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Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth
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Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  389 ratings  ·  48 reviews
The author explores the history and significance of the image of the labyrinth and explains how readers can use the ancient imprint in the art of meditation, leading them to new sources of wisdom, change, and renewal. Reprint.
Paperback, 224 pages
Published June 1st 1996 by Riverhead Trade (first published 1995)
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Average rating 4.07  · 
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Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I walked the labyrinth at Fellowship Farm last year and found it was a thin place between God and me. Scince then i have wanted tolearn more about this ancient thin space. Miss Artress weaves her story, other peoples acounts of meeting God with in the historical presence of the labyrinth. The book seems drift from Jesus in the middle and the end gets to self focused for me but all in all a good book.
Nov 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Dr. Lauren Artress is the one who initiated the building of the labyrinth outside of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. It started with a woven layrinth that was brought into the cathedral for arranged retreats. At first, the book is a history of how Artress began the journey to discover what the labyrinth is and what it means. It ends with a history of the labyrinth itself (as far as can be historically discovered) and a short history of the Christian church in the early days, up to the 14th Cen ...more
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My brother got this for me for my birthday. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it but I did. I love the fact that she is both a deacon and a psychotherapist. She isn't advocating magic or even a belief in god. She is simply discussing the affects of ritual, sacred geometries, and archetypes. I went and walked a beautiful Labyrinth outside of the Boulder Library the day I finished it. Very peaceful. I'm still working on my mantra. ...more
Oct 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
On of the most important books on labyrinths as a spiritual tool, written by one of the women who brings this practice to modern awareness.
Sue Caulfield
Dec 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a life altering book for me. It took me ten years, but I made it to Chartres cathedral to walk the labyrinth and walked the one in Amiens, too. Artress gives a wonderful history of the role of the labyrinth and it's potential to aid all of us in our spiritual journeys. The labyrinth provides an ideal setting to go inward and reflect and requires one to re-enter the world by walking the path back out. An ancient meditative and mindfulness tool, we would all benefit from the presence of m ...more
Mar 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Exactly what I needed to read as I move ever more into my role as a labyrinth facilitator. Artress's words are so heartfelt and genuine, and she makes this book a call to action. A call I am more than happy to heed. I've been walking and reading about labyrinths for more than 15 years, and finally getting around to reading this book -- by the founder of the Labyrinth Movement -- was like discovering this spiritual tool all over again. An absolute must for those who wish to use the labyrinth as a ...more
Deanna (Anya)
Jan 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I used to be one of three women who led retreats for the Labyrinth. This was our go-to book. The first book we would suggest to retreat clients to read in answer to their questions. Dr. Artress did a lot of research for this book. And the story of how she brought the shape of the Charte Cathedral Labyrinth to the United States and introduced it here was amazing. Good starter book but don't stop here,read more, after you've walked one. ...more
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
This was an amazing book that I have read more than once. I have also walked the Labyrinth at Grace Cathedral and always visit the Cathedral when I am in San Francisco. It is a beautiful place and I discovered it because of this book! I believe I read this for the first time back in about 2002 or so. I jsut know it is well worth reading and it fact I think I will have to pick it up again and read it soon.
Patricia Lowry
I'm currently reading this as a part of my daily meditation; I find it quieting. I appreciate its inclusiveness, assuming that the reader approaches from a myriad of traditions and beliefs. It makes me eager to once again walk a labyrinth. However,I am waiting until I have finished the book, as I think the experience will be more meaningful. ...more
Sharon Wildwind
Mar 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Since I'm just beginning to learn about labyrinths, this was an essential book. The author was hugely involved in the creation of a labyrinth at a church in San Francisco and continues to be one of the leaders in the labyrinth movement. This is a great starting place, not only for how labyrinths are constructed but for how they might influence our spiritual growth. Strongly recommended. ...more
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A readable, inspiring introduction into the deeper meanings of the labyrinth and to mysteries of the spirit. I want to go farther into the references she lists at the end. Well documented with respect to history and beginnings of labyrinth use in the United States.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up several years ago in an airport on a lonely business trip. It was my first introduction to walking the labyrinth as a spiritual discipline and method of meditation. There is a labyrinth that I visit once in a while at Christ the King Lutheran Church in Torrance.
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
This book makes me want to walk a labyrinth. It sounds like a powerful experience. And they're everywhere! Who knew?

