October 8th, 2011
10:00 PM ET

My Faith: How walking the labyrinth changed my life

Editor’s note: Sally Quinn is a columnist for The Washington Post and is Editor in Chief of On Faith, an online conversation on religion.

By Sally Quinn, Special to CNN

When I tell people I have a labyrinth and that I walk it regularly, most have no idea what I’m talking about.

They think a labyrinth is a maze, a place you walk into and then have trouble finding your way out.

In fact it is just the opposite. A labyrinth is a place you go to get found.

For many, walking the labyrinth is a religious experience. There are many famous labyrinths in churches, the most famous being the one on the floor of Chartres Cathedral in France, which dates to the 13th century.

Others see it as more spiritual. Some find it a meditation tool or walk it simply for the peace and serenity that come from being alone and contemplating a problem or issue.

For me it is all of those things. It is a sacred space.

I first encountered a labyrinth at a California spa about 15 years ago. I’d never heard of a labyrinth before and, though some at the spa said it had changed people’s lives, I was skeptical.

But I agreed to give it a try. There was a ceremony in the evening, with torches and drums, and about 30 of us there to do the walk.

I loved the ritual but didn’t really get much out of it. Too many people.

Still, there was something that appealed to me. So the next day, I went up to the grove of live oaks on the hill where the labyrinth was situated. There was nobody there.

I paused at the entrance and took in the surroundings. There was a slight breeze whispering though the leaves and the late afternoon sun had warmed the circle.

I began concentrating on my son Quinn, who had severe learning disabilities at the time and was in a special school. What would become of him? We had had a particularly difficult year and I was in despair.

I entered the labyrinth and began to make my way slowly toward the center. Once I got there I sat down and looked straight ahead. My eyes fell on a huge pine tree in front of me that I hadn’t noticed before.

It had beautiful spreading boughs, as though it was embracing the circle of the labyrinth. It was one of the prettiest trees I had ever seen and it was the only pine amid the live oaks.

I suddenly experienced a shocking stroke of clarity. That tree was Quinn.

He was different from all the other trees but he was more beautiful than they were. I began to cry. How could I not have realized this all along?

That moment transformed my whole view of my son and of me, along with my attitude toward his problems. Not only was he beautiful but he could use his differences to his advantage, helping others at the same time.

The following year I had a reservation to go back to the same spa. Quinn was scheduled to have cognitive testing the week before I left. At the last minute, they had to change the date for when I was to be away.

My husband convinced me to go anyway.

The hour of his testing I went up to the labyrinth, found my way to the circle and concentrated on Quinn for the whole time I knew he would be doing tests.

Later, when we went back to the hospital for the results, we were not optimistic. Quinn had performed poorly on most of the earlier tests. But the doctors said he had the highest score of anyone they had ever seen on one of the tests.

“What was that?” I asked. “The maze,” said the doctor.

Since then, Quinn has written a book, “A Different Life,” about growing up with learning disabilities (we now refer to them as learning differences) and has launched a website called friendsofquinn.com for young adults with learning differences and their friends and families.

He is happily married and has a full and successful life.

I’m not sure I can totally attest to the fact that this is because of walking the labyrinth that first day. But I can say this: Because I told him about my experience with the pine and the oaks, he decided to make a life using his problems to help others.

He has completely accepted who he is and his limitations and has a sense of humor about himself and his issues. His motto for the site is “own it.” And he has.

Does all this add up to a religious experience? Call it what you will. All I know is that my life has become much richer by walking the labyrinth.

Mine is modeled after the one at Chartres Cathedral. It is a 50-foot concrete circle on a slope overlooking a river in the country southern Maryland, surrounded by woods.

It has a path carved into it leading to the center, which is where I meditate.

I always begin my labyrinth walk by concentrating on something I need to find an answer to. I walk slowly at first, really trying to lose myself in my thoughts. The slowness is important because it gives me time to focus on whatever the issue is.

Once I get to the center of the circle, I start meditating. Sometimes I just stand and look out at the river. I might stay there for 10 or 15 minutes.

Other times I sit cross-legged for an hour or so. There are times, too, where I lie down in a spread eagle position or in a corpse pose, or chaturanga, and close my eyes.

I’ve stayed in those positions for hours at a time, completely losing myself to the experience

For me, achieving clarity is the most important benefit of walking the labyrinth. It has happened so many times that I now expect it.

