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Archive for Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Couple create meditative labyrinth on property west of Lawrence

July 25, 2012

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Local resident creates a labyrinth

David Bartholomew talks about a labyrinth he has created on his property along with his wife Joan Clark. The couple hope that visitors to the site will use the labyrinth for various purposes including as a place of meditation. Enlarge video

David Bartholomew is pictured before a labyrinth created he created with his wife, Joan Clark, at 1661 E. 400 Road, west of Lawrence. Bartholomew hopes the labyrinth will be used as a place of meditation.

David Bartholomew is pictured before a labyrinth created he created with his wife, Joan Clark, at 1661 E. 400 Road, west of Lawrence. Bartholomew hopes the labyrinth will be used as a place of meditation.

If you go

The LunaBella Labyrinth is at 1661 E. 400 Road, west of Lawrence, and is open from sunrise to 8 p.m. weekdays and from sunrise to 5 p.m. on weekends. At-will donations are accepted.

Owners advise that bees are kept in the area.

Various objects rest on a stone in the center of the LunaBella Labyrinth. Bartholomew explained that often, a visitor will bring an item, such as a stone, with them as they walk a labyrinth and lay it in the center to symbolize anything they are willing to let go of.

Various objects rest on a stone in the center of the LunaBella Labyrinth. Bartholomew explained that often, a visitor will bring an item, such as a stone, with them as they walk a labyrinth and lay it in the center to symbolize anything they are willing to let go of.

It’s an installation art piece, a portion of stewarded land, a sacred space for reflection and meditation. Call it what you like, but more than anything, its creator says, it’s a metaphor for life: Put one foot in front of the other, accept that there will be twists and turns, and you’ll eventually get to where you’re going.

David Bartholomew built what he calls the LunaBella Labyrinth on his land, about 10 minutes west of Lawrence in Kanwaka, in May. Since then, he says, about 100 people have come through to pray, open themselves up to spiritual growth, or just enjoy three-eighths of a mile of exercise.

The labyrinth is mowed out of prairie grass, and it joins another feature outside his house: a cutout of his wife’s name, Joan, that’s visible in Google Earth. The circular labyrinth — it’s in the form of what’s called an 11th circuit or Chartres design — is meant to be a gift to more than just his wife.

“It comes from a place of wanting to show gratitude for what we have,” he said. “Of wanting to give people a space for a prayer walk, a sanctuary that’s welcome and safe.”

Bartholomew, a stunts and lights coordinator in the film industry, cuts a path as wide as his push mower and maintains it with weeding that he says is also like a physical-made-spiritual process. The path isn’t a maze, meant to trip up the walker in false starts and a competitive reach for a destination, but rather a journey. For the walker, it’s a few quiet moments that can be spent to get clarity or peace.

“A person has taken an action of power to come here and open up to the universe,” he said. “It can be subtle or profound — maybe so subtle you don’t realize it for some time — but it works to create an opportunity to listen and grow.”

It’s meant to be an ecumenical experience, and Bartholomew is open to all beliefs. He’s adopted a mantra of a favorite space in Los Angeles, where he lived before and after living here in the Midwest: Honor the wisdom of all traditions. He’s been around spiritual centers of all stripes in Lawrence to spread the word of his space.

Joan Clark, an aromatherapist who lives on the land with Bartholomew, their two dogs and two cats, says that they generally ask visitors not to disturb them in their house, but often walkers just want to share a bit of gratitude or a moving experience.

“People say after they’ve walked it that they have a sense of coming home to themselves,” she said.

The labyrinth experience is about moving forward with mindfulness — letting go of weights and stresses on the way to the middle and then on the way back out, receiving calm, spiritual guidance or whatever the walker’s looking for.

“That’s what it’s about — you get anything you want from it, but it’s about letting go,” she said. “People say, ‘Wow, I felt so peaceful now. How do I keep feeling that?’”

The walk through the labyrinth, it seems, may just as easily cause an epiphany or a few moments’ enjoyment in nature and the sun. Regardless, you can take the time to put one foot in front of the other and, if nothing else, find a little peace.

