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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. kimsland

    You know if you film yourself walking the labyrinth, then play it back in fast motion, you may be able to see the humor that others (with normal brain function levels) see you.
    Wondering were you a Benny Hill fan years ago? Ideally put that music on the video too, then send it to youtube, it will be the most funniest thing ever.
    You're missing out lady.

    October 9, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "the most funniest"? You're as dumb as Dickie.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I retract that. You're dumb. Dickie's just a troll.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
  2. Mr Chihuahua

    Im not sure but I think this lady takes a lot of Zoloft lol!

    October 9, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  3. b4bigbang

    @Reality not a stranger to me: Religion = Psychosis. The trademark of psychosis is that the individual that is so affected cannot distinguish between reality and the disturbed world that they have created for themselves. This...*
    Cite source?*

    October 9, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  4. Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

    It's hilarious to watch the Christian thumpers screech about this article, calling it BS, "New Age nonsense", mumbo-jumbo, etc., etc., yet they seem to find no irony in the fact that they believe Jonah was swallowed by a whale, that Moses parted the waters, that a flood wiped out all of humanity except for Noah, and that Eve jumped out of Adam's thorax.

    Really, you are such a sideshow, you mindless ninnies.

    October 9, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • antleryvr

      Especially given that the original of this particular Labyrinth is in Chartres Cathedral in France, and it's about a thousand years old. I wish evangelical American Christians actually knew more about their own religion's history...

      October 9, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I wish they knew something about ... anything. It'd be a start!

      October 9, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wouldn't it, though? Really, reading some of these comments is cause for despair.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  5. Jane

    I like labyrinths and all... Anyone else think those glasses are hideous though?

    October 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  6. antleryvr

    Nice article!

    I help run a Labyrinth at an Anglican church in Vancouver, Canada. Our walkers run the gamut: Christians, Pagans, Buddhists, Jews, Muslims, atheists, and others. In addition to being open almost every day for at least an hour, we host events for Earth Day, All Souls (November 2, kind of like the Day of the Dead), and New Year's Eve, as well as live music on the last Friday of every month. When I teach introductions to the Labyrinth, I make clear that it's not about a particular religion (or any religion at all, necessarily). If walking the Labyrinth simply means you shut up, turn off your cell phone, and slow down for half an hour or forty-five minutes, then hey, your life and the world are already the better for it. Never mind the diverse community we're building there....

    https://www.facebook.com/stpaulslabyrinth
    http://stpaulsanglican.bc.ca/worship/the-labyrinth-what-is-it

    October 9, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Johnnola

      It's the truth, it a beautiful place..:)

      October 9, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @antleryvr

      Good to read that you seem to be more interested in everyone's self-introspection, and finding their own path, than pushing 'your'

      brand or version of christianity on them.

      Am I reading you right...?

      Peace...

      October 9, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
    • antleryvr

      @Peace2All:

      You got it, right on the nose. Yay for diversity, yay for humility, yay for contemplation!

      October 9, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  7. andy

    its all in her head.

    October 9, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Name*Chedar

      Exactly. It's called walking meditation. You develop clear mind and eventually enlightenment if you keep it up. It's all in the mind.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • phoodphite

      Well i guess everything is in our heads in one way or another, right? Including my initial thoughts on this:

      "I walked a labyrinth, and I got dizzy.
      I kissed a Labrador, and I like it."

      October 9, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @name*chedar

      A (kind of) 'solipsistic' notion you are proposing. I like it.

      Regards,

      Peace...

      October 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  8. Justsayin'

    And people find Christianity odd?

    October 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Calvin

      A labyrinth is not necessarily Christian. Just saying.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  9. *frank*

    Is it wrong of me to hope she gets lost in her labyrinth in a blizzard and her gardener finds her the next day frozen stiff like Jack in The Shining?

    October 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
    • Jab

      Yes, it is wrong.

      October 9, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • *frank*

      Ok, I'm sorry.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
  10. Pbsat

    Labyrinth has it's roots in ancient Greek mythology and mysticism. Labyrinth (Greek λαβύρινθος labyrinthos, place of the double-axe, i.e. the building complex at Knossos) was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, a mythical creature that was half man and half bull and was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus (source: Wikipedia)

    October 9, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      The Theology of Old Grecian Theologians is mystifying,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,,, 🙂

      October 9, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not as mystifying as your labyrinthine prose.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Minotaurist

      Ok, man. YOU can call the Minotaur "mythical" all you want. But if you don't accept the Minotaur as your personal savior, well, pack a lot of bottled water for your eternal stay in Hades!!!

