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GHR 2022 Q1: Heart/Breathe

Hello Dear Labyrinth Community,

The 2022 theme for The Global Healing Response is Heart. So many poets write about the heart. If you take the time to do a deep dive into the theme of “heart” you will be entertained.  A wonderful Shakespeare quote is, “Go to your bosom, knock there and ask your heart what it doth know.” It is helpful because it requires action and acknowledges the wonder and wisdom of our hearts.

I have noticed we spend a lot of time referring to our hearts when we speak; our hearts are full, our hearts overflow, they break and ache, they’re warm and they can be cold, too. It’s interesting how much time many of us spend scrunching our chests and keeping our physical hearts closed off (especially on our electronic devices). A very visual metaphor! Heart opening yoga poses are becoming my new favorite thing.

To open up our chests, we start this year by BREATHING through our hearts and visualizing them expanding to break up the scars and shields around them. In the next quarter we will OPEN our hearts to receive…and give. The third quarter will help us CONNECT our hearts with others and their magnetic fields. And finally, in quarter four, we will RADIATE the waves of our hearts to create amplified healing from our coherent energy. It’s a busy year and we have a lot to accomplish!

During each quarter I would like to share a little data about the energy of our hearts and the electromagnetic waves we emanate. I am connecting a link to a video titled “Brain Heart Coherence” that I wrote and was produced through The Legacy Labyrinth Project in preparation for the World Labyrinth Day Big Connection science experiment in 2021. It explains how breathing through your heart can create a stronger coherent response in your body. This, of course, can be useful before a labyrinth walk.

After taking a deep breath, please take William Shakespeare’s advice and ask your heart “…what it doth know” perhaps before you walk a labyrinth with a group or alone, with your feet or your finger.

Also, remember that YOU are a leader and teacher in this global project of Peace and Healing. Please feel free to share these materials with anyone who might enjoy them. I am so grateful to be a part of this community and happy we have each other to ignite ideas and support our projects. As always, please feel free to contact me with your ideas and thoughts.

From the bottom of my heart,

Ellen Bintz Meuch
Founder, Global Healing Response
Coordinator, World Labyrinth Day (May 7, 2022)

Global Healing Quarterly Intention

2022 Theme: Heart

“I looked in temples, churches, and mosques.
 But I found the Divine within my heart.” ― Rumi

January-February-March

Focus: Breathe

Quote: “I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Picture/symbol: The waves of the ocean rhythmically coming in and out, like the breath.

Prayer/Meditation:

Breath of your Heart
(a great practice before or during a labyrinth walk)

Deeply inhale and visualize your breath traveling through your heart as your lungs expand.
Imagine this flow expanding your heart, loosening scar tissue from any brokenness and pain.
Feel the new movement this allows.
As you exhale, let the pain leave your body.
Sense the flow of life the breath and blood pump through your body to every cell.
Find calmness and security knowing that your heart and breath,
involuntarily, sustain your life force.
Thank your heart for its strength and resilience.
Ask it for the Wisdom you need.
Repeat.

Ideas for benefiting organization‎: In the US, The American Heart Association, https://www.heart.org/. In other parts of the world, is there an organization that focuses on the heart?

Ideas for ambiance around the labyrinth: We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day during this quarter, so finding hearts should not be difficult. Even a rock with a heart painted on it or many placed along the path and in the center would be beautiful.

Music:  Relaxing Music with Gentle Ocean Sounds, Soothing Waves and Peaceful Music (8 hours):

GHR 2021 Q4: Grace/Welcome

Global Healing Response Quarterly

Welcome, dear labyrinth facilitators and healers!
I have to tell you I love this focus of "Welcome." Maybe it has something to do with the pandemic and the void of welcome and connection we have been feeling. 

As the holidays approach, I have been thinking of the people who have welcomed me and my family into their homes most graciously. I realize that to be welcoming you must be open and fearless. As I reflect, the most gracious hosts are usually very calm. So, as we invite our labyrinth walkers onto the path, I hope our welcoming energy will prevail! 

As our meditation supports, it isn't only people we can welcome this season. We can graciously accept change, challenges and ideas. 

With Peace, attempted Grace, and most definitely a welcome heart,
Ellen Bintz Meuch
Founder, Global Healing Response

2021 Theme: Grace

“Virtue and genuine graces in themselves speak what no words can utter.”-William Shakespeare

October-November-December

Focus:  Welcome

Quote: “When grace moves in…guilt moves out.” –Max Lucado

Picture/Symbol: The Grace of nature that allows, adapts, and welcomes constant change.

