Labyrinth in Centennial Park – Special Place to Know Thyself

Sacred-PathA labyrinth is a complex pattern of great meaning, an ancient symbol relating to spiritual wholeness, which took shape millennia ago.

At Sydney a wonderfully crafted 13 metre wide labyrinth has been constructed in the Centennial Parklands behind the Lachlan Swamp adjacent to Willow Pond out of superb and very fine sandstone from a quarry nearby to Gosford.

It has been lovingly cut and laid with great precision by the team of specialist stonemasons with the ABC show Compass documenting and following its journey to realisation, a program that will be shown early next year.

The Wisdom Keepers, representatives from eleven diverse world cultures and religions, were the first people invited to walk the pathway of the beautifully crafted sandstone labyrinth recently completed in Sydney on Monday 15th September to mark the moving opening ceremony. I felt very privileged to be there.

It is a special place now open to all, a place to ‘know thyself’, wonderfully wise words inscribed on the Sun God’s temple at Adelphi, on the slopes of Mt Parnassus in Greece, which stood as the pilgrims believed, at the centre of the earth.

the words were inscribed on the Sun god Apollo’s temple at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. – See more at: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/body-beautiful-in-ancient-greece-treasures-down-under-2014#sthash.ndFts0ad.dpuf

d to; the words were inscribed on the Sun god Apollo’s temple at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

It stood at what was believed to be the centre of the earth, where pilgrims often journeyed for weeks and months to visit the ‘oracle’ and ask for its wisdom. Is beauty only in the eyes of the beholder?

– See more at: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/body-beautiful-in-ancient-greece-treasures-down-under-2014#sthash.ndFts0ad.dpuf

Know Thyself was a concept the ancient Greeks subscribed to; the words were inscribed on the Sun god Apollo’s temple at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

It stood at what was believed to be the centre of the earth, where pilgrims often journeyed for weeks and months to visit the ‘oracle’ and ask for its wisdom. Is beauty only in the eyes of the beholder?

– See more at: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/body-beautiful-in-ancient-greece-treasures-down-under-2014#sthash.ndFts0ad.dpuf

Labyrinth Elder

They walked to beautiful music by Australian composer, Corrina Bonshek, following the popular and soon to retire Dame Marie Bashir AM, Governor of the State of New South Wales in the Commonwealth of Australia, cutting the ribbon to declare it officially open.

“Walking home to country” Aunty Ali Golding, Aboriginal Elder of the Biripi Nation noted, “is a connection our people have always had with Mother Earth”.

“Aunty Ali Golding” also went on to say “Our culture is defined by the closeness of family circles and staying connected to the people within it. The labyrinth invites and welcomes people to walk the path together. It calls them to the land in oneness”.

A labyrinth wasn’t ever designed to confuse, it was all about going on a journey along its pathway to find a way into your inner self, or the soul, through contemplative meditation.

All the cultures on earth have understood since time immemorial that is all about finding the pathway in life leading to truth, fulfillment and for many, enlightenment.

The Labyrinth in Centennial Park is modeled on the one located within Chartres Cathedral in France. It is the brainchild of, and was brought to a happy end by the power of one.

Emily Simpson & LabyrinthEmily Simpson tirelessly drove the project forward for over five years, so that it could be a lasting gift for the Australian public and for visitors to enjoy.

It was good to be there and to see the fulfillment of a dream that started when Emily and a friend from Seattle had walked the labyrinth in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco together.

It so happened that after that landmark event Emily was inspired to do more.

Emily is the daughter of the wonderful Sydney philanthropist and very generous soul, Caroline Simpson (1930-2003), who had been very kind to me, a silent giver who never drew attention to herself or the great major gifts left as her legacy to the Art Gallery of NSW and State Library of NSW.

All I could think of how pleased and proud she would have been of her daughter, because germinating the idea is in some ways the easy part, bringing it to fruition is not.