I can walk in the woods or on the beach for hours, thinking about a problem and not be able to come up with a solution. Yet I can spend 15 or 20 minutes on the labyrinth and solve everything.

Supposedly the folded path pattern on the labyrinth mimics the pattern of our brains. Whatever it is, it works for me.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Sally Quinn.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Spirituality

soundoff (977 Responses)
  1. Marcia

    Some days your the windshield some days your the bug
    To have an hour to sit and just think is a true luxury that most of us do not have , enjoy your rich life, for me I scrub floors.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Logistics

      Scrubbing floors can be very meditative! You should call Quinn and see if she will hire you to scrub her patio....er.....labyrinth!

      October 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  2. Joshua

    "I walk slowly at first, really trying to lose myself in my thoughts." "’Ive stayed in those positions for hours at a time, completely losing myself to the experience"

    These are the key phrases in this article. God is our only source of wisdom. Rather than stop thinking, He wants us to meditate on His word. Rather than empty our minds, He wants us to fill them with His love and His light. Notice the author wants to "lose herself". Well, you have to ask, when you lose your self, what is replacing it? What are you letting in when you surrender your entire being to whatever may come? What you're doing is letting down your guard and accepting anything that is whispered into your ear. Instead of the sure word of God, you have "whatever comes my way". This is not wisdom, it is foolishness. Only God has the wisdom we need, and if we set our hope on Him, everything else will come our way.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Logistics

      Incorrect. Thinking about God would definately spoil a good meditation session.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure Ms. Quinn is hanging on your every word, Joshua.

      Your beliefs are relevant to you. You have no reason to pretend you know that they are necessary for Ms. Quinn or anyone else.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      A glass 'left' half-full will ever be but half empty while being full of emptiness is the ever deepening chasm upon which all fullness will be captured. Spiritual emptiness is being part of the wholeness of Nothingness, the great void which can never be broken, nor sliced apart, but of Nothingness is always a togetherness no matter how small becomes the determination of material bases.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dick, your babble is even less meaningful than Log's posts.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son
      Sorry to hear your 'thinking cap' is not correctly adjusted properly,,,maybe but a few screws loose though,,, 🙂

      October 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only loose screw here is you, Dick. Your nonsense words and meaningless drivel are nothing more than laughable.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Logistics

      Yeah Dick, even I think your posts are dumb and I am a total git, just ask tom tom. Right on tom tom. You are my hero.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You better throw away your 'think-cap' and buy a newer model,,,, I have one on order just your size and brainyard capability,, 🙂

      October 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm sure you do, Dickie. What is a brainyard? Is that like a barnyard? If so, yours is quite full of manure.

      Oh, wait, that's another one of your nonsense words, isn't it?

      Is English a second language for you?

      October 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      One sees that 'toilet fishermen" may need better hooks, sharper and shinier,,,less cost effective models are but baseless and unproven facsimiles.


      October 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • GOD

      What do you want NOW, Richard? Can't you see I'm busy? Go blow.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  3. Colin

    Dear Christians

    God here.

    First, I do not exist. The concept of a 13,700,00,000 year old being, capable of creating the entire Universe and its billions of galaxies, monitoring simultaneously the thoughts and actions of the 6 billion ho.mo sapiens on this planet, is ph*king ludicrous. Grow a brain.

    Second, if I did, I would have left you a book a little more consistent, timeless and independently verifiable than the collection of Iron Age Middle Eastern mythology you call the Bible.

    Thirdly, when I sent my “son” (whatever that means, given that I am god and do not mate) to Earth, he would have visited the Chinese, Ja.panese, Europeans, Russians, sub-Saharan Africans, Australian Aboriginals, M.ongols, and native Americans, not just a few Jews. He would also have exhibited a knowledge of something outside of the Iron Age Middle East.

    Fourthly, I would not spend my time hiding, refusing to give any tangible evidence of my existence, and then punish those who are smart enough to draw the natural conclusion that I do not exist by burning them forever. That would make no sense to me, given that I am the one who withheld evidence of my existence in the first place.

    Fifth, I would not care who or how you $cr.ew. I really wouldn’t. Your $ex lives would be of no interest to me, given that I can create Universes. Oh, the egos.