      Ok, is this where I show my love by laughing about people in eternal agony?

      Anyway, the Minotaur is the one who created the Big Bang. How he did it is a mystery. Ok, it's not so much a mystery as something we Minotaurists prefer not to discuss. But it's true. Science proves it. HOW does science prove it, you ask? Well, that's actually a real mystery. But we're working on it and WE KNOW WE ARE RIGHT!!!

      October 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
  11. amulbunny

    The church that I attend in Torrance CA has a 16 circuit labyrinth based on Chartres. There is also an outside one that is open to the public as is the inside one. It has been a great source of comfort for me and many others.

    October 9, 2011 at 5:36 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @amulbunny

      What is the name of the church you attend in Torrance...?

      Peace...

      October 9, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Absinthe in My Labyrinth

      Going out on a limb here, but I'm guessing it's NOT "Harriet" ...

      October 9, 2011 at 8:07 pm |
  12. Hondo

    I have a labyrinth too. It has 18 segments, each one starting with a tee box and ending with a hole in the middle of a green. I walk it alone, I walk it with friends, I walk it with strangers. Mind altering beverages optional ...

    October 9, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
    • Lee

      You're a hoot! Thanks for the Sunday giggle...

      October 9, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Murph

    Thanks for this enjoyable article and the time you took to share your experience.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
  14. Logistics

    @tom tom
    Hey, it has been fun but gotta go watch some football. You are alright, I was just playing. You are funny. Thanks for the "bashing". Late.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  15. tdk356

    It's apparent when some "find themselves" they become self absorbed.

    October 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Justsayin'

      Exactally. Selfless service to others is where we find our true selves. Walking in a circle...I don't know.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • andy

      yep. its like trying to center yourself without being self-centered

      October 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There are many cloistered orders of nuns and monks who do nothing but pray. Do you think they're self-centered?

      October 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  16. vintage274

    You can accomplish the same thing by taking a solitary and purposeful walk. It's not the labyrinth that changes anything. The labyrinth is simply a focus tool that helps one concentrate. It's the mindfulness that accomplishes the change, and mindfulness can happen ANYWHERE if one seeks it. I'm not disparaging Ms. Quinn's use of the labyrinth. But the labyrinth did not change her; she changed herself.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • Logistics

      @vintage
      Ding Ding Ding! You win! Finally someone has come to the point. It IS mindfulness. My point all along is that the "Labyrinth" is a status symbol only. It is a glorified patio and this CNN story is nonsense. Thank you vintage.

      tom tom please proofread my work your holiness, if you deem me worthy.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You seem to be improving, Log. Keep up the good work!

      October 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
    • Kathy

      What ever the tool used to achieve comfort or mindfulness is fine with me. Different strokes for different folks people.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Although your grammar and use of punctuation have improved, Log, you still have no point. You cannot know the reasons people do things and pretending you are able to read Ms. Quinn's mind makes you look ridiculous.

      If she chooses to believe something that is harmless to anyone and decides to write about her personal experience, so what?

      I'd prefer to read about her labyrinth rather than another TV preacher making millions from selling snake oil.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:57 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      revelries, noisy celebrating
      Of , affected by action
      Wanton, random
      Deniability, able to be plausibly denied

      October 9, 2011 at 7:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      None of your definitions of individual words makes the meaning of your use of them in a phrase any clearer, Dickie-doo. Try again. I'm not asking for definitions of the words, dumbazz, but the meaning of the phrase.

      Get to it, lamebrain.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And there it is: proof positive that you're nothing more than a ball-less little fake who just posts drivel and then exhibits the pretentiousness of the troll.

      Thanks for proving my case, Dickwitless.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:06 pm |
  17. Dave

    Atheists, try a little spirituality, it's a part of life.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Says who?

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

      Yeah, says who...huh? Well?

      October 9, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's a deep subject.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dave, try a little reality. It's a part of life.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Gabe S

      Who says atheists can't accept the benefits of meditation?

      Buddhism isn't a deistic religion in the same vein as Christianity or Islam, but one of its basic practices is meditation.

