ABOUT THE PICTURE
While working in the South Bronx directing a mental health crisis program for children, I was given some money to spend on community building. Creating caring communiies is a way we all can get and stay emotionally healthy. I was introduced to a labrintista by one of the people living in Mott Haven and funded the Camino de Paz project, The families and children my program worked with created a number of labyrinths. The Rainbow Labyrinth pictured above was the first we funded. It lasted for ten years. But federal funding for the program dried up, I retired, other people changed focus. Life goes on.
Because of our Mott Haven Labyrinth’s however, the New York City Parks department became interested in labyrinths and the woman who was building the Mott Haven Labyrinths, built the Labyrinth for Contemplation in Battery Park.
Hopefully, it will last longer than the ones we build in Mott Haven. It is peaceful in and of itself, but over looks several war memorials. Whenever I walked it I always thought how sad the world was that peace is so hard to find. Still, if you can bring it to your heart and then to your part of the world, it maybe in time enough will do the same and peace will come.
For those who live in or visit New York City, here are directions to get to this labyrinth.
By subway: By the 4 of 5 trains, exit at Bowling Green Station. When exiting the station walk west along Battery Place, as you reach West Street turn left into the park. You are now walking due south with park benches on your right. Just as the benches end there is a black wrought iron fence with a open gate, this is the entrance to the labyrinth. Walk right in. By the 1 train: exit at South Ferry Station and walk north on State Street until you arrive at Battery Place, turn left. Walk west along Battery Place, and when you reach West Street turn left into the park. You are now walking due south with park benches on your right. Just as the benches end there is a black wrought iron fence with a open gate, this is the entrance to the labyrinth. Walk right in.
Thick Nhat Hanh believes in being peace. Being peace brings peace on earth here and now.
Here is a more detailed description of how to walk in peace.
I first walked a labyrinth at a Quaker meeting. It was a portable labyrinth. I also funded a portable labyrinth and it was a popular feature at many health fairs in the South Bronx.. When I have a bit more time, I will find some pictures of those labyrinths in action.
STAYING STRONG TIP
Being hyperactive I have created my own version of a walking meditation. It is most useful when I am angry and get somewhere quiet to walk. I start off stumping, , but also saying out loud or in my head, “It is all all right.” It may not be all all right for me, but I do believe in the long scheme of things what is is meant to be and is right. As I walk and stump and rant, serenity slowly returns and anger dissipates. I can think clearly and decide what is wrong, what I can right , and what I have to let be. It works for me and might work for you.