Walking the labyrinth as a meditative practice has long intrigued me. Labyrinths, such as the famous one at Chartres, were used as a metaphorical pilgrimage when a physical pilgrimage wasn’t possible.
As with any practice that encourages attention, walking the labyrinth, paying attention to each step to and from the center, can be a quieting and calming experience.
I’ve always wanted to visit the labyrinth at Chartres but never have made it there yet. Fortunately, we have a beautiful labyrinth sitting in its own “cathedral” of trees on Bainbridge Island.
Jeffrey Bale, an artist and garden designer from Portland, OR, completed the Bainbridge Island labyrinth in 2014. Visit his blog for the handouts from the park which go into detail about the significance of each circuit of the labyrinth and for his collection of essays about each circuit.
Pay attention to the details in the mosaic as you walk. Each circuit has a special significance. One, for instance, symbolizes Tibetan prayer beads, a connection with the prayer wheel at the park. Spin the prayer wheel when you’ve finished your pilgrimage.
Take a deep breath and follow the path to the center and back out. It’s customary to leave an offering at the end (or, rather, the center) of your journey; a remembrance of someone you’ve lost, a token of gratitude, or just something to mark that you’ve reached your destination.
Where is it?
The labyrinth mosaic is near Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island. If you get directions on Google Maps, it’s not too hard to find. The park is on the right-hand side of the street. Parking is on the road right next to the park, but there are usually some spots available.
Read other posts about Kitsap County on our Kitsap Page.
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