      Meditation can be a useful tool in helping your mind come to grips with anything you want it to, whether that's your place in the world, atomic theory, dogmatic thought, or just accidentally experiencing ego death.

      There's nothing about atheism that says there's no benefit to meditation, and there's no reason that because labyrinths are found around cathedrals they're any more useful a tool for meditation than a labyrinth anywhere else.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Dave,,,,,, ,,,,,, ,,,

      Atheists Dave, are but spiritual misfits alive with the revelries of wanton deniability,,, 🙁

      October 9, 2011 at 5:21 pm |
    • Mary

      Says everybody, Tom Tom...including the most respected and knowledgeable experts in human development, sociology, and psychology. Spirituality (not religion, necessarily) is an important aspect of humanity.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      THen you should be able to cite said experts. Just because some people think it's part of life doesn't make it so.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mary, you're full of it. Atheism doesn't exclude the introspection that Quinn is talking about, and such self-examination has nothing to do with "spirituality", whatever the h&ll you think that means, lady.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dickie, define "revelries of wanton deniability". Go on, I dare you to try.

      You never can rise to these challenges. You just spew out more gibberish and expect others to stand in awe of your gigantic intellect. As if.

      You're a fraud.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      revelries= noisy celebrating
      Of= affected by action
      Wanton= random
      Deniability= able to be plausibly denied

      October 9, 2011 at 7:48 pm |
    • John Richardson

      @Richard 'wanton' is not a synonym for 'random' and your definition of 'of' is, um, bizarre.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You fail, Dickie-doo. I asked for the definition of the phrase, not of its individual components. Now stop your stalling, you snake-oil salesman. What is meant by the phrase "revelries of wanton deniability"? And John is absolutely right about your ridiculous definitions of "of" and "wanton".

      Do you possess a dictionary, nitwit? Or are you unable to read?

      October 9, 2011 at 8:29 pm |
    • Dave

      Says Western Civilization. Where were you raised, China? Stop rebelling and have some tradition, some faith.
      It's all a part of our culture. What are you, a boneheaded Liberal who's waiting for scientific proof? It's called
      faith, spirituality...have a little!!

      October 9, 2011 at 8:36 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      John Richardson

      Then, I guess my comp dictionary is to blame,,,,,,, 🙁

      October 9, 2011 at 8:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dave, you're as full of it as Mary. You don't even know what "spirituality" is, or you'd have a clue as to how to argue your point.

      Furthermore, there's nothing necessarily 'spiritual' about walking a labyrinth, dimwit.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommy my dear lad, what is this with your 'inabilities' to understand a simple statement? One of you caliber and verbose cunning should be able to easily understand such wordage,,,, ya would think so,,,,

      "Atheists are but spiritual misfits alive with the revelries of wanton deniability."

      Can you Tommy dear be so dumb to not understand? Why so are you having a hard time to come to terms with my statement? Why? Why? So sad so sad,,, 🙁

      October 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      People like Dave and Mary are a hoot. They think atheists don't actually examine their own lives, thoughts, and beliefs, when the real truth is that it's the Daves and Marys who never think past labels and dogma.

      Really, dears, you're very funny, but not terribly bright.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Because, Dickie dumbazz, your words are nonsensical and your prose is garbage. There's not a thing wrong with my reading comprehension and you know it, you lying little sack of hypocrisy. You're a troll and a fraud who thinks you can string together a slew of manufactured verbiage and pretend you're an intellectual powerhouse, when in reality, you're a dolt who couldn't manage to write a coherent sentence if your life depended on it.

      Stop your posturing, you little dweeb.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And still, Dickie the Dolt, you have failed to rise to the challenge. If you are unable to translate your gibberish into anything resembling standard English, you prove my point. You're a troll, and nothing more. You have nothing to say worth noting and you are nothing but a fake.

      October 9, 2011 at 8:55 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommie the namecaller,,,,,,?

      What was it Tommie that calls one to name-calling and label one a troll? Your 'wantoness' or unruly actions of self-deprecating wordage violates one's dignity,,,, So sad,, so sad,,, 🙁

      October 9, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dickiedong, your witless morosity and dimbulbedness confoundate the bimbulatious of the cosmosatoms. Forthwith, forestall your obfuscations and admit you are but a butt-hole.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommie the namecaller,,,,

      Why can't you really understand this, "Atheists are but spiritual misfits alive with the revelries of wanton deniability."? Was my calling Atheists' spiritual misfits a point of concern to you Tommie? One of your proverbial wisdom phonemics should be able to undserstand a truth-filled amalgamation of sublime pleasantries, yes?

