A labyrinth is a single, methodical path leading to a center point. Although a labyrinth is like a maze in appearance, unlike a maze it has only one path (unicursal) and no dead ends. There’s no getting lost in a labyrinth.
These pathways have been used for thousands of years for various rituals and ceremonies. Labyrinths can be used as a walking meditation for personal reflection, psychological introspection, or spiritual contemplation and prayer. Walking a labyrinth is also thought to enhance right-brain activity.
You begin a labyrinth walk at the only entrance (and exit) and proceed along the path. At the center, you pause. Finally, you turn around and walk back out again. If using the labyrinth as a meditation, during the walk into the center, you might shed worries or ask a question. At the center, you receive what is there for you (balance, awareness, clarity, connection, an answer, etc.). On the return you may feel relaxed or experience energy. There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth. You can walk a labyrinth for different reasons and have a different experience every time you do so.
Walk a local labyrinth to celebrate World Labyrinth Day. World Labyrinth Day is celebrated the first Saturday in May. Join thousands of people (virtually) worldwide by ‘Walking as One at 1’ in the afternoon.
However, a labyrinth walk can be enjoyed anytime whether for contemplation or mere pleasure. Find labyrinths in Washington State in the list below.
Finally, you can Build a walking labyrinth at home. A labyrinth adds interest to your landscape and can be constructed of many natural materials including plants, grass, and stone. But it’s easy to make a temporary one that you roll up and put away.
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About labyrinth designs
Labyrinths can be described by their design and number of circuits, rings, or loops. Common designs include the Classical looping labyrinth with a central cross, the Concentric labyrinth with a circular path, the Roman labyrinth with quadrants of connected paths around the central point, and variations on these forms. Any of these labyrinth designs might form a round, square, octagonal, or other shape.
A labyrinth is determined to be left- or right-handed by the direction of the first turn at the entrance. However, handedness is not a significant factor. But the entrance should evoke tranquility, for example by facing a beautiful view or garden.
Lines define the path and are usually (but not always) a consistent width throughout the entire labyrinth. Lines can be made from stone, mosaic tiles, grass or hedges, paint, or glass walls, or woven into textiles, drawn with chalk, or etched in sand or clay.
Ancient labyrinths exist throughout the world from Germany to Java, at the Hopi ruins in Arizona to the Navajo “Man in the Maze”, the Dunedin Botanic Garden in New Zealand and the Yuanmingyuan in China, along the shores of the Russian White Sea to India’s largest labyrinth at Tamil Nadu and South Africa’s Hogsback. There are famous labyrinths in the floors of cathedrals or woven into rugs, etched into pottery, painted on walls or floors, outdoors in church courtyards and public parks, along coastal shores, and many other places.
Labyrinths in Washington State
The following list includes labyrinths in Washington State that are open daily to the public during daylight hours. Most are free, except where indicated. Groups should contact the facility before scheduling a trip.
For labyrinths located at churches, if services are underway (most often on Sunday morning), respect the sacred atmosphere and return after services have concluded.
(Listed alphabetically by city)
St. Hugh of Lincoln Episcopal Church, 280 E. Wheelwright St, Allyn, WA 98524 (35 miles NW of Tacoma or 20 miles SW of Bremerton or from Seattle via either of these locations). Located behind the church; follow the path from the parking lot.
Lebanon Park, 105 Lebanon Ave, Arlington, WA 98223 (50 mi. N of Seattle). Located next to the Centennial Trail in downtown Arlington.
Grace Episcopal Church, 8595 NE Day Rd E, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
Bethany Lutheran Church, 7968 Finch Road NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110.
Eagle Harbor Congregational Church, 105 Winslow Way W, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Located on the corner of Winslow Way and Madison Avenue next to the gravel parking lot.
Bothell United Methodist Church, 18515 92nd Ave. NE, Bothell, WA 98011. Located on west side of the church parking lot.
HJ Carroll Park, 9884 SR Hwy 19 (Rhody Drive), Chimacum, WA 98325 (50 mi. NW of Seattle via ferry).
Saltwater Unitarian Universalist Church, 25701 14 Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198.
St Alban’s Episcopal Church, 21405 82nd Pl W, Edmonds, WA 98026.
St. Hilda St. Patrick Episcopal Church, 15224 52nd Avenue W, Edmonds, WA 98026.
Wiggums Hollow Park, 2808 10th Street, Everett, WA 98201.
Fox Island United Church of Christ, 726 6th Avenue, Fox Island, WA 98333 (5 mi. from Gig Harbor).
St. Anthony Hospital, 11567 Canterwood Boulevard NW, Gig Harbor, WA 98332. Located behind the hospital in the Healing Garden.
Saint Michael & All Angels, 325 SE Darst St, Issaquah, WA 98027. Located in the ‘back yard’ of the church.
Church of the Redeemer, 6210 Northeast 181st Street, Kenmore, WA 98028.
