on a hot summer night. Many of us also seem to be unaware that you can actually see the moon during the day because we have, in many ways, forgotten how to look up anymore because our nights are filled with sky glow that wipes out the stars and our days are filled with airplane contrails that wipe away the beauty of the blue, daytime sky. The moon is still there, day and night, we often simply neglect to

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look at it, forget to, or dont even realize it is there. My passion for amateur astronomy began when I was young, lasted through high school, then went into dormancy throughout college and graduate school. I often joke that I was an interesting person before graduate school. In any case, after graduate school I reconnected with my passion for astronomy, began to re-learn the night sky first with my eyeballs, then with a good pair of binoculars, and finally with a couple of high quality telescopes. To be outside, at night, searching the sky for elusive objects (faint fuzzies we like to call them) or just plain reveling in a close-up view of the quarter moon on a clear night, allows me to appreciate the grand scale of the universe, to feel, deep down, the reality of vast amounts of time passing (because when we look up at night we are actually looking back in time), and also to experience a kind of primal, foundational beauty. The night sky in a truly dark place is alive with complexity, with beauty, with depth, with detail, and with mystery. Of course, thats just how it looks down here. Out there, the reality is that the universe is a place of titanic upheaval, enormous forces, terrible violence, and massive releases of energy we would not really want to be anywhere close to. For me the mystery and the awe are what have always drawn me to science and, particularly, draw me so strongly to astronomy and to human spaceflight our fledgling attempts to project ourselves out there, into space. Today, with the last U.S. Space Shuttle flight (STS-135 Atlantis) having just ended, America finds itself on the brink of another turning point in our history. We face a choice of whether or not to continue to fund as a country our journeys of exploration in space, both robotic and manned. Many arguments have been made regarding the value of continuing to build space telescopes (the James Webb Space Telescope, Hubbles successor, for example), to send robotic missions to Mars (the soon-to-be-launched Mars rover Curiosity) and to Jupiter (the Juno mission scheduled for launch in August), or to send people into low earth orbit to the International Space Station and, ultimately, beyond once again back to the Moon, to a Near Earth Asteroid, or even to Mars. Science such as this starts in space but yields dividends here at home not only through the knowledge and understanding we gain of the universe, but also in the practical know-how and technical expertise and ideas generated by developing the technologies needed to get us or our robot proxies there and back

again. Some would say we dont need to explore out there, but I would argue we do. We need to have something to fill us with awe, with wonder, and something to hope for particularly in our current, troubled times. Astronomy and the space program of the 20th and 21st Centuries have provided inspiration to generations of people. Knowledge for

The night sky in a truly dark place is alive with complexity, with beauty, with depth, with detail, and with mystery.
knowledges sake is, in my opinion, of great value. Inspiration, awe, wonder, curiosity, hope, these are things that are of even greater value. The Hubble Space Telescope has become a global icon of our ability to explore the universe, to understand it, and to appreciate its beauty and complexity. Today, most of us cant imagine a time when we didnt have such a technical wonder orbiting far above our heads beaming back huge volumes of data and some of the most beautiful images we have ever seen. Do we want to imagine a time, then, when we dont when we dont have new images and new discoveries to amaze us and to expand our thinking about ourselves and our place in this vast universe? I began by recounting the joy I take in sharing the night sky with people, young and old, who have never had a chance to see the Moon, or to see Saturns rings through a telescope with their own eyes. I never, ever tire of that experience. I recently had the opportunity to show an 84 year old woman who had never looked through a telescope before both the Moon and Saturn. She was amazed and so very appreciative. For me, the opportunity to give a person like her the chance to see something like that, perhaps for the only time in her long life, brings me so much joy I can hardly express it. She thought I had given her a gift by letting her look through my telescope. I felt like I had been given the gift for the opportunity of giving. Ultimately, we all have to seek wonder, to find joy, and to discover awe in ways that are meaningful to us. We can only hope that by sharing those experiences we might inspire others, or simply give them that gift of a moment, a single, clear moment when they feel like they have touched the sky.

