Reviews - What do customers think about Pondering the Labyrinth: Questions to Pray on the Path?
Questions inviting growth... May 12, 2005
This book by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion is a good companion to her other book, 'Praying the Labyrinth', in which she speak of the spiritual dimensions of how labyrinths are used. In this text, there is a very brief introduction to labyrinth ideas that is done in a 'Frequently-Asked-Questions' kind of format - What is a labyrinth? How do mazes and labyrinths differ? Why would someone use a labyrinth? and so forth...
All of these questions are answered in a simple (without being simplistic) manner, inviting and engaging, leaving the imagination open. This even leads to the last question in the section - What if nothing happens when I experience a labyrinth? As Geoffrion states, 'many people find that the meanings of a labyrinth encounter do not become fully evident for days, weeks or even months.'
After this brief introduction, practically the rest of the book consists of questions, with a generous amount of blank space and line-art drawings of different labyrinths. There are questions for preparation, questions for along the labyrinthine journey and at the centre, and questions for reflection afterwards. There are questions that are drawn directly from the biblical text (Psalm 6:3 - 'My soul is in anguish. How long, O God, how long?' and John 18:11 - 'Shall I not drink the cup God has given me?' among others) and questions to ask on special days. There are even questions to ask the labyrinth itself, as if it could in a personified way respond (indeed, it will respond in less verbal yet no less direct a fashion).
Each section leaves a page with a labyrinth meant to be inscribed by the reader with his or her own questions. The concluding section includes references to other resources (including online places to visit), and further titles to read on topics about labyrinths and the spiritual experience of those who have done the labyrinths before.
This book could be used as a spiritual journal for one on a particular labyrinth path, or for one who goes from place to place, having different labyrinth experiences. There are more of them out there than one might think at first thought - the resources in the back of this book will directly the reader to find various local resources (I discovered using these sites that there are no fewer than a dozen labyrinths within a few hours' drive of my home, more than I would have thought).
Winding through the questions as one winds through the path on the way to the centre is a good experience, and this is a good guide and companion along the way.