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

      Knock it off, fartsmeller.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're a jackazz, Dickbutt. Your posts are nothing but dreck.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommie Tom Tommie is a namecalling son,
      went tp piggly wiggly away he did run.
      Once there Tom Tommie did ramble some,
      But in the end all he wanted was some gum.

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

      I see you continue to prove yourself a troll, Dickless. Why is it you can't manage to translate your gibberish into standard English? Did you drop out of high school or did they expel you for idiocy?

      When are you going to stop your pretentious blathering and meet my challenge?

      Never? Yeah, that's what I thought. Weak t8t.

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

      How old are you, Dickless? I'd guess you're about 19 and have a bad case of acne. You're likely overweight, well into the 'obese' category and you probably still live with your mother.

      Tell her I said 'hi'.

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

      Tommie Tom Tommie is a name-calling son,
      went tp Piggly Wiggly away he did run.
      Once there Tom Tommie did ramble some,
      But in the end all he wanted was something to gum.

      Chew Tommie Tom Tom upon your childish gum.
      Quit complaining to be ever so dumb.
      Piggly Wiggly will always be there don’t ya just know?
      Tommie Tom Tommie just go and do blow!

      October 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're from the South, aren't you, Dickless? I can tell. Probably from North Carolina–first in our hearts and last in everything else.

      When are you going to get around to proving me incorrect, dearie? Or is Mommy making you do the dishes again?

      October 9, 2011 at 9:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Whatsamatter, Dickless? Can't manage to come up with anything "plausibly deniable"? I do believe I've hit the nail on the head. You're a high school dropout who lives in his parents' basement.

      I knew it.

      I feel really bad for you, honey. Better luck in Heaven.

      October 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommie Tom Tommie the janitorial piper's son,

      Dearest Tommie Tom Tommie, my parents are dead.
      I pray tell hope yours are still alive for your sake.

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

      Lucky them. They don't have to see what a loser their kid turned out to be.

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

      Gee, Dickless, got no answer? Explain your statement. Can't, can you? I rest my case. You're a fraud. A phony. A troll. You know nothing about religion, faith, or anything else. Nor do you have any interest in discussing anything. You're just here wasting your life.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:00 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      Tommie Tom Tom,,,,,

      Atheists are but spiritual misfits alive with the revelries of wanton deniability.

      Point proven,
      Game
      Set
      And Match

      October 9, 2011 at 10:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, so you think repeating your idiotic drivel is a "win". Well, good. No one else is fooled. Unless he/she is as much of a fraud as you are.

      You don't get many dates, do you, honey? It's not surprising.

      Good luck finding anyone who buys your schtick, dearie. You are nothing more than a hairball in the fabric of life.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What's the kicker is this: I'm not an atheist. Never claimed to be one.

      Game.

      Set.

      Match.

      You lose, as usual, fraud.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm |
    • GOD

      Richard, stop playing with yourself. The effect of your self-abuse on your posts is devastating and it embarrasses me. Find a girlfriend.

      October 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Richard S Kaiser

      The skies a dim blue like the eyes of my Love.
      The spirit does beckon on the wings of a dove.
      Light years beyond the travailing winds' yawning,
      Harbors the safety on which comes the dawning.
      GOD is the allness and HIS Spirit is calling us all.
      Now is the Time to ever remember His fall.

      Together we all do await in secondly concerns,
      The Holiest Spirit brings flight and duly it burns.
      Distance one measures the will of His ways,
      Craving the depths of jealousy's days,
      Live and do Love all that bemoans their uneven weights,
      Pray for those lost that considers their fates.

      Kindness sequesters and keeps itself clean,
      Forgive me dear Lord my words that seem mean.
      I just jest with the rest who belittle of the malcontent
      My raiments are but clothes that the Lord made rent.
      Love them GOD and bring them your Son,
      Who bought us all, our spirits He won.

      October 9, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I give it a -10. It has no beat and you can't dance to it.

      You can always spot a crummy "poet". He has to insert "does" and "do" to make the meter work. And you're even worse than most of the lousy ones, Dickie. You can't even get the meter right when you do that.

