The finger labyrinth at my church.

Last week, I wrote about using a set of prayer beads to help me focus when I pray. The problem is that I have an overly active mind – what the Buddhists call a monkey mind. My prayer beads give the monkey something to do so that I can take the time I need to pray and listen.

Another tool that is perfect for home use is a finger labyrinth. Our church has a finger labyrinth in the parlor off the sanctuary. This small stone carving sits on a table between two chairs. Whenever I use it, I place it in my lap and run one finger of my right hand through the curves as I pray. When the monkey is particularly boisterous, I trace the labyrinth with my left index finger. Since I’m right handed this takes just a wee bit more concentration.

Want to try this technique out? You don’t have to purchase a carving in wood or stone, instead print off one of these labyrinths.

This one if much like the finger labyrinth at my church. It is a common asymmetric pattern.

This is a duplicate of the Chartres labyrinth.

Personally, I like the combination of angels and curves in this particular pattern.

There are a wide variety of labyrinth patterns available online. Some are asymmetric like the one at my church. Others are symmetric. Just make sure that you are printing off a labyrinth and not a maze – a labyrinth has a single twisting path. There are no wrong turns. It is simply another way to release your day enough to pray.

–SueBE

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