- Free monthly labyrinth walk in Kenmore. Scheduled labyrinth walks each second Tuesday of the month from October to May starting at 7:00 pm. Come at 6:30 pm if you can, to help set up. The labyrinth walk is free. No ticket is required, although you may want one to remind you. For more information, visit their website.
St. James Episcopal Church, 24447 94th Ave S, Kent, WA 98030. Located in the front lawn.
Redeemer United Methodist Church, 9900 NE Shorty Campbell Road, Kingston, WA 98346.
St. John’s Episcopal, 105 State St S, Kirkland, WA 98033. Located in front of the church on State Street.
Edith Moulton Park, 108th Ave NE & NE 137th St, Kirkland, WA 98034. Follow the southern-most entrance from 108th Ave NE (the access road) to the end of the pavement. The labyrinth is in a clearing just inside the woods, to the northeast.
Fort Steilacoom Park, 8714 87th Ave SW, Lakewood, Washington 98499. Note that the park is 340 acres and features an expansive trail system, baseball, softball and soccer fields, playground, off-leash dog park, picnic shelters, and restrooms. The labyrinth is located north of and up the hill from Lake Waughop, at the site of the former Western State Hospital’s “Hill Ward”.
Earth Sanctuary, 2059 Newman Rd, Langley, WA 98260. Cost: $7 per person.
Saint George Episcopal Church, 24219 Witte Road SE, Maple Valley, WA 98038. Located in the back of the property right off the Lake Wilderness Trail.
Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 4400 86th Avenue SE Mercer Island, WA 98040.
Normandy Park United Church of Christ, 19247 1st Ave S, Normandy Park, WA 98148.
First Presbyterian Church, 1111 Franklin St, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1020 Jefferson St, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Located between the church building and the parish hall in the Courtyard of All Souls.
Poulsbo First Lutheran Church, 18920 4th Avenue NE, Poulsbo, WA 98370. Located on the upper west patio of the Christian Center.
Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave. E Seattle, WA 98102. Outdoor labyrinth in front of the cathedral is available at any time for a prayerful meditation walk. On New Year’s Eve there is a community labyrinth walk.
- New Year’s Eve labyrinth walk at Saint Mark’s has been a tradition for two decades. Drop by any time between 6 p.m. and midnight. Stay for a few minutes, an hour, or all evening. A free-will donation will be collected. At midnight, a service of Holy Eucharist will be offered at the center of Labyrinth, in observance of the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus.
Cottage Grove Park, 5206 26th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98106. Located in the King County Restoration Garden.
Seattle Center, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA 98109. Located behind the Space Needle at the NE corner of Center House, on the blacktop in front of the MoPOP.
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 15 Roy Street, Seattle, WA 98109.
Denny Park, 100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109. Located next to the children’s play area.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 111 NE 80th St., Seattle, WA 98115. Located on the First Avenue side of the church grounds.
- Free guided labyrinth walk at St. Andrew’s in north Seattle. Labyrinth Walks take place the second Wednesday of each month throughout the year. For more details and schedule updates, check the St. Andrew’s calendar.
Dr. Rudolf Steiner Bookstore & Children’s Shop, 9727 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115.
St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 6512 12th Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117. Located on the north lawn of the church, under the walnut tree, near the children’s playground.
Silverdale Lutheran Church, 11701 Ridgepoint Dr. NW, Silverdale, WA 98383. Located on south end of the church property.
Stanwood City Hall Park, 10220 270th St NW, Stanwood, WA 98292.
Suquamish United Church of Christ, 18732 Division Ave NE, Suquamish, WA 98392. In the Peace Garden.
Duwamish Park, 11646 42nd Ave S, Tukwila, WA 98168.
Crestview Park, 16200 42nd Ave S, Tukwila, WA 98188.
Chambers Creek Regional Park, 6320 Grandview Dr. W, University Place, WA 98467. Located on the grounds around the Environmental Services Building, the walking paths provide citizens an opportunity to view a reclaimed gravel pit. Once a former county road shop, the site now contains two multi-purpose playfields, the Chambers Creek Labyrinth, native plantings, interpretive signage and a stormwater demonstration garden. Access Point to the labyrinth is 64th and Chambers Creek Road.
Episcopal Church of the Holy Spirit, 15420 Vashon Highway SW, Vashon, WA 98070. Located on the lawn just north of the Church.
Wooden Cross Lutheran Church, 17401 198th Avenue NE, Woodinville, WA 98077. Located in a grove of trees, a short walk from the parking lot.
To find another labyrinth anywhere in the world, visit the World Wide Labyrinth Locator.
Calendar of meditation events in the Puget Sound region
Listed below are upcoming meditation events in the Puget Sound region.
Monday, September 7, 2020
But wait, there’s more!
- Need stress relief? Build a walking labyrinth at home.
- Find more meditation resources, visit our Meditation page.
- You might also like our our Fitness & Exercise page.
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