      What a loser.

      October 10, 2011 at 8:56 am |
  18. Bill Thomas

    As the grandfather of two teen age boys with learning disablities, I will walk any labyrinth, or maze, or whatever to gain some insight that would be of help to them. I do meditate, it helps, just to keep the junk that this confusing world peddles in a safe place. But you need to be a believer first, just a believer there is hope. If your faith gives you hope, and doesn't take it away in the next moment, you are on good ground. That is what my faith does for me and I hope your faith does that for you.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
    • Real world

      First you've got to change the terminology, Bill. Now it's learning differences, not disabilities. As if any two people don't learn a little differently. Denial is important. Tomorrow Quinn will call your grandsons differently equal. (Seriously, my condolences; I'm sure the help of grandparents is invaluable.)

      October 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • disabilities can sometimes be prevented

      Choosing an intelligent man to be the father and not drinking and drugging yourself back to the stone age during your pregnancy are GREAT places to start in reducing the chances of having learning-disabled kids. My brother has two kids who are learning disabled because their mother chose to take her anti-epilepsy drugs all through pregnancy. You reap what you sow. Those were epic fails. Giving up driving for 3 months with a "chance" of a siezure is 1,000,000X better than having your kids disabled for life.

      October 9, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How nice of you to sit in judgment of your relatives. I'll bet they have some choice tales to tell about you, mr or ms perfection.

      Why don't you get off your sanctimonious butt and go help out the parents of these children instead of judging them? And further, you ninny, what proof do you have that the medication the woman took, under the care of her doctor, was the cause of the children's disabilities.

      The real issue is that you just don't like her and you're going to do anything you can to blame her for whatever ills befall her and her family.

      You're a snot.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  19. David Johnson

    In 1973, Quinn worked was on CBS News with Hughes Rudd. She was a disaster. To say the least.
    She fainted before her first show, blaming the flu. Maybe she was just really dizzy from walking that ol' labyrinth.

    Besides reading the news like little Betty learning to read, she couldn't control her mouth.

    "in one ep_isode, following a report on the children of California migrant farm workers, she quipped that child labor "was how I felt when my mother and father made me clean up my room." Quinn left the CBS Morning News after the February 1, 1974 telecast." – Wikipedia

    Cheers!

    October 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Really2

      And how is this relevant to the story she wrote?

      October 9, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • EJW

      So, you don't like Sally Quinn and feel the need to make a point of it with something totally irrelevant to the topic.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:42 pm |
  20. Reality Not a Stranger to Me

    Religion = Psychosis. The trademark of psychosis is that the individual that is so affected cannot distinguish between reality and the disturbed world that they have created for themselves. This is as opposed to Neurosis, where the patient is quite aware that they are mentally perturbed or ill, but are aware that there is a gulf between their disturbed thought patterns and what might be defined as objective or consensus reality. It is very hard to treat people with religious psychosis and other magical belief systems because the illness is not generally associated with negative perceptions and somatic reactions to any great degree, unlike frank paranoia or detached fear syndromes (unless they are afraid of the magical being constructs). In sum, most people feel that religious psychosis is a positive syndrome, and that holds true as long as the victim doesn't fall prey to manipulators who reinforce these belief systems in order to deprive the victim of property or freedoms. Often the desire to share these deranged perceptions with healthy individuals, akin to drug or biochemically derived hallucinations, can lead to interpersonal conflicts.

    October 9, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
    • vintage274

      Yep, filled with the desire to get people to walk labyrinths or build labyrinths because she thinks they do something magical.

      October 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Mike w

      So how are you doing with your Psychosis?

      October 9, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Kathy

      What has psychosis, religious or otherwise have to do with self inventory or introspection?

      October 9, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Capercorn

      Care to tell me where you find this condition in the DSM-IV?

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

      Not a thing, Kathy, but some of these people are addicts.

      October 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • Peace2All

      @Reality Not a Stranger to Me

      Interesting post.

      Peace...

      October 9, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • John Richardson

      Someone very close to me fell into a truly psychotic form of religiosity and I dare say that it is something quite different from even the most repulsively narrow-minded, tunnel-visioned forms of "regular" religiosity. It may be silly to think any god hears your prayers, but that's a pretty benign delusion compared to thinking that god is talking to you in imperatives that you actually act upon.

      October 9, 2011 at 7:59 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.