*Scroll to the bottom of the page for an update on how the Walk for Peace unfolded at on the participating Sacred Places, Amazing Port Street Garden.
On Oct. 5, multiple Sacred Places will host in-person and virtual labyrinth walks or experiences in an effort to center attention on the need for greater peace and unity within society.
The Nature Sacred Labyrinth Walk for Peace was conceived during a Firesoul Network Connection session for members whose Sacred Places feature labyrinths. Many major U.S. cities have seen spikes in violent crime during the past 18 months; these Firesouls wanted to respond. The idea was to draw attention to the availability of Sacred Places, which can encourage peace and community cohesion through the moving meditative practice of labyrinth walking. While the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbates existing high levels of stress and anxiety, labyrinth walking offers a means to evoke connection and inner peace.
Pastor Gary Dittman is the Firesoul of Amazing Port Street Garden, which will take part in the Walk for Peace. “These are tricky times for us all. In the midst of pandemic, in the midst of global and national challenges, and natural disasters and strong storms and raging fires, we long to be connected, to feel a part of each other and this beautiful world,” said Pastor Gary.
“In the community where I walk, many neighbors continue to deal with food insecurity and violence. The uptick in violence and overdoses has grieved all of our hearts. Especially when we’re already grieving so much.”
A hallmark design feature of many of our Sacred Places, meditation and healing labyrinths represent peace and unity and promote whole-body mindfulness.
Labyrinths have been around for 5,000 years. They appear in various cultures and art forms around the world, though their origin is unknown. They are known to appear on coins, in paintings, even on ancient tablets. Most commonly seen in meditation gardens and landscape designs today, labyrinths are thought to have a number of significant healing properties. From promoting mindfulness and meditation, to psychological and spiritual transformation, labyrinths are a universal symbol of unity and peace.
With all the turmoil and recent events worldwide, mindfulness, meditation and peace are in high demand. Walk for Peace aims to center and ground us — to help us appreciate each other, ourselves and of course, nature — and all that it has to offer.
Join us — Walk for Peace is an opportunity for us to come together, celebrate each other, spend some time in nature and advocate for a future of peace and mutual respect.
New to labyrinth walking? We have created a Labyrinth Guide to help you get started!
Among Sacred Places participating in the Oct 5 Walk for Peace:
Amazing Port Street Garden
In-person and virtual labyrinth walk
11 a.m. – noon
2424 McElderry Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
“We will gather to make space for our grief, our hopes, and our longings as we walk the labyrinth quietly together. As we walk, we breathe in grace and hope and healing and we breathe out pain, and grief and loss.” — Pastor Gary Dittman
A labyrinth meditation, walk and yoga session
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
25141 260th St
Dallas Center, IA 50063
“Learn how a labyrinth can connect you to the earth, nature and help you re-align and center your day-to-day life.” — Firesoul Melissa Burdick.
Garden of Reflection and Remembrance at the University of Maryland
Virtual Labyrinth Walk for Peace
12:00 – 12:30 pm
Go to stamp.umd.edu/peace
and enter a Zoom room
“Experience the calmness of the labyrinth in a 30-minute session. Contemplate the creation of a more just world as you sit at your computer and walk the labyrinth.” – Firesoul Denise McHugh
Healing Garden and Labyrinth at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
Dr. Neda Gould, a faculty member in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and director of the mindfulness program at Bayview, will offer a recorded loving-kindness meditation in honor of the international day of peace.
Can’t make it to one of these locations on the 5th?— There are other ways you can participate: Download, print and trace a finger labyrinth.
Also – you can also visit these or one of our other labyrinths anytime! Take a friend or visit solo.
The day after — an Oct 6 update
Following yesterday’s Walk for Peace, Pastor Gary of Amazing Port Street Garden, recounted to us via email how the day unfolded. His words were so powerful, we are sharing them below verbatim: