To a world in such great need…..

Just when I think the world has stabilized, it seems another disaster occurs…Texas, Florida, Mexico, South Asia, Puerto Rico. These are only some of the weather related problems.

Rev. Warren Lynn has written a beautiful meditation to be used at this time during a walk. Please feel free to print the entire meditation and hand it out to fellow walkers when you open your labyrinth for Global Healing. I hope you have an opportunity to do that soon. Thank you, Warren, for your healing words

We want to help, relieve suffering, provide relief. And we search for ways to do that.

One of our tasks is to offer a place for others to find peace among the chaos. A labyrinth walk can do that, as we all know.

Peace & Healing,
Ellen Bintz Meuch

Click here for a PDF of this meditation

Meditation for mindful response
To a world in such great need

Chaos surrounds me
But chaos moves within, too

Turmoil and disaster undoes the world beyond my world
But turmoil and calamity keep knotting up my own experience

So, let me first begin, here; with me.
Within my own life, let me begin untying knots
To free myself up so I can begin to address the chaos elsewhere

One breath at a time
One step at a time
I begin with me
But not only for me
But so I can turn
And offer the world my best self
My complete self
A healing and whole self
For the sake of greater need
beyond what even I know.

And so I begin,
By just breathing

Breathing in,
I feed my spirit
Breathing out,
I cleanse my soul
Breathing in,
I receive the gift of life
Breathing out,
I relinquish distraction and suffering
Breathing in,
I accept new possibility and opportunity,
Breathing out,
I release doubt and skepticism
Breathing in,
Breathing out.
When I am ready,
When the time feels right for me,
I begin to walk
One step at a time.

One foot
Then the other
Slowly moving upon the path
Walking and breathing
Receiving what I and the world needs
Letting go that which keeps the world and I from knowing recovery and wholeness once more.
Breathing in, Breathing out
One foot, then the other.

There are great undoings around us.
Around me.
But there is me.

I am not able to do all things
But I am able to do respond to some things
Amazing things
I am full of generous potential;
Capable of lavish possibility.

And I am part of connected sacred communities
Who can act together
in ways beyond my own holy goodness
but who may need my inspiration, leadership, and example.

And so, I walk on.
One step, one breath, at a time.
One after the other
Listening for my place
in a mindful response to a world in such great need.

Until I reach the center,
Where I lay down all remaining burdens
That might keep me from attending as fully as possible
To a world in such great need.

With life now unburdened
Standing in centeredness
I open my life wide
Considering the fullness yet inside me
Exactly because I have finally emptied myself.
I am now ready to give
Ready to respond
Ready to realize my place in the reaching out
To those whose lives have been undone by greater forces.

To the human and more-than-human world standing in flood waters
I proclaim myself as a place of refuge

To those torn asunder by winds I can barely imagine
I declare my life a resource for renewal and rebuilding

To lives undone by the violence of hate and bigotry
I stand ready to enfold them with arms of loving acceptance and care

I may be only one
But I am one
And I am part of
Communities of healing wholeness

And I will not turn my back
On a divine calling
To share myself
With those who do not have such

Still, I do not forget
To breathe and walk
One breath, one step
At a time.

When I am ready
I move from the center
To head down the path
Back toward the entrance
Into the wider world

I use this time
on my way back into the world
to consider practical options.

Upon leaving the labyrinth
How will I respond?
How will I behave?
How will I act?
Where will I use my time?
Where will I share my resources?
To what organizations will I send my money?
Because I am a holy human creature
Full of exactly what is needed
for this world in such great need.

I can do this.

I will do this.

And such a response
as is given to me in this time
is a gift
whose joy can only be known fully
if I say, “yes!” and move forward in action.


GHR 2008 May: Myanmar Cyclone Nargis

myanmarpicIn response to the Cyclone in Myanmar on May 2, 2008 the GHR was implemented. To learn more about this disaster click here.

We would like to implement the Global Healing Response in reaction to the horrible disasters in China and Myanmar.  As you might remember from the Katrina response, The GHR is a simple plan using the labyrinth in a unified response to promote stress management, grief integration and healing in case of an emergency or disaster from any force.

We have chosen the dates June 9 through June 29th for us to do our walks.  Feel free to choose a time anywhere between those dates to do your walk.  Because the disasters, pain and struggles continue in China and Myanmar, we thought it might be appropriate to allow more time than just one day for the walks.  

I have attached some documents that Rev. Warren Lynn has very kindly created for us: naturaldisaster

If you collect money during your walks for the disasters and you don’t know where to send it, Warren suggested the organization One Great Hour of Sharing.

Remember, never underestimate the power of the labyrinth AND healing energy!


Labyrinth Prayer for Global Relief

to Storm and Earthquake Victims

May 20, 2008

by Warren Lynn

Amidst pain and suffering and loss and injustice beyond our words and feelings,

we bring ourselves into the intimate presence of holiness —

to ask and argue and doubt and cry.

And when all is said, and all is thought,

and exhaustion replaces the raw energy of our grief…

…finally we let our quiet breathing replace what keeps us from letting Shalom, Salaam, Peace have its way with us.

Indeed, now, breathing in Spirit feeds our spirit;

breathing out Spirit cleanses our souls.

Breathing in feeds — breathing out cleanses.

Breathing in — breathing out.

True inspiration!

Today, we find strength in our breathing to abide in each new step;

one after the other.

Today, in our breathing and our walking,

we experience the intimate presence of holy sustenance along the way

toward a more-focused compassion.

Slowly, we begin to seek less after answers about why this has happened.

More and more, we begin to ask, “how can we help?”

“What creative solution can come from our gifts?”

“Who are we, who am I, to be used for healing,

reconciliation, new wholeness, generous comfort…

…for those in places like Myanmar and China wherein lives have been

undone by the mysteries of cr

eation’s ways.

So, let us listen for Spirit in the deepest places of our living.

Let us acquaint ourselves with holy possibilities within our own lives.

Let us affirm and confirm our ability to bring a new light of relief and recovery

into the presently darkened holes of grief and pain across our world,

and even next door;

…into the life of each of our neighbors, even those continents away.





GHR 2005 August: Hurricane Katrina

katrina-stormThe first Global Healing Response was implemented one day after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, LA. For more information about this diaster click here.

The idea for the GHR began in March of 2004 when I discussed it with the Veriditas council.  After witnessing the beautiful work of the Water Labyrinth Project in response to the Tsunami and then the events in London the time seemed right to initiate the GHR on August 8, 2005—little did I know that the plan would be implemented in three weeks as a response to Hurricane Katrina.

on August 30, the day after Hurricane Katrina, I received this email from Winnie Darphin-Bacque in  Louisiana,

 “Ellen, if I understand your program correctly, the situation here may qualify for GHR.  What do you think?  Please advise.  Winn    PS  Any ideas about how to get water to the affected areas?”

The answer, of course, was YES!  Winnie and I spoke many times as she communicated with the other New Orleans and Baton Rouge area facilitators.  I asked them to decide when THEY would like the Global Healing Response to be and they decided on the date of October 15.  They felt there were too many immediate needs of survival to be able to benefit from a response sooner than that.   I’ve asked Winnie to let us know what she hopes the benefit of the GHR will be.  She wrote,

“To connect, and re-connect, a thread of commonality and compassion for ourselves, between ourselves and other ‘Labyrinth Lovers’, as well as for those individuals who have yet to learn of the healing component of the labyrinth.  Our vision encompasses ‘everyone, everywhere’ on the great planet of ours.”

Winnie also told me she hopes that the GulfCoast will feel “not a greater sense of community” but a “sense of greater community.”  She and the other facilitators in that area are remarkable people.

Winnie and I have also wondered how far the ripple effects of the GulfCoast hurricanes will be felt.  We will all feel the sting of the storms.  The social organization within the DuPageCounty jail was just informed that it will not receive a $25,000 grant it had been promised for next year.  The funds have been reassigned to Hurricane Katrina relief.  With this small act as an example, we will all need to prepare for difficult days ahead.

October 15th is the official day for the Global Healing Response. If it is possible for you to offer or attend a labyrinth walk or a healing event that day our hope is that the unified power of healing will be felt by people all over the world.  We would like the GHR to include not only those affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, but also those effected by the floods in Central Europe, too.  If your community would like to participate in a healing event and the 15th is not a convenient date, you should choose a day that works for you.  It is more important to open your labyrinth and join together to offer tools for healing.

In the days coming days I will be communicating with those who volunteered to open their labyrinth about ideas for their GHR event.  There will always be guidelines and standards for the GHR that we hope will be honored by all.  With that said, it is important for each of us to honor our individual work and affiliation with the labyrinth— however that looks across the globe.

We have all been affected by the images we have seen during the aftermath of the gulf coast hurricanes.  If a picture is worth a thousand words I wonder if a song can be worth a thousand pictures.  As the GHR develops I keep thinking of one of my favorite songs by Martina McBride called “Love’s the Only House Big Enough for All the Pain in The World.”  My hope is that the GHR can be a part of this house of love for the world.  As she sings in the song, “…the pain’s gotta go somewhere…”   Those of us who are lucky enough to have experience with the labyrinth know it is ready to absorb our pain, grief and confusion and guide us to the path of love, grace, and peace.


Kinship is healing; we are physicians to each other

—Oliver Sachs




She sees her house

Cracked, torn apart

The wind of force

Twirling and frothing

Slashing the last breath

Of clean, clear air

And all around her dying.


Desolation is her name

Ache is her heart

Somewhere distant

Small flutter

Lightest wings

Seen flickering dazed

Against the hurricane.


She decides to build

With spider legs and

Gossamer will

Board by brick from the

Foundation of the

Aching heart

And let the wind dance on.


Christine E. Merritt

November 5, 2004




GHR 2012 October: Hurricane Sandy Response

HurricaneSandypicIn response to the massive storms and hurricane that hit the East Coast of the United States on October 29, 2012:

We would like to implement the Global Healing Response in reaction to hurricane Sandy that hit the East Coast of the United States last week.

As you might remember from previous Global Healing Responses (Katrina, Myanmar, Haiti, Japan), the GHR is an international effort through which countless labyrinths will be made available worldwide for people to walk, as they pray and discern how they might contribute to the emerging recovery solution for Japan and the Japanese people.

We have chosen Sunday, November 11, 2012 for us to do our walks.  I think many of us might already have been planning walks. But, if that day is not convenient feel free to choose a time that works for you and your community.  Because the pain and struggles and recovery will continue for a while, it might be appropriate to allow more time than just one day for the walks.

Please let me know when you will be having a walk or post your walk on the list serve so that we can either attend, or be with you in spirit and offer our support. You could also post your walk on the Veriditas Facebook page.

I have attached some documents to simplify and unify this process. (These documents are only meant to help you out. Please feel free to change and adapt them to your style as you see fit.)

If anyone has any other tools to use or has ideas for this event PLEASE contact me!!

I urge you to pass this email on to anyone (or group) who might be interested in participating in the Global Healing Response. We learned during our Hurricane Katrina response that those outside the Veriditas labyrinth community—and even beyond the labyrinth community—wanted to participate.  Hopefully, that will be the case this time, too.

If you collect money during your walks please support a relief agency that you trust. I have suggest The Red Cross only because that is the only agency I have heard of as of today. It is possible that your faith community might have a more direct mission.

If you are able to plan a walk PLEASE let me know when and where it will be occurring!  I will help to keep us all current with this information.  Also, if I can help anyone with press information (or any other information) please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Remember, never underestimate the power of the labyrinth AND unified healing energy!