STRONOMY was destined to liberate the modern intellect from the bondage of the Middle Ages, and by teaching man that the EARTH IS NOT THE FIXED CENTER of the universe, but a satellite of one among many stars, to shake the confidence with which he had long regarded the universe as made for him, the earth for his abode, the heavens for his enjoyment. Professor Lawrence J. Henderson

In 2009, the Herbaceous Plant Materials class at Cornell University Bluegrass Lane Turf and Landscape Research Center, Ithaca, New York planted a labyrinth using 14,000 bulbs of daffodils, tulips and muscari topped with pansies. To create a seven-ring classical Cretan labyrinth 45 feet wide. Labyrinths have a single convoluted path to the center and are intended for slow meditative walks as part of an ancient, contemplative tradition.

More Information



Virtual Walk

How to Build Your Own


Mandala by Randi Marx


Finally she realizes by Joni Owens


Wandering the Path by Steven Newlin


Self-Portrait by Cindy Jo Blair

Paradise Lost Book IX by Joe Cope


World-Wide Labyrinth Locator

The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator (WWLL) is a database for labyrinth enthusiasts which lists locations for thousands of labyrinths around the world.

Locate a Labyrinth

Photographs by Jeff Saward -


The Stone labyrinths found on Bolshoi Zayatsky Island in Russia are thought to be are 2,0003,000 years old. The group of 1314 stone labyrinths are found in a single area on a small island. Essay on the Stone labyrinths of Bolshoi Zayatsky Island

Solivitur Ambulando.
(It is solved by walking.)


Labyrinth Resource Centre

The Labyrinth Society

On-line Labyrinth Walk

Photo by Jeff Saward -


June Hanson

author of

The Coming of the Rainbow Child

Q:What led you to write The Coming of the Rainbow Child (RBC)? June Hanson: I have always been way too emotional for my own good, and I learned early not to trust life to take care of me. To survive as a teenager, I started a journal of suicidal thoughts and poetry expressing my pain and a longing for deaths relief. This became the first half of RBC story I wrote about spiritual awakening. My father was killed when I was 10 years old. My mother was left hopelessly depressed, with five kids still at home, and no money. I learned to hide away from the world. I literally hid in the closet to avoid school, while (my mother) cried in her room. By the time I was 17 I couldn't take it anymore. I started writing a journal to help me find a reason to live, or to be an epitaph for my friends. I locked myself in a closet naked for a day and demanded from God a reason why I should stay alive. To my surprise I got an answer, and what was funny was how personal it felt. This very clear voice came into my head and said, "You are not ready for this, but since you won't shut up I'll tell you. We are created by love for love, we are the expression of Love, we are Love." In that instant I knew we are all immortal and we would always know each other. I had a sense that everything would be all right and I just needed to do art. I wasn't much of an artist, but that vision is the purpose of my art. Eventually the high of the vision wore off and I returned to my feelings of hopelessness, but this time I knew I had to stay alive. Q: Who is Gary and why is RBC dedicated to him? JH: Three years after that my oldest brother Gary committed suicide. I had hardly spoken to him, because he enlisted in the Vietnam War and I was very anti-war. He


was so sad and I did nothing for him. I felt I had failed him as a sister, and that is why the book is dedicated to him. Besides being a testament to the vision I had in the closet, I hoped RBC might keep someone else from having to kill themselves. In 1979, when I was 24 years old, I took the journal to a cabin by a lake and spent two weeks writing the book using some of the best poetry in the book and my vision of Love. I just knew I had to write it. Afterwards my friends didn't really understand it, I think they thought I was a little crazy. One interesting thing about the book is that the original (manuscript) was immediately lost the man I was selling paintings to in California. He said he couldn't understand the story, and then it disappeared. All I had left was a poor quality copy. Then I just kind of forgot about it and went on with my art and tried to express the vision in paintings instead of words, and here we are in 2011 and I just knew I had to redo RBC. Q: Has The Coming of the Rainbow Child changed or evolved since 1979? JH: The RBC started as a journal of suicidal thoughts, but also of some hopes and dreams. Even in my most depressed states I always felt there was more than this. This is the first time I have reworked the format of the book, and I have left out a few pages that were too confusing or too preachy. I didn't want to change the story too much and I think the abridged copy keeps the original spirit. I cut out the images from the book and placed them on new backgrounds. I hand painted the letters in the first half of the story with the original images cut out and placed by the text. Then I recolored and cut out each word from the second half, which adds a little dimension.