This project took five years of commitment for Emily, who persevered and endured as she convinced others it should be done. Then she crowd funded so that many people could contribute, as well as glean major donations.

She raised over $500,000 with the help of those who gathered around her, so that the 1500 pieces of sandstone could be finally put in place to make up its beautiful form and gift it to the people of Sydney.

Emily Walking LabyrinthThis wouldn’t have been a simple road to walk for Emily and I imagine there were many frustrations along the way to its being realised.

But it did, and has, and it was wonderful to see her walking its pathway with others after all the razamatazz. Now it is done what will come to the fore is the remembrance of the great opening day and memories of the happiness and joy walking the labyrinth has meant for a great many people up until now, and for those yet to come.

Wisdom KeepersWalking the labyrinth’s path can be life changing for many.

It is deeply spiritual, and prior to your taking the journey if you prepare yourself you may find that you gain from the experience far more than you ever imagined.

Listening to the stories of those chatting away after the ceremony had taken place on what was a glorious spring Sydney day amidst friends, followers, relatives and special guests, many had enjoyed profound experiences.

Yet others said they had never thought that they could find it, but amazingly did achieve inner peace

It’s about taking the time to let yourself and your mind be at rest, not an easy thing for any of us to do in our busy technological driven world today, although essential.

It’s not a place to take a mobile phone, it is a place where you should switch it off and take time out just for you. It is about choice.

Walking Labyrinth 2The setting has been carefully thought out and when the site was excavated and levelled the earth was used to make two gently rolling banks that flow down to where the sandstone labyrinth lays. This means you can look on it from above and see its complexity, beauty and simplicity all at the same time.

Emily & Buddhist MonkIf you have been wondering then you will perhaps recognise the word labyrinth from the Greek myths, where the beautiful maiden Ariadne was said to have helped the beautiful Prince Theseus navigate the labyrinth and slay the dastardly Minotaur (half man half bull) who lived at the centre of its depths under King Minos’s palace on Crete.

While the ruins of Knossos have been found, evidence that the Minotaur or the labyrinth ever existed have not. Although its very name derives from the word labrys, a symbol of royal power in the ancient world, which has been found in many of the palaces on Knossos on Crete, of which there is more than one.

The legend says that it was difficult to find your way within the labyrinth’s depths because Ariadne had to help Theseus by marking the trail to the centre with a ball of thread.

Many speculate that is more likely to have been what we would today call a maze; patterns designed to trick and deceive.

But I wonder?

Did Theseus, just like we all do today, falter in the task of finding first and then walking the pathway to finally meet the evil half bull half man at its centre because he was doubting himself and his abilities to succeed and very frightened about what may come?

Was the story supposed to be a metaphor that offered the thought that we all need a guide, a partner or a supporter in life to be present when we are facing that difficult road ahead we all must walk someday?

Was Ariadne sent by the Gods to make sure that the man to be anointed as King of his people found himself so that he could go on to become a successful and wise decision maker?

Walking Labyrinth 5Make what you will of the myth, the legend or the story, but do make a date with yourself to visit Centennial Parklands soon and take time out to walk the pathway of the labyrinth just as the ‘wisdom keepers’ and all those before you have done and see just what you can find out about yourself.

Oh, and don’t forget to take your guide along for the ride. You may then be able to return the favour.

Carolyn McDowall, The Culture Concept Circle, 2014

Sydney Labyrinth
Centennial Parklands

Open Now – FREE

 

Know Thyself was a concept the ancient Greeks subscribed to; the words were inscribed on the Sun god Apollo’s temple at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus.

It stood at what was believed to be the centre of the earth, where pilgrims often journeyed for weeks and months to visit the ‘oracle’ and ask for its wisdom. Is beauty only in the eyes of the beholder?

– See more at: http://www.thecultureconcept.com/body-beautiful-in-ancient-greece-treasures-down-under-2014#sthash.ndFts0ad.dpuf

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