We Walk a Crooked Path Into the Light- Using Finger Labyrinths with Refugees- March 2018

This past week, I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop on the Labyrinth at the Torture Abolition and Survivors Support Coalition (TASSC) in Washington DC. Not knowing anyone I would be working with and wanting to present something that would be easy to do yet have a deeper meaning for each participant, I decided to teach them about the labyrinth and specifically to have them wall a finger labyrinth.To warm up and get to know each other, we created a central altar simply consisting of a scarf given to me by a Shaman in Peru, a candle and ‘touch’ stone, which I had created earlier. We also used the Native American talking stick as a way to ensure that each person would have his or her ‘space’ to talk and be heard. When it was someone’s turn to introduce him or her-self, she would simply reach in the bag and take a stone and read what it said. (Each stone was hand-painted and had a word or phrase on it, such as, Unite, Brave, Beautiful, Breathe). The stones were placed on the ’altar’.

Each participant was given a printout of a Labyrinth. We did a silent meditation and relaxation, with some writing and artwork leading up to a question, a thought, and a wish for each intention. The goal was to be fully present to release, receive and return as our fingers walked the labyrinth, in silence. After the ‘walk’, participants was invited to write or draw, in response to what had happened on their ‘walk’. They were then invited

to use colored pencils to design their labyrinth as they wished.

As you can see from the images above, everyone had a unique and meaningful experience.One participant, a young woman from Syria wrote: Thank you very much for your time last Tuesday. It was a great opportunity to think deeper and more bring self -awareness into our life.

I was happy that ours lives crossed on her path and that she felt so positive. It made me think of all the ways we walk on our paths, alone and together.

Image-Labyrinths on altar from workshop at TASSC