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Pondering the Labyrinth: Questions to Pray on the Path

Book Review

This is a gentle book full of helpful suggestions for those unsure how to use the labyrinth as a tool for spiritual growth. The author, Jill Geoffrion, has written a number of books on the labyrinth and acknowledges a long list of friends who have helped her shape the questions for the book. The reader is encouraged to treat the book as “an enthusiastic friend who can’t help but impose question upon question.” The answers to these questions can often be circuitous (like the labyrinth) and may, in fact, lead to another question. This is all part of listening to God and ‘pondering the labyrinth’.

The book starts with a general introduction to the labyrinth. It uses a conversational style for listing points under headings and topics. After describing the labyrinth and its history it then provides information about what to expect in the encounter with the labyrinth, and it encourages freedom of choice as to how the labyrinth can be used, either in a traditional or a new and creative way. It then breaks into chapters that list questions for use in experiencing the labyrinth, for use away from the labyrinth, or for use on special occasions. These questions are sometimes sequential and sometime stand-alone. The reader is encouraged to use this re-source in whatever way they find helpful.

ponderingthelabyrinthSome of the questions are traditional and probably familiar to Dayspring people who have been introduced to the labyrinth, such as “What are the desires of my heart?” and “What do I bring to this experience?” Other questions are humorous, such as “Are we there yet?!?!?”

Some questions come from Scripture, such as “Why are you downcast, O my soul, and why are you disquiet within me?” Psalm 42.5a and “Is there something of which one can say, ‘Look! This is something new?’” Ecc 1.10a (NIV).

Some questions are creative, such as “From inside the labyrinth what do I notice about the out-side?” and “If a musician suddenly materialized here in the center, what instrument would she or he be playing? What would I hear?”

Finally, at the end of the book a series of questions are posed around constructing your own labyrinth.

Each person who uses this book as “an encouraging friend” will undoubtedly find other questions to add to their own repertoire.

“Pondering the Labyrinth: Questions to Pray on the Path” by Jill Geoffrion can be found in the Dayspring library.

– Brian Holliday

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Image: Jill prays on the Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth by Jill Geoffrion

 

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