Google Map

View of "Joan"


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Comments

lunalight 1 year, 8 months ago

I am excited to visit the Labyrinth. This couple has shared their time, energy and land to provide a service to the community. Meditation has proven to have many health benefits including lowering blood pressure, improving mental ability and focus, increased energy and improved sleep. read more here http://www.ineedmotivation.com/blog/2008/05/100-benefits-of-meditation/ Thank you for posting this article and reporting the good people are doing for the world. They could have just kept this part of their land to themselves, but they decided to share the beauty and benefits with others. Here, here to the Bartholomews and all the people who are creating positive change on the planet!!

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Lulu 1 year, 8 months ago

This is the most wonderful of joyous ideas. Is it permissible to reflect in the nude walking my walk and is it pet friendly?

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

"This is a nice addition to Lawrence..."

"in this weather, if it wasn't small hedges, it would be all brown, so it's not just grass."

=============================

Anyone that actually bothered to read the article knows that

  1. It's not in Lawrence

  2. it is grass not hedges.

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Lawrence Morgan 1 year, 8 months ago

I am astounded at the callous remarks that are made on this website. Obviously people have never experienced meditation or the quiet space that comes from this type of experience.

Some people have really got problems, and they will use any means possible - the website of the Journal-World, for example - to spread them.

This is a quiet space, created by people with their own time and energy. Please, let's respect this.

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grandpabear 1 year, 8 months ago

I second that whole-heartedly.

One of the greatest things about free speech-- a fool will reveal himself for what he is ever so quickly.

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transplantedkansan 1 year, 8 months ago

This is a nice addition to Lawrence and a kind gesture. Thankfully there have been people of like mind to offset the webisites who have posted the hurtful, mean-spirited, factually incorrect comments and failed attempts at sarcasm or humor. The webpage clearly states this is free to walk. Wishing that some people would get a life and contribute something a fraction as valuable and appreciated as this artwork. Be part of the solution instead of the problem.

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consumer1 1 year, 8 months ago

All excellent points toe. "what if" i fall out of my wheel chair on this property, while trying to navigate to nirvana?

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heyheymama 1 year, 8 months ago

I wonder what IS the cost, i heard its pretty pricey...

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toe 1 year, 8 months ago

Sounds like they are operating a business. I hope their property is zoned for it and they have a permit. If it is free to use, then the fair market value of the gift is taxable income. I hope there are no pesticides and it is handicap accessible. Is there restrooms nearby and are they accessible? Is their adequate parking? Do they carry adequate liability insurance?

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Scut Farkus 1 year, 8 months ago

I like it. You have to be pretty mean-spirited to complain about something that is as innocuous as this.

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stephenj 1 year, 8 months ago

Jeez some of you people are unbelievably petty and hateful. Get over yourselves!

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consumer1 1 year, 8 months ago

I've heard they issue inscence and finger tamberines upon entering. Mmmmm ahhhh Gu gu kachu. Personal peace does nothing to do w/ones ohysical enviornment, but rather a state of mind and body. Just more bell's and whistle's.

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epa422 1 year, 8 months ago

From Wikipedia: In colloquial English, labyrinth is generally synonymous with maze, but many contemporary scholars observe a distinction between the two: maze refers to a complex branching (multicursal) puzzle with choices of path and direction; while a single-path (unicursal) labyrinth has only a single, non-branching path, which leads to the center. A labyrinth in this sense has an unambiguous route to the center and back and is not designed to be difficult to navigate.[2]

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classclown 1 year, 8 months ago

Except that it's not even a labyrinth. First of all, you can see the entire layout instead of being walled in.

Secondly, there is this part from the article. "The path isn’t a maze, meant to trip up the walker in false starts and a competitive reach for a destination, but rather a journey" .

Not even laid out like a maze? So you basically start at one end and walk continuously with no dead ends or interruptions until you reach the end. This is really nothing more than a hippie version of a crop circle. Probably a second form of grass necessary to go along with the prairie grass to get that spiritual moment.

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bumblebee4 1 year, 8 months ago

Thank you, LJWorld, for publicizing this and for the thoughtful way you explain labyrinths. Thanks also to David and Joan--what a wonderful service to the community. Walking labyrinths has been incredibly comforting to my partner and me after losing our daughter. We hope to visit this one soon.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 8 months ago

That's a really challenging labyrinth. You could just step over the walls. If I mow a neat pattern in my yard will the LJW come do a story?

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consumer1 1 year, 8 months ago

will there be any sacraficial killings or bleeding ? Do you have to dress as a pagan witch doctor to go there?

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