    Sixth, I would have smited all creationists and fundamentalists long before this. You ph*kers drive me nuts. You are so small minded and yet you speak with such false authority. Many of you still believe in the talking snake nonsense from Genesis. I would kill you for that alone and burn you for an afternoon (burning forever is way too barbaric for me to even contemplate).

    Seventh, the whole idea of members of one species on one planet surviving their own physical deaths to “be with me” is utter, mind-numbing nonsense. Grow up. You will die. Get over it. I did. Hell, at least you had a life. I never even existed in the first place.

    Finally, I do not read your minds, or “hear your prayers” as you euphemistically call it. There are 6 billion of you. Even if only 10% prayed once a day, that is 600,000,000 prayers. Meanwhile I have to process the 100,000 of you who die every day between heaven and hell. I wouldn’t even have time to sp.ank the monkey.

    Now shut the ph*ck up and let me not exist in peace.


    October 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Nothingness, the perpetual longevities wherein all the materials was made manifested and brought onto many places, Life whose infinity is finitely defined in the upbringing thereof. Behold, there is a GOD and HE is Allness being the Creation, the Everything and the Nothingness, whom HE sent upon Life, a redeemer of sorts to gather together their seeds from their bodies' nothingness voids to be as blueprints upon which a new heaven and a new earth will become,


      October 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More Dicki-babble.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  4. El Duderino (if you're not into the whole brevity thing)

    I get a feeling of serenity running through a maze with an axe yelling, "Danny!" (it's a "The Shining" reference).

    October 9, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  5. jmarm

    Imawriter insults the intelligence of SanJose Mom and all the others who of course know that meditation can take place anywhere including the bathroom. You, I M A Writer are missing the point. The middle class woes are not just about the money but about working so hard that they have time to use the bathroom only for what it is intended.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  6. gina carrol

    Correction..Welcome to Labyrinth Online

    October 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  7. Terry Roberts

    Walk the soup line, lay on a park bench, then write something. This crap and CNN is so irrelevant.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Jax

      Well, until you get published like this and thousands of people read your article (s), you're irrelevant. Open your mind a little and maybe this country wouldn't have nearly as many problems as it does.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:14 pm |
  8. HoS

    So is her son's name Quinn Quinn?

    October 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Logistics

      That is sick.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • CO_Mama

      If you clicked on the link she offered, you'd notice his name is Quinn Bradlee. I'm assuming she named him Quinn because that's her maiden name.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • Read

      Quinn Bradlee is the son of Sally Quinn and Ben Bradlee.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  9. gina carrol

    You can walk a labyrinth online at Labyrinth .com

    October 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Ty Webb

    Be the ball Danny. Just be the ball

    October 9, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  11. Bianca

    There are several public and free labyrinths in our area. One is in a garden behind an art center the other is in the courtyard of a large hospital. Anyone can walk in them and meditate and many do.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
  12. Joe

    What's more important than serving self is serving others. In those moments of dire need, what can be more valuable than a friend (or stranger) giving you a shot of encouragement and support? That's exactly what Christ can do for you. Ignore the skeptics and atheists, their religion is themselves – the true essence of a progressive live is through Jesus Christ because we slowly die to self and live for others. How cool is that? No, not everyone who calls themselves a Christian does that, which is why I don't use the term. A Christ-follower is truly a disciple of dedicating themselves to others. If we had more of that in the world, the world would be a much better place. Go ahead and slam me, I expect it, but I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • Logistics

      You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • David Johnson


      Jesus Speaking:
      16He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

      17And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

      18They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

      Can you do these things? If not, then by the Lord's own words you are not saved.


      October 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Logistics


      "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own – a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. It is enough for me to contemplate the mystery of conscious life perpetuating itself through all eternity, to reflect upon the marvelous structure of the universe which we can dimly perceive and to try humbly to comprehend even an infinitesimal part of the intelligence manifested in Nature."


      October 9, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Christ Jesus is the King of the Gods, His brothers of the Godly. The spiritual labyrinths of soul-bound-up people' needs, are in perpetual knowledge bases steadfastly becoming the spiraling stands of psychic surmount-abilities.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Logistics

      I am pretty sure Jesus (and Elvis for that matter) is dead. Unless you are talking about the dude who mows my lawn(?)

      October 9, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser


      What, Logistics do you truly know about death and the deadening traits of Nothingness Assimilation? Where are your foundations found regarding the re-affirming upon Nothingness' wholesomeness?


      October 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm |
    • Logistics

      Dicky, I ain't got much fer smarts, but yer bibble bible babble jist ain't a makin' no sense no how.

      I am an agnostic (flavor=temporal). Your religion is fantasy. Even a tiny bit of research reveals that there is no foundation for Christianity. Speak in English and mabye we can have an intelligent conversation. I will need to get permission from tom tom fiirst of course.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser


      Sorry to read Logistics that your Intellgence Quotient lacks a stable and firm foundation from which to depart from and then land forthrightly upon. So sad So sad,,, 🙁

      October 9, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "from which to depart from"? What a boob you are, Dick.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  13. Benzin

    Uggh. I may offend people, but you need to toughen up if you need to walk around in a maze to deal with life.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:12 pm |
    • Logistics

      Need something to spend her money on and brag about.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • maxine

      no I thought the same thing.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder, Benzin, what has life dealt you? How do you cope with the slings and arrows?

      Prayer? Booze?

      October 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Tamal Guha

      It is a bliss that she could discover clarity, aim, life's very core things. This helped her focus and not get diverted by depression, sadness and live life appreciating it without complaining, which most of us are not capable of. Hats off to you.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think it's hilarious the amount of energy those like Logistics and Benzin are expending castigating Ms. Quinn for spending money she and her husband earned to build or buy something they wanted and enjoy.

      Guess you don't ever buy yourself new clothes or cars, or remodel your house or put in landscaping. That would of course be simply bragging about your income, wouldn't it?

      What, you walk around in sackcloth and ashes?

      October 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
    • CO_Mama

      I don't think you understand. It's not like she couldn't deal with life. But allowing herself the time to think and just "be," she found some strength to view things differently. There is a reason that people have been walking Labryinths for thousands of years. Maybe you should check it out before you judge.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Logistics

      @dumb dumb, er...tom tom
      I just run around naked myself. Love the breeze. Be sure to check my spelling now, ok?

      October 9, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I am, brilliant one. You are 15, aren't you? It's "definitely", bonehead.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I must have really bruised your little ego, Log. I feel just terrible about that.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
    • Logistics

      @tom tom
      I wish I could reply, but I look to you for everything now. I would have said. No self, no ego, total emptiness. The way of the Samurai. You seem a little fixated on 15 pervy! Alas I am far older, sorry. Don't forget to proof-read my post! You know how important spelling and grammar is (are? Crap!) on these blogs.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not to worry, moron. As long as you post your pompous pronouncements about definitions while unable to write beyond an eighth-grade level, I'll be sure to observe, pass judgment and ridicule.

      I'm an equal opportunity basher.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  14. Logistics

    Definition of LABYRINTH
    1a : a place constructed of or full of intricate passageways and blind alleys b : a maze (as in a garden) formed by paths separated by high hedges
    2: something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement, or character : intricacy, perplexity
    3: a tortuous anatomical structure; especially : the internal ear or its bony or membranous part

    October 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • MEME

      Are you angry her "labrynth" doesn't suit the real definition? If so, three words to you: Get-a-life.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Amber

      you proved that what she has IS a labyrinth. "something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement, or character : intricacy, perplexity." Not all labyrinths are hedge mazes or stone structures full of goblins and glitter.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Logistics

      Did I say her's wasn't a Labyrinth?

      October 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Logistics

      If not, sorry I meant to. Her's is not a labyrinth. What she has their is an expensive patio she can brag about.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Umm, yeah, I'll be sure to give your opinion all the consideration it deserves-when you figure out how to use apostrophes and understand the differences between "their", "there", and "they're".

      October 9, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Logistics

      Reallly? You are unhappy with my typing? Boy, guess I better proof-read better so I don't upset you further! Spelling and grammar is SO important and these riduculous blogs!

      October 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yes, I figured I would get an excuse numbskulls always use when they know nothing. "It was a typo." Sure it was. That's why you've made the same error more than once.

      You sound like you're about 15.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And it's "spelling and grammar ARE", stupid git.