The Coming of the Rainbow Child


Q. Whats next? JH. I have explored different religions, their symbols and deities. I am especially attracted to Hindu and Tibetan art. I ended up focusing on Mandalas or Visual Prayers to center and heal myself. The Shri Yantra is the cosmic sound of AUM in a visual pattern of unfolding triangles. From the Bindi or Spark of God from the center of the Sri Yantra unfold 9 overlapping triangles representing the male and female energies of life. The Flaming Heart is a symbol of the alchemy of the spirit being born from this life of joy and sorrow: The transformation of matter into spirit. That out of this life of pain comes a joy we cannot imagine a place of true love that is our destiny as spiritual beings, but it is so far from this world's reality that we can only glimpse it. Raised as a conservative Lutheran, I had to paint Laughing Jesus. To me, to see Jesus laugh is to get what he was all about. The transcendence of joy over sorrow/life over death, knowing we are all immortal. Romantically obsessed, I painted about true love hoping that I could draw it in, to no avail. The last in that series is called Unrequited Love showing how energy gets blocked and cannot flow freely when our obsessions get the best of us. I did a series of Left-Handed / Eyes-Closed works to loosen me up for fun. I painted Quetzacoatl the Aztec Mayan God that is to return in 2012 and bring a balance of Male and Female energy back to the planet for a time of peace and psychic awareness, not the end of the world. My newer pieces are more personal expressions of my feelings, my favorite being Sorrow Is Beauty which represents my emotions filling up and overflowing and joining the tears that are the fabric of the Universe. For more by June Hanson visit


Copyright 2011 June Moon 39

Christian Meditation


n recent times, the practice of daily meditation by Christians has fallen out of favor due to the emerging popularity of Transcendental Meditation and its New Age proponents. However, the history of Christian Meditation is strongly tied to monastic or contemplative life. As early as the 4th Century, there were individuals who devoted themselves completely to the meditation study of Gods word by spending long hours in contemplation. Christian contemplative meditation evolved from an early monastic practice of selecting a short scripture or biblical passage to reflect on. This form of meditating can be added to your daily devotion, simply by writing your selection on a piece of paper and holding it as you meditate. Ask yourself: How the selection is relevant to you? How does it shape your behavior? What changes can you make to live the selection? Many meditators select a mantra -- a single word or sound -- to focus on and anchor their attention. Maranatha, mar-uh-nath-uh, is an Aramaic word mentioned at the end of Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians (1 Cor 16:22) which translates as Come Lord or Come Lord Jesus. Maranatha is most likely a greeting used between early Christians, but it remains scripturally relevant. Additionally, Maranatha offers little mental attachment; that is, the word does not immediately bring to mind any mental picture or have any emotional meaning. The lack of mental attachment is also the reason many meditators use a sound as a mantra. Some Christians are discomforted using a sound mantra, due to its associations with New Age philosophy and Eastern religion. The sound AUM, pronounced long or over-long nasalized close -mid back rounded vowel, or more commonly pronounced in three sounds - A (aaa) , U (ooooo) and M (mmmmm) is

Prayer of St.Francis of Assisi

My God and My All!