Prayer/Meditation:

The Welcome Prayer, by Thomas Keating

Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within. Amen

Ideas for benefiting organization: A Homeless Shelter near your home.

Ideas for ambiance: Greet your labyrinth walkers with a welcoming token that shows you are happy they are there. A meditation rock with a labyrinth painted on it? If you have your own labyrinth, invite a few friends over to walk together. Or, Zoom with a few friends and do a finger labyrinth walk.

Music:   It bears repeating- Amazing Grace Harp Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm4WwrpBrOk

A PDF Version of this material can be found here.

Response 2021: Global Healing for a Stormy World 9/4/21

In the spirit of the Big Connection labyrinth experiment conducted by The Legacy Labyrinth Project on World Labyrinth Day this year (May 1, 2021),we would like to implement the Global Healing Response to create connection, healing, and coherence with a unified intention for those who are suffering. People all over the world are being faced with actual storms from the weather and fire, storms of displacement, war, and illness. Those who are supporting these efforts need our energy, too.

As you might remember from previous Global Healing Responses (Katrina, Myanmar, Haiti, Japan, Hurricane Sandy), the GHR is an international effort through which countless labyrinths will be made available worldwide for people to walk, with a unified intention to bring peace and coherence to the world.

Thank you to The Legacy Labyrinth Project, The Labyrinth Society, and Veriditas for sharing many of the resources provided on this page.

Date: Saturday, September 4, 2021 at noon, your local time. 
If that day is not convenient feel free to choose a time that works for you and your community. 

Suggested Intention for this walk:
My intention for this labyrinth walk is to feel the coherent energy of my own heart, then send that coherent energy to______________ (you fill in the blank).

Suggested Meditation:
(something you can read to yourself, prior to saying and walking with your intention).

I fully release and let go of those things I cannot change. I let go of my fear of my own challenging world and that of the outside world.

I breathe into my heart; I exhale from my heart.

Let me begin my labyrinth walk with untying my own knots of chaos. 

I breath into my heart;  I exhale from my heart.

I begin to feel the heart center opening.

Turmoil and disaster undo the world beyond my world.  When I take a breath into my heart center, I steady my own energy, my own world.

When I breath into my heart I feed my spirit with the sustainer of life, the breath.

When I exhale from the heart, I am able to direct the gift of heart energy to anyone, anywhere. 

I know this to be true.

I am grateful for this practice as I know I am full of generous potential, and capable of sharing it with others.

I open my heart wide proclaiming myself as a resource for humanity.

I begin walking my labyrinth, centered, unburdened, and connected to all.

We connect as One, when we share our heart’s coherent energy.

(Click here for a PDF version of this meditation, intention and finger labyrinth)

Finger Labyrinth: Click here for a PDF printable finger labyrinth.

Find a Labyrinth near you: Click here for the Worldwide Labyrinth Locator.

Covid Considerations: Click here for information about how to conduct a Covid friendly event and create a Covid friendly labyrinth. Of course, it is necessary to adhere to all Covid 19 recommendations that apply to your community. If you are walking in a group, perhaps outdoors would be best. It is also an option to meet with a group virtually and walk finger labyrinths in unison. And please, don’t underestimate the power of each of us walking a labyrinth alone with our unified intention.

Centering Ourselves: To create peace and healing we must commit to centering ourselves before we form a group and enter the labyrinth. I invite you to watch the videos that were created by The Legacy Labyrinth Project about How to Walk a Labyrinth with Intention and How to create Brain Heart Coherence.

Please let us know when you will be having a walk by posting it on the Global Healing Response Facebook page or as a comment below this post.

I urge you to pass this information on to anyone (or group) who might be interested in participating in the Global Healing Response. We learned during other responses that those outside the labyrinth community wanted to participate.  Hopefully, that will be the case this time.

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

Peace and Healing,

Ellen Bintz Meuch
Founder, Global Healing Response
Board Member, Legacy Labyrinth Project
Coordinator, World Labyrinth Day, TLS
Veriditas Certified Facilitator

GHR 2021 Q3: Grace/Service

Dear Labyrinth friends,
It’s time for us to put our graceful kindness into action. In fact, I believe that grace in action is service. With Covid restrictions lifting a bit after vaccinations, we all are getting out a bit more. An appropriate community labyrinth walk might be just what our souls need. We might need to sit and listen to each other before or after our walks. We have a lot to share.

2021 Theme: Grace

“Virtue and genuine graces in themselves speak what no words can utter.”-William Shakespeare

July-August-September

Focus:  Service

Quote: “If I’m not showing grace… have I forgotten the grace I have been shown?
–John McArthur

“Grace is not a little prayer you say before you eat. It is a way of life. Eph 2:8,9” ―John Paul Warren

Picture/Symbol: Lend a helping hand.

Prayer/Meditation:

Infuse your life with action.
Don’t wait for it to happen.
Make it happen.
Make your own future.
Make your own hope.
Make your own love.
And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen… yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.
—Bradley Whitford

Ideas for benefiting organization: Volunteer! Wherever your service can be used, pitch in and help… A senior? A single mom? A food pantry? Your neighbor? Keep your eyes open for opportunities to serve with Grace.

Ideas for ambiance: Start the service at your labyrinth. Provide treats and refreshments so your attendees feel cared for and refreshed!

Music:  Healing Tree Music by Mayrain (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPVoeWOokz8). Beautiful harp Celtic music!

Click here for a PDF version of these materials.

World Labyrinth Day: Connections 2021 May 1st

Dear friends,

Join us! Join us! Join us! I am the chairman of World Labyrinth Day and I hope you will plan a way to be a part of the global labyrinth community on Saturday, May 1st! This year The Labyrinth Society is collaborating with Veriditas, The Legacy Labyrinth Project and the Australian Labyrinth Network to begin the connections from the center.

WLD celebrates the wonderful people who make up the labyrinth community and introduces the labyrinth to others as a tool for self, community, and global healing.
We intend to create a wave of peace around the globe.

This year we have the added benefit of conducting the first ever global humanity research experiment, The Big Connection. Please join us to further understand the power of unified intention for ourselves and the planet.

WLD in Schools will happen on Friday, April 30th as children all over the world celebrate labyrinths experientially and virtually with three finger labyrinth walks offered across the globe via Zoom.

We have lots of support, from videos to webinars, for folks who want to become involved in WLD from videos to webinars.

Visit our beautiful new website for all the details and resources: worldlabyrinthday.org


Join us!

GHR 2021 Q2: Grace/Kindness

We can all use some kindness.

I can just hear someone yelling, “You can say that again!”

We can all use some kindness.

It seems that Grace in action is almost always kind. It’s that simple. And yet, that profound. I hope, as we keep moving through our Covid Friendly lives we offer kindness to strangers, friends and family.

Offering a labyrinth walk is a graceful way of offering gentle care for our friends. We provide a container for their journey, discoveries and processing without any judgment. Even walking with a friend or family member (in a Covid safe way) can provide comfort.


Global Healing Response Quarterly

2021 Theme: Grace

“Virtue and genuine graces in themselves speak what no words can utter.”-
—William Shakespeare

April-May-June

Focus: Kindness

Quote: “Do everything with gentleness, with kindness, with reverence. That is how Grace moves; that is how Love dances.” —Heather K. O’Hara

Picture/Symbol: A spring flower that so gracefully appears after a bleak winter

Prayer/Meditation:

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots.
Kind words are the blossoms,
Kind deeds are the truth.
—19th century rhyme

(Kindness isn’t complicated)


Ideas for benefiting organization: Donate to your community in a way that is meaningful to you or your labyrinth group. Women’s shelter?  Food bank? Is there a friend that could use a homemade dinner? Perhaps just a random act of kindness every now and then?

Ideas for ambiance: I love the idea of painting stones with a simple labyrinth and gifting them to your labyrinth walkers. Sometimes a small token can mean so much when given with kindness. River rocks can be purchased at most craft supply stores. A permanent marker and then a coat of clear finish (optional) makes them shine.

Music: Amazing Grace Harp Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tm4WwrpBrOk

A PDF version of these materials can be found here.

Guest Blog: The Purposeful Action of Labyrinths

I’m so grateful for our guest blogger, Katherine Davis. Her words are soothing to our souls at this time and remind us how comforting the labyrinth is as a tool for peace, grief integration and hope. Thank you for reaching out, Katherine!

Katherine Davis, Bethlehem, PA

March 2021

In the fall of 2020, after a class in my graduate writing program introduced community archives, my mind turned to the walking trails and outdoor labyrinths I had visited through the summer months.

Following the theory that during the months of COVID-19 mandated restrictions, outdoor walking labyrinths served as a unique and safe coping tool, I mapped sites that could provide support to this idea. For this graduate course, I visited and photographed 20 outdoor labyrinths and the artifacts around them in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania and created a video community archive that reflects the themes and consciousness of the year.

It makes sense that during the pandemic of COVID-19 and all that it entailed, there was a reported surge of interest in labyrinths. In July, Laura Bliss reported on Bloomberg.com an increase in enrollment for labyrinth-making workshops and training programs and a sales increase of 300% at just one hand-held labyrinth company.

During my research for the project, I landed at Global Healing Response and was not at all surprised to find this exclusive niche devoted entirely to the labyrinth as a healing tool during disasters. Scrolling through the list of past tragedies already addressed through Global Healing Response was a reminder of all our nation and world has endured even as we remained deep inside this new, enormous pandemic.

If the virus was not enough to spin the population into fear and grief, other events sealed the state of sadness, anger, and unrest in the year. Protests and activities for Black Lives Matter, demands for acknowledgement and large-scale change, and a looming contentious presidential election were vivid factors of a year that tested our nation.

All of these, joined with the personal struggles of family, health, loss, career and financial worries, formed the collective mindset of the country during this timeframe. I carried this in my thoughts as I headed out to the labyrinths. I looked for elements that connected to our shared experience and our shared desire to prevail. My experience of completing the project mirrored 2020. I was alone. It was quiet. Through visits to 20 public places, only two of these had owners who even knew I was there. I understood my invisibility.  

Although I saw few people in my travels, it was clear the labyrinths had been in use since the arrival of COVID-19. A majority of the labyrinths were well maintained rather than ignored and overgrown with grass and weeds. Flowers and plants were blooming. The hosts I didn’t meet kept these sites active, clean, and manicured during the months of 2020.

Several sites had signs and items that did not exist prior to COVID-19 such as notices about social distancing guidelines. One labyrinth I visited several years ago once held a visitors’ book and pen at a covered hutch near the entrance. In 2020, the book was gone and a container of hand sanitizer was in its place.

At several labyrinths, I photographed discarded face masks crumbled near the labyrinths or forgotten in nearby gardens. Another sign of the year was a shredded Dunkin’ Donuts napkin. Upon the national shutdown, our country learned what the word “essential” means and coffee landed in that category. I loved that I saw these signs of life, even if I couldn’t interact with the life itself.

Lawn signs for Black Lives Matter and Hate Has No Home Here were placed at the entrance of multiple properties. Messages about unity, strength, community, and healing were written on rocks, shells, or plastic lawn signs and added to the labyrinths. One site had clearly hosted an event for Breast Cancer Awareness month in October and added pumpkins painted bright pink around the path of the labyrinth.

We know labyrinth walkers share a seeking nature and a purposeful forward motion. I formed this project with the idea that labyrinths offer solace, a coping mechanism, and positive outlet during what may be one of the most difficult and defining moments of this century. What I found in addition is the reminder that labyrinths are not a timid, passive tool. Rather, labyrinths and the community of walkers continue to demonstrate purposeful action, not quiet inaction. I believe as these labyrinths were walked, they were not final steps, but more likely the first steps – launching points to return home, to work, to demonstrations, or volunteerism with renewed energy, focus, and passion.

In person, I found an intense contrast in the unplanned road of 2020 against the carefully measured and perfectly navigated path of a labyrinth. The photo archive captures the many labyrinth elements that urge us to keep walking.  Archive video is found here.

Response 2021: Inauguration Eve

“Peace on Earth lives only in the hearts of peaceful men, women and children.”
—Annie Kirkwood

January 20, 2021 is predicted to be a tense and possibly violent day in the United States. By unifying and and sending peaceful intention energy into the world we can make a difference. Click here to read more about collective energy.

Marion Patterson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and a member of the Veriditas Council, has created an online event for the eve of that day. As she says, “The 2.0 comes from the fact that at the last inauguration I collaborated with the Interreligious Council of Linn County and Unity Center to hold a labyrinth event of hopefulness to counter the impending dark that did indeed descend.  Friends sang the Peter, Paul, and Mary song “Light One Candle”, people made and walked labyrinths.

Considering our GHR theme for 2021 is Grace, our unified intention will be, “We will allow Grace to show us how to move forward.”

Register for the event:
Contact Ellen Bintz Meuch if you would like to attend Light One Candle 2.0. This event only has space for 100 participants.

Steps to create your own event:
We urge you to create your own circles of three to one hundred and three via phone or zoom. Keep it SIMPLE!

Invite: Send a virtual invitation via email or text to interested parties. (Faith community, Interreligious Councils, personal contacts, other organizations.)
Click here for a sample invitation.
Click here for an invitation template to fill in with your specific information.

Materials: In the invitation, send template links of labyrinths people can print. Choose music to play during the finger labyrinth walk portion of the gathering.
Click here for a link to a page of paper labyrinths.