      If you're going to attempt to state that you know better than Ms. Quinn and numerous other better-educated and more intelligent posters about the issue of whether it's a labyrinth or not, then learn to write like something other than a bozo. You can't even figure out how the labyrinth in the story meets the very definition you posted.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Logistics

      @tom tom
      You are so wonderful. Smart. Educated. You have an outstanding vocabulary and never misspell a word. You are, in short, my hero. I hereby look to you for any and all wisdom. My limited intelligence probably does not allow me to truly appreciate your magnificence, but even a stupid git like me can see when he is out-classed. All I can say is thank you. Thank you for bringing my own inferior intellect and education to my attention. Now I can tell my family and friends not to ask me with help with homework, advice or, God forbid, directions. I feel a new breeze is blowing my way, and it is not just because I am naked. Bless you tom tom. Bless you and may life always reward you for your superiority. Please proof read this for me. I know how you love it. Your pal, whatever I am calling myself today.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow, I must have REALLY hit a nerve. Poor little Log.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • Logistics

      @tom tom
      Don't be ashamed of being worshipped. It was inevitable. One with your intelligence and level of perfection can not hide! Bless you and may the Sun always shine upon your face. I am humbled to be able to correspond with you like this. I am surprised you would allow it as I am so far beneath you oh great one. Thank you for throwing a poor old naked git like me a bone (no pun intended, and I am NOT 15 pervy) Bless you.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, you're quite welcome. Always happy to have some muttonhead around to be my pinata. Do keep on, honey. I like having you follow my every post.

      Have you figured out what a labyrinth is yet? How are you coming along on those possessives and plurals? Keep trying. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

      Oh, and watch out for shrinkage, Log. It's getting to be a chillier time of year for nudists to parade their stuff.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Amber

      If you are going to complain, you can at least do it with proper grammar. Who cares if it is a blog or not? You should always check your writing to make sure people can read it properly. It causes your argument to lose emphasis and strength when people have to decode your meaning because of the misuse of language and misspelling. In short, you lose credibility.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I agree, Amber. Someone who tries to use a dictionary definition to make a point, but can't be bothered to use punctuation or grammar correctly is hardly credible.

      Log is just being Log. He/she posts under other monikers but is pretty recognizable.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Edit: I should not have used a comma in that last sentence.

      October 9, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  15. Donna S.

    It amazes me how some people can spew out the most negative comments about EVERYTHING. I pity them....they must be miserable. If your brain is wired to post a negative comment about such a positive experience for someone else, then you have to be living a sad and depressed life. I say, good for this woman...because she has found peace. It doesn't matter if it's the labryinth or whatever, she is happy and finds solutions to her problems. It's just so sad that we can't rejoice and be glad for a fellow human being who finds peace and clarity in her life. I applaud you and your son, Sally Quinn!!

    October 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • Benzin

      Instead of spending money on a "labyrinth" that barely meets the original definition, she could have started taking regular hikes at the local forest preserve.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Amber

      Benzin...it does meet the definition of a labyrinth...it isn't a Hedge Maze labyrinth. That is different. "something extremely complex or tortuous in structure, arrangement, or character : intricacy, perplexity" is the same as what she has. (Hence the intricacy, perplexity, complex arrangement/structure) It is also called a Mandala, and it DOES reflect the numerous intricate pathways of the brain. Seriously, that was just what I learned in college through literature classes. Even if you were to GOOGLE it you would find that out. Don't judge something you haven't experienced yourself. If you don't want to, that is your choice, but don't perpetuate an idea that is based in conjecture.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • Logistics

      Looks like and expensive patio to me.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Benzin's just P.O.d because he/she can't afford to build one.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
    • Amber

      It is an not and.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  16. John Lundin

    Beautiful article...thank you for sharing your reflection and meditation. The Labyrinth is also a Mandala, or if you prefer, the Mandala is also a Labyrinth. By either name, they each can be a doorway into the soul and a road map for the spiritual journey.
    -Rev. John Lundin, author of THE NEW MANDALA – Eastern Wisdom for Western Living, written in collaboration with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

    October 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I hadn't thought of the parallels between the two.

      I wonder how many of those who are religious and are objecting to Quinn's description of her meditation in the labyrinth find nothing wrong with the rituals of the church: rosaries, communion, the order of worship, the chanting and singing.