May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've been interested in labyrinths for a long time and I think this might be the second time I've read this book. The author, who brought the labyrinth to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, is well-grounded in the topic and her recommendations for its use around the world. I smiled that she had the same experience in Chartres, France--arriving so excited to see the famous labyrinth, only to find that it was covered with chairs. ...more
Ruth Segal
Feb 26, 2008 added it
Recommended to Ruth by: Gift from Madeline
Written by the Abbot of the Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, who is a radical woman, (cute as hell, too!)Facinating history of the Labyrinth in general, also about the two Labyrinths that are at the Grace Cathedral.
A very uplifting book about this ancient spiritual practice which is still so relevant and alive.
Oct 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spiritual
A wonderful and thorough introduction to the Labyrinth and spirituality. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in labyrinths. It is accessible and non-judgemental.
Aug 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great resource for using a walking meditation and contemplative prayer during spiritual direction and development and spiritual maturity.
May 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The classic work on labyrinths.
Carmen Clark
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is an incredible journey, but make absolutely sure you have access to a labyrinth to walk!
Mar 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Inspiring and transformative. One of those books I had for a couple of years and happened to pick up at the perfect time to read.
Ed Smith
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book that covers the history and spiritual application of labyrinths. Great find at local used book store!
Aug 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
i enjoyed the history that the author provided. Also the guidance about how to walk a labyrinth. I felt encouraged to walk the labyrinth in my neighborhood more often.
Casey Perkins-Lawrence
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spirituality
Published in 1995 ... I was pleasantly surprised to find this book still extremely relevant, if not prophetic, with much to say about the spiritual and cultural issues of our time.
Venkataraman Sambasiva
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this book, Dr. Lauren Artress explains how she came to know and became involved in the ancient spiritual tool of Labyrinth. She gives a beautiful narration of its relevance from the angle of meditation. Not without reason, she believes in divine guidance that has led her to this spiritual task of spreading the message of Labyrinth. She observes, "All of the larger-than-life questions about our presence here on earth and what gifts we have to offer are spiritual questions. To seek answers to t ...more
Michelle Lunsford
I have experienced walking a prayer labyrinth on two occasions. I was curious to learn more about labyrinths and so gave this book a read. It is interesting, and provides a nice mix of the authors writing as well as some first-hand experience accounts of others who have walked labyrinths. In particular, I enjoyed learning more about the historical context of the labyrinth, as well as how it is being rediscovered in modern culture.

There are aspects of the book with which I am in agreement. For ex
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book educates on labyrinth history and prevalence across the globe. She theorizes what they were used for in ancient religious practices. The focus, however, is how we can access the empowering properties of this archetypal tool to connect our individual soul with the collective unconscious. There is a section on resources to learn more in the back. I very much enjoyed reading this relatively thin, but richly contented volume. Dr. Artress is not only a religiously trained member of Grace Cat ...more
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is the classic presentation which began the revival of using Labyrinths as a spiritual tool in the church. Required reading for understanding and approaching the use of this archetypal image in worship and prayer. This is not just a how-to book, but a thoughtful memoir and testimony to the power of knowledge, research, and persistence required to turn one's personal inspiration and curiosity into widespread opportunities for ministry to others. I read this book shortly after I went to a 199 ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
In reality, I started reading this book over 20 years ago when I purchased it. However, 20+ years ago, Bobby was 16 and Brian was 12 or younger, thus leaving me little time for spiritual reading. In those days, I was lucky to get my book club novel read on time!

When Lent ended, I needed a spiritual book. Since I've been hoping to walk a labyrinth with Judy before she moves in 42 days [but who's counting?] and perhaps Bob when he retires, this book called to me. I have walked a labyrinth before,
Aug 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Labyrinth. Love. Life.
I was blessed to have not only trained with Lauren, but to have also driven here from one retreat centre to another. Those 3 hours in my car, conversing with one of my great mentors, will always be a part of my story.
So much gratitude for the work and teachings of this woman. Now, I bring the labyrinth from Canada to New Zealand in hopes of sharing it's truest stories.
Feb 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
An interesting look from a christian female minister on the history and meaning of labyrinths in history, and to the spiritual well-being of humans. While the book wanders, at times, into areas of nothing more then then speculation and a certain feel good new-agey vibe, it is all over all, an interesting idea of the power that the labyrinth can have over ourselves.
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The Reverend Dr. Lauren Artress is the author of Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice, and The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform (Putnam/Riverhead Books, New York). Artress is a spiritual director, Marriage and Family therapist, and Canon Emeritus at Grace Cathedral and Founder of Veriditas a non-profit dedicated to ...more

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