July 23, 2012

Walk this way

Couple builds labyrinth asmeditative tool on their property

By ROBIN CAUDELL, Press-Republican

---- — JAY — John Hopkins and Lynn Edmonds’s Jay property is a work-in-progress.

In the spring, construction begins on their self-sufficient dream home.

While waiting for it to manifest, they set their healing intent by constructing medicinal and culinary herb gardens, a green house and a labyrinth.

Edmonds once walked one and was convinced of its attributes as a meditation tool.

Gillian Corcoran designed the labyrinth after the walking maze in the Chartres Cathedral in France. The cathedral was built in 1235 A.D. Labyrinths are ancient and sacred. Its rings symbolize unity and wholeness. The path within is a metaphor for life’s journey.

“Labyrinths have been around more than 3,000 years,” Edmonds said. “They don’t know where they originated. You find them in many different cultures and religions. They have been used as a meditational tool. During the Holy Wars when people couldn’t get to Jerusalem, people built labyrinths so they could continue their spiritual lives.”

Edmonds trained as a labyrinth facilitator at Miriam’s Well, a Saugerties retreat.

For more than 35 years, she worked in human services, community mental health, assisted living and elder care. 

Her lifelong interest in assisting others in self care and healing led her to establish Life in Focus Healing Touch and the art of labyrinth walking.

“The labyrinth builder (Corcoran) came and divined a spot,” Edmonds said. “We had a guy come with 14 truck loads of sand to level it out. She can put a landscape cloth on top and drew the design.

The Chartres is a classic design.

“Then, we got lots of rocks from the quarry and lots of mulch. I invited my friends, and we had 25 people here to help to put the rocks on the sides of the paths. Over the last couple of weeks, some other friends worked on the sides and finished it. Then, we started having full moon walks. We have fire ceremonies first, and the people walk the labyrinth. The full moon is a powerful time.”

The Jay couple also created trails in the woods of their 12-acre property. In the winter, the trails are perfect for snowshoeing and cross-country.

“We do drumming circles here,” Edmonds said.

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