The Meditation Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi


sacred and considered to be the primordial sound of the universe. The word AMEN, meaning "so be it," is of Hebrew origin has been linked to the sound of AUM due to the similarity in pronunciation. In English there are two main pronunciations of AMEN; the Modern ay-men and the more Classical ahmen. The Classical pronunciation of AMEN is commonly used in Christian prayer, and therefore is suitable when used as a mantra by Christian meditators. The most common practice involves the meditator taking a deep breath and on the exhale to pronoun AMEN. Another form of contemplative meditation is the simple act of sitting quietly and opening the mind to the presence of the Lord. This requires the practitioner to first clear the mind in order to sense a greater feeling of Gods presence and a greater sensitivity to hearing His voice. Outside distractions can make it difficult to maintain this attitude, but with repeated practice it becomes easier. Contemplative meditation has many spiritual as well as physical, benefits. The act of pausing during a busy day to give full attention to God is both a devotion and stress reliever. Many Christian meditators feel strengthened by the experience of spiritual introspection. By Dorothy Peters

Let nothing disturb you. Let nothing make you afraid. All things are passing. God alone never changes. Patience gains all things. If you have God you will want for nothing. God alone suffices.
St Teresa of Avilia Doctor of Prayer



Christian Meditation: Is it Christian to Meditate?

hristian meditation is rooted in the Bible. In fact, the Bible commands us to meditate. In Joshua 1:8, God says to meditate on His word day and night so we will obey it. The psalmist says "his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night" (Psalm 1:2). Actually, the Bible mentions meditate or meditation 20 times. In the Old Testament there are two primary Hebrew words for meditation: Haga, which means to utter, groan, meditate, or ponder; and Sihach, which means to muse, rehearse in one's mind, or contemplate. These words can also be translated as dwell, diligently consider, and heed. Christian Meditation: A History One form of Christian meditation that has


been used by believers since at least the fourth century AD is the lectio divina. It has been traditionally used in monastic religious orders and is enjoying a resurgence today. Lectio divinameans "sacred reading" and has four stages: lectio (reading), meditatio (discursive meditation), oratio (affective prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). In the lectio (reading) stage, one finds a passage and reads it deliberately. The next stage, meditatio (discursive meditation), is where one ponders the text. In the oratio (effective prayer) stage, one talks to God about the reading, asking Him to reveal the truth. In the final, contemplatio (contemplation) stage, one simply rests in the Lord's presence. Today, meditation is generally seen as a practice of the New Age movement. This comes primarily from its association with Transcendental Meditation. Transcendental Meditation (TM) was developed by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Hindu religion and is steeped in Hindu philosophy. The "yogi" in the TM founder's name indicates his status in Hinduism. Courts in the US have ruled that TM is not a secular discipline; it is Hindu religion (US District Court, Newark, NJ, on October 29, 1977 and the US Court of Appeals, Philadelphia, PA February 2, 1979). Christian Meditation: What do Christian Leaders Say? One important thing the Bible tells us to do is to think about God's Word. Our thoughts determine our behavior and so what we think about is very important. That is why God wants us to think about His Word, or meditate on it. Jim Downing in Meditation (NavPress) says God considers meditation a "vital exercise of the minds of His children." Rick Warren, in The Purpose Driven
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Taken from published by Ministries, M. Houdmann, P. Matthews-Rose, R. Niles, editors, 2002-2011. Used by permission.

The First Law of Thermodynamics by Cagney King

(Continued from page 42)

Word of God" (133). Christian Meditation: How do we do it? There are three times during the day we can actively turn our minds over to God's Word in Christian Meditation. Just before we fall asleep, we can have God's Word be the last thing that occupies our mind. Upon awaking, we can have God's Word be the first thing to fill our minds to start the day. Finally, we need a specific time each day to be in God's Word so it can speak to us throughout our day. What should we focus on in Christian meditation? "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things" (Philippians 4:8, NASB).

