Taos, New Mexico: A New Center for the Renaissance of the Ancient Labyrinth

From a press release distributed by The Town of Taos:

This Summer Taos Invites Visitors to Return to Sacred Places
A Tool for the Contemplative Practice of Walking Your Spiritual Journey

TAOS, NEW MEXICO (May 2010) – In this region where spiritual traditions have been practiced uninterrupted by the Taos Pueblo Indians for at least 1,000 years, another ancient tradition is gaining acceptance; the contemplative use of the labyrinth.

Found in cultures spanning the globe, the earliest known labyrinth design was discovered on a clay tablet in Pylos, Greece, dating from 1,200 BCE. The Greek isle of Crete is also known for its labyrinth, the maze used to entrap the mythical Minotaur. During the Middle Ages labyrinth designs were incorporated into the floor patterns of Europe’s grand cathedrals, most notably in Chartes, and in the Renaissance, “branching” garden mazes became popular in the palaces of royalty. labyrinthsociety.org/.

Today labyrinths are being constructed around the world as a tool for personal growth and spiritual transformation. Practioners use these sacred, earth-based paths to conduct walking meditations, focusing on a concern that is addressed through contemplation.

This Summer in Taos, eight labyrinths will be available to walk, without charge, in connection with the town’s “Return to Sacred Places” travel destination theme. Beginning July 1st, and continuing through October, visitors are invited to be part of the reawaking of this spiritual tradition.

“New Mexico is one of the centers for this transformative spiritual energy,” says Sandra Wasko-Flood, visionary artist and founder of The Living Labyrinth Center for Peace. “And Taos, with its 1,000 year old Pueblo, is at the heart of this blossoming Renaissance.” livinglabyrinthsforpeace.org

Wasko-Flood is curating many of the labyrinth-related activities this summer, including a photo exhibit of labyrinths from around the world, first exhibited in the rotunda of the US House of Representatives in Washington, DC.

Rev. Wayne Mell, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Taos, is also an advocate for this form of walking prayer and has supported the construction of a labyrinth in the church’s front yard that will be dedicated on July 18. “Walking the labyrinth can be symbolic of a journey to the sacred center,” he says. “It’s a practice that can appeal to all ages and faiths, as more and more people explore their spiritual pathways.”

Katherine Costabel, who with her husband, Louie, own the Adobe and Pines B&B, have constructed a beautiful 66-foot diameter labyrinth made of 4,670 pieces of slate and rimmed by 225 native plants. Having experienced her first labyrinth in Sedona, Arizona, Ms. Costabel believes that walking the path reminds one of her earthly journey. “Take something into the circle,” she says. “Walk, think and pray and see if you can come to a conclusion.” www.adobepines.com.

Media Contact: Barbara Duff, 575-758-8900, bduff@griffinassoc.com