      I'm sure I'll get a bunch of noise about "worship" being the difference, but I'll bet there are many who find the rituals calming and comforting even without a connection to belief.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
  17. sanjosemom

    While I'm truly happy for Mrs. Quinn and as a mother, understand her love and concern for her son, I can't help but wonder who CNN thinks it's readership is. As a full time working mother who works from paycheck to paycheck, I can't relate to someone who goes to a "spa" every year and has enough resources to build their own personal labyrinth. I get that it's a great meditation tool, but it's not likely anything I'd ever be able to pursue. In fact, I don't think I know anyone else who could either - especially in this economy. What's the point of this story? If Ms. Quinn is truly interested in helping others with this technique, maybe she could use her considerable resources to build a public labyrinth so that other's can experience clarity as well.

    October 9, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • imawriter

      You are missing the point. The point isn't the LABRYINTH. The point is the RESULT of the labryinth!!! The fact that she is meditating (which anyone can do – even you, without "resources"). You can go into your labryinth (the BATHROOM) and meditate. It is focusining on your issues (in your case – the lack of $$), then meditating on them for a time. You might find clarity too. You might come up with a solution to how to make more money, or better use what you have. It's not how much you make, it's what you do with what you do make. Don't hate on Mrs. Quinn for having the resources to build a labryinth. Get up and do something for yourself – she did.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm |
    • Howie76

      Imawriter, you have no clue of what reality is.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • sanjosemom

      Actually my point was ...know your audience. As a a writer - I'm surprised you didn't get that right away - her focus wasn't on meditation, it was about this labyrinth that she was so fond of, so much so -that she built one for herself- in her backyard. Many of her readers are just not going to relate, and if you peruse the comments, you'll see that right away. If meditation was truly the magic here, then why go through the time and expense...why didn't she just go into her bathroom? While understand what you are saying, my point is she's delivering the message in a way that may not be well received by many.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
  18. Logistics

    Isn't that what the mall is for?

    October 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • phoodphite

      I know... talk to me about a labyrinth with a food court, and then I'll give this labyrinth thing another look.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Logistics

      A food court and and a VS

      October 9, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  19. SCAtheist

    "Supposedly the folded path pattern on the labyrinth mimics the pattern of our brains"

    Who made that BS up? Answer: somebody who could profit from it.

    October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who "profits" from a labyrinth? Do you really think people are having them installed at a rate that would provide a living for the designers and builders?

      Get a grip. I'm not a great believer in the power of any such thing, but I'm not nearly as bothered by the small amount of money spent for such a thing as I am by the enormous amounts spent to build megachurches with million-dollar light and sound systems.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
    • Benzin

      It doesn't matter if someone profits or not Tom, it's still BS and perpetuating it is stupid.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
    • non-smoker

      I will pray for you to the God you don't even know exists. He loves you and you're too blind to see and recognize it – but one day you will. I just hope it's before you die – because you know you will die. And you won't just be dead – your body will, but your spirit won't be. Where will you be....smoking or non-smoking. I'll be in the non-smoking section. Hope to see you there!

      October 9, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's no more BS than your belief that god made a man out of dirt, a woman from a rib, is three beings in one, got a virgin pregnant, or anything else, dufus.

      How is anything being "perpetuated" here?

      What a moronic statement.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  20. bystander

    Wish I had one. Even if I seldom used it, it would be beautiful for people to look at. I am happy this mother finds solace and clarity in her labyrinth. Most of us do not have the money for one, it's true, but we can perhaps find one to walk every now and then.

    October 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • Edwin

      Extending the metaphor, though, you can find the clarity in many other places: a country trail, the roof of an apartment building at sunset, the shore of a lake or pond teeming with wildlife. Labyrinths are cool, but the spiritual benefit can come from lots of other sources than a physical maze.

      October 9, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • CJEH

      You don't need your own. There are public ones located all over the world. Slap "labyrinth locator" into Google.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • peacemaker

      @Edwin...great examples of other places to find solace. The labryinth is just one place – and gladly, it works for Mrs. Quinn!!

      October 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Quite so. What I don't get is the outcry from both atheists and religious folks. What is your problem? Ms. Quinn isn't attempting to tell anyone else what to do with his/her life. She isn't demanding that everyone believe in the power of the labyrinth to cure illness or create world peace, and damning them to hell if they don't agree.

      Sheesh. What a bunch of nuts.

      October 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.