Life (Zondervan), describes meditation this way: "Meditation is focused thinking. It takes serious effort. You select a verse and reflect on it over and over in your mind...if you know how to worry, you already know how to meditate" (190). Warren goes on to say, "No other habit can do more to transform your life and make you more like Jesus than daily reflection on ScriptureIf you look up all the times God speaks about meditation in the Bible, you will amazed at the benefits He has promised to those who take the time to reflect on His Word throughout the day" (190). In Satisfy Your Soul (NavPress), Dr. Bruce Demarest writes, "A quieted heart is our best preparation for all this work of God Meditation refocuses us from ourselves and from the world so that we reflect on God's Word, His nature, His abilities, and His works So we prayerfully ponder, muse, and 'chew' the words of Scripture. The goal is simply to permit the Holy Spirit to activate the life-giving

here is a time for departure even when there's no certain place to go.
--Tennessee Williams


The King of Charade

ithin the stone chambers of his castle, lies a king. Indeed a powerful and distinguished man raised up in true royalty. From the time he was a small prince he knew that the responsibility and position of being king would be his. And as fate would have it, on this day, he fills that role. As he lies in the darkness with only a single candle burning, throwing shadows of intricate patterns on the wall, he is reminded of his

Art & Story By Tami Scruggs

childhood, watching and deciphering shadows very similar to those he looks upon now. He was a lonely child for he was an only child. Without siblings to help play out his charades, he was left with only his imagination. And a mighty one it was! The shadows gracefully became his subjects as they danced on the wall, and willingly obeyed his every command. And it was here, within these very same cold stone walls, that he learned to rule with a firm yet kind hand.


He draped himself in the deepest violet velvet he could find, making certain that the cloth was just short enough that he would not trip, yet long enough to sway behind him in perfect rhythm with his step. The scepter he chose with careful consideration, for be it long or short, knobby or smooth, thick or slim, it must fit the palm of his hand just as his hand is in perfect contour with his mothers. Atop his head was not only a glorious mane the color of the warm season, but also a jeweled crown. This final but most precious piece of his adornment he did not have to salvage, for he is indeed a prince. His name is Brele. Prince Brele. Now the young prince, along with his mighty imagination, was seemingly able to fill the hours of dark with never-ending magical scenarios always being played out by the same characters. Himself and the shadows. He would anxiously yet patiently wait until the final echo of movement was heard rumbling through the walkways of the castle, thus indicating that every eye was shut and each dream had begun, before he lit the candles which summoned his loyal subjects. And so, bringing together fire and wick, the charade begins. As they appeared before him, slowly yet with purpose, they bowed in honor on a humbled knee, knowing that their presence certainly would not exist without Prince Breles magic flame. Each one moved within the silver-blue mist after being touched by the fire of life, waiting to serve their young yet insightful master. Now having been schooled in the ways of a king by observing the command of his father, Prince Brele ruled his kingdom in much the same manner; taking great care to be fair and just as well as compassionate and worthy. For if there be one thought that remained with him always it would be, if your people do not find you worthy, then in what need are they of a king? The hours moved on without making their absence known as he ruled over the shadows, and once again he was surprised to find that the blue of the light and the black of the night were now becoming one. So he tucked away his scepter and cloak, and then removed his crown, knowing that this act of his childhood drama must now come to

an end. He bids a goodnight to his faithful friends, certain he will see them soon, and then gently denies the shadows their flame. As he crawls into bed and closes his eyes his thoughts are of his crown. For you see, this is the very same crown worn by his father when he too was a young prince. He wonders if his father ever played the charade. All too soon he feels himself drifting , and he hopes to catch a dream before the sun reaches in and strokes his face with her warmth. Slowly he rises, now weathered and grey, and as he gazes upon the still of the dawn in the kingdom that now sleeps, a smile turns up his aged lips. Having relived the imagination of a child, he finds himself in awe of the quickness with which the season have gone. Now having ruled through many of those seasons, King Brele was becoming weary and well aware that his command was soon finished. As he made his way through the walkways of the castle he listened for the echos, just as he had when he was a child. Upon reaching the entrance to the chamber of his son, King Brele lends an ear, hoping to hear those almost forgotten yet very familiar sounds. When none were heard, with some disappointment, he quietly opened the heavy wooden door and slipped inside. To his surprise, he was greeted by his loyal subjects and once again they bowed in honor. A tear rolled down the kings worn cheek and he too bowed in honor, grateful that the shadows had remembered. With the grace of true royalty he moved along the cold stone wall, toward the bed where his son laid sleeping. And there he found him, curled against the chill, beneath the old cloth of violet velvet with the scepter clutched tightly in his hand, and laying beside him was his crown. As he looked upon his dreaming prince, his heart began to swell. He ever so gently placed the crown atop his young sons head and proudly named him the King of Charade.