Event Schedule
• Welcome your participants.
• Offer a meditation, prayer, poem for peace. (click here for ideas)
• Confirm each participant has a finger labyrinth.
• Offer instructions for the finger labyrinth walk- allowing about 12 minutes of silence.
• If on zoom, be sure participants are muted.
• Begin gentle music of your choice.
• After the meditation welcome everyone back and ask if anyone would like to share.
• After sharing, close with a prayer, meditation or poem. Share what you have learned about the power of intention energy.
• Thank everyone for participating and encourage them to hold the intentions and energy you formed.

When: Any time ahead of and the day of the Inauguration: Saturday through the entire week of January 16 through January 23, 2021 and beyond.

Why: We know the power of collective energy on January 6, 2021, we saw negative energy in action. Energy follows intention. May we intentionally send forth our positive energy for blessings and Grace to and on all.
Click here to read about the power of collective energy and intentions.

GHR 2021 Q1: Grace/Forgiveness

Dear Labyrinth Friends,

Grace is a word I thought I understood. However, while “investigating” the tenets of Grace I realized how profound it is. Ram Dass talks about asking for it and calling it down from your Guru, Guide, Guardian Angel or Spiritual Friend. John Paul Warren says, “Grace is not a little prayer you say before you eat. It is a way of life.” Some talk about allowing ourselves to see it in others or say it is within us. I wonder if they are all correct. At least we have a lot to ponder during the year! A labyrinth walk, most likely on your own these days, could be a perfect place to consider what Grace means to you.

2021 begins with the continued frustration of Covid 19 that is born of lack of connection, touch, movement and fear. Add to that the need for unity after the US elections and new leadership.  During these winter months in the Northern hemisphere, let’s allow ourselves the space to understand a Grace that comes from within after we accept and forgive ourselves. Then, let’s look for it in others. Is there a place to show others your Grace through forgiveness? And most importantly, let’s be grateful for it- however it arrives.

Peace,

Ellen Bintz Meuch
Founder, Global Healing Response


Global Healing Resource Quarterly

2021 Theme: Grace

“Virtue and genuine graces in themselves speak what no words can utter.”William Shakespeare

January-February-March

Focus: Forgiveness

Quote: “We judge others by their actions and ourselves by our intentions. We need to offer grace to all, because we all need a little grace.” -Jayce O’Neal

Picture/symbol: The olive branch to offer to others, or yourself, with grace.

Prayer/Meditation:

To come home to yourself
May all that is unforgiven in you
Be released.

May your fears yield
Their deepest tranquilities.

May all that is unlived in you
Blossom into a future
Graced with love.
-John O’Donohue, To Bless the Space Between Us

Ideas for benefiting organization‎: Offer support to the frontline workers of Covid 19 via the hospital or other medical facility near you.

Ideas for ambiance around the labyrinth: Create a big pot filled with sand. Put candles in the sand and allow each walker to light a candle as they offer grace in the form of forgiveness to themselves and others in their lives.

Music: Experience Grace Instrumental: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBAo1jykk6g&list=RDYBAo1jykk6g&start_radio=1&t=2255

Click here for a PDF version of these materials

GHR 2020 Q4: Vision/Action

Global Healing Response Quarterly

2020 Theme: Vision

“Feet sandaled with dreams tread paths of vision leading to
wisdom’s sharp peaks.”— Aberjhani (The River of Winged Dreams)

October-November-December

Focus:  Action

Quote: “Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” —Joel Barker

Picture/Symbol: A giant leap

Prayer/Meditation:

With each step and breath, let me peacefully root myself in this world in such a way that chaos only blows through me and does not knock me off center.

Let this rooted space become a tender place to manifest visions so they may evolve into actions that transform one person or millions. I know that in the scope of eternity, every action has importance.

I might move toward my dreams with baby steps, but I will have the courage and faith to take a giant leap when needed.

I will act first with self-care,
then care for loved ones, my community and our world with the intention of creating circles of love that ripple through the universe.

Ideas for benefiting organization: Is there an organization in your community that has taken action to solve a problem? Supporting their courage and commitment might illuminate their achievements.

Ideas for ambiance: Encourage participants to walk at a different pace then they usually do— faster or slower. Tell them it’s ok to move in different ways. Spin around, hop, dance. Let them know it’s ok to shift things around and sometimes the shift helps move us forward.

Music: Zen Walking Meditation – Music for Meditation in Action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd9VnbhEIjo

Click here for a PDF version of this material.