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Marking World Labyrinth Day in the Blue Mountains

All are welcome to celebrate World Labyrinth Day as part of the official launch of Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat in the Blue Mountains on Saturday May 6. As part of a resurgence in the popularity of walking labyrinths, Woodford couple Donna Mulhearn and Martin Reusch have created a labyrinth retreat on their nine-acre property featuring three different labyrinth designs.

Labyrinth based on the floor design of the Chartres Cathedral at the Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat. Photo: Lars Howlett
Labyrinth based on the floor design of the Chartres Cathedral at the Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat. Photo: Lars Howlett

Donna Mulhearn, a trained labyrinth facilitator, said while many use labyrinths for personal reflection, on World Labyrinth Day we are invited to “Walk as One at 1” in solidarity with others around the world to promote peace.

“Last year more than 5,000 people from 24 countries took part in World Labyrinth Day,” Ms Mulhearn said. “We will have a dedication of our new bush labyrinth, a classical design dating back 4,000 years, and then walk it for the first time at 1pm as part of World Labyrinth Day.”

Prior to the walk, a smoking ceremony will be held at 12pm as part of the official launch of Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat, by senior Darug man and artist Chris Tobin.

A labyrinth is a circular design which has one path from the outside to the centre. The ancient design, found in many cultures around the world, is currently undergoing a resurgence in popularity – now appearing in public spaces, parks, hospitals, and schools all over the world.

“It’s been said that labyrinths emerge in the world at times when they are needed,” Ms Mulhearn said. “Today we are seeing great interest in the ancient practice of walking labyrinths as a tool for meditation and personal development.”

Ms Mulhearn said that labyrinths are often confused with mazes. “But the labyrinth is the opposite of a maze, which is designed to get you lost and confused with dead ends and choices on which way to go. A labyrinth is a single path; if you just follow the path you will always reach the centre,” she said.

“The path meanders and sometimes you’re close to the centre, other times you’re out on the rim, so there’s the sense you’re on a journey. The walk is meditative; it allows you to calm distractions, to de-stress and move to a place of reflection.”

Donna and Martin moved to the Blue Mountains six years ago with a view to finding a place they could have labyrinths and invite people to walk them. “As soon as I saw the Woodford property, I knew it was the right place. Amongst the trees was a cleared space which turned out to be the exact size of the medieval labyrinth we wanted to build.”

In 2014 Donna trained as a labyrinth facilitator and the couple created an exact replica of the well-known labyrinth found on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France. They have also made a Celtic tri-spiral labyrinth and classical labyrinth.

“I remember getting goose-bumps when we first learned that the area we live (from Wentworth Falls to Glenbrook, south side) is referred to as the “Blue Labyrinth” a name first used by early explorers – we didn’t know that until after we moved here in 2013, but it inspired our name: Blue Labyrinth Bush Retreat. We are also aware it’s sacred Aboriginal land where important gatherings and ceremony were held, as indicated by the ancient concentric circles carved into rock at Woodford.”

Donna plans to hold regular labyrinth retreat days and community walks.

 

You can find more info at www.bluelabyrinth.com.au/. Located at 30 Park Road, Woodford. Donna info@bluelabyrinth.com.au or phone 02 4758 7360.

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