Contact Tami Scruggs

ot all those who wander are lost. J.R.R. Tolkien


Q. What led you to start meditating with mandalas? MN. Increasing anxiety had me seeking for ways to de-stress and relax. My type-A personality made traditional meditation difficult and at times left me frustrated. Then I stumbled upon some mandalas and crayons in the waiting room of a doctors office. (Not so ironically, I was there to speak with a doctor about my growing anxiety and panic attacks.) I decided to color in order to pass the time and had an immediate relaxation response. Coloring the simple patterns in that mandala brought about a level of focus I didnt know I was capable of achieving. Q. What perked your interest in mandalas in particular? MN. Mandalas are circular and circles hold a lot of spiritual meaning for many cultures; they represent the whole birth-death-rebirth pattern and the idea of a never-ending soul. The more I learned about mandalas and the connections to Buddhism, old Celtic religions, and American Indian ceremonies the more interested I became. The center of a mandala provides an excellent focal point for meditating. While I believe coloring anything would be relaxing I have found that the symmetrical patterns in mandalas allow for a more repetitive hand movement which adds to the meditation process. Q. Has the practice of meditating with mandalas impacted your life? MN. Meditating with mandalas gives me a powerful tool to use against my anxiety. If I am mindful and catch the anxiety building I can color a mandala and keep the panic from taking hold. For this reason, coloring or creating mandalas has become an almost daily ritual. During stressful times I will color a mandala in the morning to help me declutter my mind and start the day off on the right track. On the flip side, coloring mandalas at night sets the right tone for bed and helps release any tension that could affect my sleep.

Michelle Normand


Q. Does a mandala offer a different type of experience for the meditator? MN. Mandalas provide something for a person to focus on whether that person is coloring it or simply gazing at it. If you are the type of person that has difficulty maintaining focus during meditation the design of a mandala will bring your attention back acting as a visual reminder to regroup and refocus. Q. How does active meditation differ from traditional meditation? MN. Traditional meditation is passive in nature. It usually involves sitting quietly while you allow your thoughts to flow freely without judgment; never lingering on any thought for too long. Active meditation encourages a person to move their body, usually in a gentle and repetitive way. The movement not only acts as a subtle reminder to maintain focus, it can also provide a way to express the subconscious feelings and thoughts that emerge during a meditation session. This is especially true when using art as a part of your meditation process. Although active meditation sounds like a Western adaptation, the Japanese have been performing brush meditations called shodo (calligraphy) for centuries. The Eastern practices of yoga and tai chi are also considered forms of active meditation Q. What inspired you to create the 30-Minute Mandalas Coloring Book series? MN. While searching for mandalas to color I found books with overly simplistic designs or books with mandalas that took an hour or two to complete. I

