About 4 years ago I conceived a desire to build a labyrinth on the property of some friends who were having a “Leave a Trace” party. They have a bunch of acres of beautiful California chaparral up in Mendocino County and i thought a labyrinth would be a perfectly fit into the natural landscape and their use of the land for enjoyment of nature, fun, and relaxation.
I can’t remember where I experienced my first labyrinth but I love them very much. I wanted the one I made for them to be special and not the usual 7 circuit labyrinth (see here) that I usually see. Not that there is anything wrong with those at all. I just often chose a more complicated, challenging project than the status quo.
Five Auspicious CloudsAn internet search revealed a lovely pattern called the “Five Auspicious Clouds”, that’s a great name too. I had to look up the symbolism, of course and here is what I found,
“Clouds, sometimes referred to as “auspicious clouds” (xiangyun 祥云), represent the heavens and also “good luck” because the Chinese word for cloud (yun 云) is pronounced the same as yun (运) meaning “luck” or “fortune”.
The cloud is a commonly seen design and when repeated in a pattern symbolizes never-ending fortune.”
Four years ago this is what we did to build a laybrinth
We spent two days hauling rocks and gently arguing about how to lay them out. At the end of two days we had a perfectly laid out 5 Auspicious clouds labyrinth with one layer of rocks denoting the walls.
How to build a meditation labyrinth using only some beer, a golf cart and a few river rocks:
Okay seriously… I read around on the internets to see how other people did it but didn’t find a whole lot. So, just now, in searching for the site that was helpful I found a couple more that look good, here they are:
We weed wacked and we raked and moved large obstacles from the area.
A rope with tape marked every 18 inches and rebar staked in the center help the rope in place as an inverted tip marking spray paint (as used in construction) was used to mark the perimeter.
The design has 5 spiral arms and so we marked 5 lines at 72 degrees (apron. thank you math-y people!) and along each of these lines we marked each 18 inch segment with the spray paint.
I had decided hat we would draw each spiral arm from the center out and that seemed to work fairly well although I believe the engineers in the group did not agree. One of the best parts of this was seeing how my friends all differently went about working on this large group project. I think we all did pretty well for a group of horrible OCD control freaks. :P
The best part was that Acrobat snuck back after we all left an RE-DID much of it. Hahaa.
We hauled rocks from the river bed to outline the walls and we will fill in with the more eventually. If you can get free materials like that I highly recommend it. Have you ever priced rocks? They are expensive! Sand and gravel will mark the path and a friend has just offered some pretty sounding paving stones as well. Which is great because I was originally envisioning paving stones but then did the aforementioned pricing…