wanted a mandala coloring book filled with inspiring designs that could be colored in about 30 minutes. Most people have difficulty finding time for themselves, but 30 minutes is easy to find. There are also several studies lauding the benefits of just 15 -30 minutes of daily meditation. I was benefiting so much from my daily coloring meditations that I wanted to share the technique with as many people as I could reach. Q. Why coloring? Isnt coloring for children? MN. I think there are many things that adults label kid-only that would benefit us all. Playing, coloring, and napping all sound great to me! Coloring is something that just about anyone at any age can do. It provides a creative outlet that so many adults are lacking and yet it doesnt require special skills. Using color is also a great way to express emotion. Reds and earth tones tend to dominate my designs when Im feeling confident while dark blues and deep greens demand my attention when Im low or simply worn out. Q. What is your advice for those who are interested in trying this out? MN. One of the great things about coloring as meditation is that it is so easy to start. I offer free mandala designs for download on my website, so all a person needs to do is pick a design and grab some markers or colored pencils. In my books and on my webpage I provide simple instructions to help you get the most out of a coloring meditation. It is so relaxing and easy to do; I wish everyone would give themselves the gift of 30 minutes and try it out.
For more on Michelle Normand visit: For downloadable free mandalas to color Be sure and check out her

Painting Meditation



Art by Randi Marx



The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity. Surely some revelation is at hand; Surely the Second Coming is at hand. The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand; A shape with lion body and the head of a man, A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun, Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds. The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)


n these times of global culture, there is a current massive revival of Sacred Arts and art forms: ceremonies & rituals, medicine ways, healing practices, prayers, mantras & spirit chants, sacred geometries, mandalas... and of course those resurrected and still mysterious labyrinths...

public buildings, in parks, on the beach..., thus resurrecting an ancient ceremonial art and reimprinting its etheric form. Labyrinths belong to the family of Mandalas (Sanskrit for circle that contain the Essence). They guard, activate & amplify the spiritual energies of a place so that people who walk it can experience a feeling of grace, peace or holiness in their heart, soul & spirit. Labyrinths can be found in all sacred cultures of the world, from the Hopi to the Australian Aborigines to the Christian cathedral builders. Like mandalas, labyrinths are archetypal collective

These arts & art forms are called sacred because they are to be approached with a clear intention of spiritual transformation. After the sacred art experience, the practitioner is no longer the same: an overall change, the seeding of a new direction, a series of insights, a special grace, an intuitive glimpse, an irrepressible smile... some transformation has occurred. And it is not just in the mind or of the mind: it is a holistic, multidimensional change that can be hard to pin point but is nevertheless felt, during & after the experience, as a bodily sensation, an emotional response or a spirit presence. The field of awareness is actually affected in more ways that may immediately be apparent. The entire Being is in fact involved: this is Sacredness. There is a key to this Sacredness and that is the Intention: to intensely desire a transformation, an answer, a solution, an insight, a new feeling... to be willing to move forward in life, in consciousness & in spirit. To be longing, like a lover, to enter the Great Mystery of Who We Are. Any activity (or non-activity), anywhere, approached with that clear intention is Sacred Art. But there are time-honored and traditional (as well as new) ways to create, share and experience a sacred transformation. Labyrinths are such a sacred art form. Amazingly, they are springing up all over: in peoples yards, on refrigerators' magnets, in

Labyrinths can be found in all sacred cultures of the world, from the Hopi to the Australian Aborigines to the Christian cathedral builders.
symbols that transcend all cultures because they are grounded in consciousness itself. Labyrinths are non-denominational: people who walk labyrinths come from all life styles, religious backgrounds and spiritual practices. The best known example of labyrinth is embedded in the stone pavement of Chartres cathedral in France (12th century). It used to be walked (often on the knees) in place of the actual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It was a holy experience. If you walk the labyrinth with the full dedication of a pilgrim, you wont be the same anymore upon exiting: the old you will be literally grounded and "peeled off" at the threshold stone and a purified you will emerge, eager to tackle new directions in your lifes journey. The clergy at Chartres used to keep chairs upon the labyrinth design, thus effectively preventing people to walk it. But, in summer 1999, we had the happy surprise to learn that the labyrinth was now open every evening, for a period of time,

when the chairs are removed. And, in summer 2001, we could walk a labyrinth that was "open" for a whole day per week - every Friday. This shows the progressive reacceptance of the sacred spirit power of this ceremonial art form. In fact, the entire city of Chartres is dedicated to the theme of the labyrinth: from designs in public parks to exhibits to experiential workshops... As a unicursal path (one way in, one way out), a labyrinth is showing & teaching CENTEREDNESS. This differentiates a labyrinth from a maze, which has many paths & dead-ends leading to confusion. Like life & destiny, a labyrinth may be a long journey but it has a specific beginning and a definite end. Like mandalas, a labyrinth offers a holistic route (meandering radius) from the periphery to the center. A labyrinth imprints a royal groove, a ceremonial pathway designed according to principles such as Harmonic Proportion and Alternance of Energy... For instance, the clockwise (sunwise) and counterclockwise (moonwise) spins of the meanders map out a balance between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Walking them help to myelinate the neuronal pathways that bring about a better integration and synthesis of the brain polarities. A labyrinth contains non-verbal, implicate geometric & numerological codes that create a multi-dimensional holographic field. These unseen patterns are referred to as Sacred Geometry and they reveal the presence of a cosmic order as they interface the world of material form and the subtler realms of higher consciousness. The contemporary resurgence of labyrinths in the West is stemming from our deeply rooted urge to honor again the Sacredness of All Life. Indeed a labyrinth can be experienced as the birthing womb of the Great Goddess. Thus, the labyrinth experience is a potent practice of Self -Integration as it encapsulates the spiraling journey in & out of incarnation: on the journey in, towards the center, one cleanses the dirt from the road. On the journey out, one is born anew to consciously dwell in a human body, made holy by having got a taste of the Infinite Center.

seemed like falling into a labyrinth: we thought we were at the finish, but our way bent round and we found ourselves back at the beginning, and just as far from that which we were seeking as we were at first. Socrates

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Thaneeya McArdle

Q:How did you discover mandalas? Thaneeya McArdle: I first encountered mandalas when I was 18 years old and saw a group of Tibetan monks creating a colored sand mandala in Asheville, North Carolina. I was entranced by their concentration and dedication to creating an ephemeral work of art. I was also interested in the spiritual, transformative purpose for creating the mandala in the first place. After that, I kept seeing mandalas everywhere and discovered that they are used by cultures all around the world. Q:What motivated you to begin using mandalas in your art? TM: Creating a mandala is a relaxing process, so making the mandala is just as fulfilling as looking at a finished mandala. Therefore, I believe it was the process itself that attracted me. For years I'd been doodling small mandalas without really realizing it, and then I consciously set out to make larger mandalas as intentional works of art. Q:Why do each of your mandala designs have a distinct organic feel, that sets it apart from the more rigid traditional mandala? TM: I'm not a rigid person; I much prefer flow, so that shows up in my mandalas as the 'distinct organic feel' that you refer to. I love flowing shapes and designs, to me there is a wonderful harmony in that. Q:In your opinion, how does coloring a mandala -form encourage introspection, contemplation, and creative growth? How does coloring a mandala help someone connect with her spiritual core? TM: I think that coloring a mandala can quiet the mind through the process of engaging your hands and your eyes. It's a way of focusing on something without even realizing that you're focusing, a sort of 'relaxed attention'. For some people, this process can also facilitate buried emotions to bubble to the surface, whether positive or negative, in a therapeutic way.

For more on Thaneeya McArdle visit: And downloadable free mandalas to color


Fibonacci numbers -

The Fingerprint of God

Draw a Labyrinth
A Brief History

Introduction to Sacred Geometry

The Vesica Piscis

Metatron's Cube

of Labyrinths

The Game of Goose
Museum of Childhood Analysis of Game & Number Theory Connected to It by Grard Aubre Rules & Game Board research by Modar Neznanich/Ron Knight

Spiritual Evolution of the Bean

Labyrinth of the Psychonaut

Mandala artist Stephanie Smith BLOG INTERVIEW WORKSHOP

The Interior Castle by St. Teresa of Avila

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