If you have the opportunity to walk the labyrinth this week OR as you walk in your neighborhood OR harvest the bounty of the earth in your garden honor those who shout for life. Just let their images, words and dreams dance in your thoughts. Let your heart be encouraged. That Spirit of Life that moved 50 years ago has not diminished.
All of these reflections were written by Cheri Johnson, Spiritual Caretaker at Alice's Garden.
1. Seeds of Wisdom Walk
From where does wisdom come?
What is wisdom?
What is the character of wisdom?
Openness to life
Claiming our gifts
Expressing our gifts¨
Gentleness with self & others
Connection to the cosmos
Who plants seeds of wisdom within us?
Why do we recognize wisdom? Is there a connection with our spirit? It is someone/something that guides us into life?
Meditation When we cling to thoughts and memories, we are clinging to what cannot be grasped. When we touch these phantoms and let them go, we may discover a space, a break in the chatter, a glimpse of open sky. This is our birthright—the wisdom with which we were born, the vast unfolding display of primordial richness, primordial openness, primordial wisdom itself. When one thought has ended and another has not yet begun, we can rest in that space. Pg.142 Comfortable with Uncertainty, Pema Chödrön
2. Global Landscape Labyrinth Walk
Alice’s Garden provides models of sustainable farming, community cultural development, and economic agricultural enterprises for the global landscape.
What will we teach the world and what will the world teach us?
The desire for health for the earth, for people, for the economy is world-wide. Every where people are working to sustain life.
As you walk the labyrinth pick one country to hold in your thoughts. Lift up the people of that country. What do you know about their joys and challenges? What connections to you see to your own life? To your community, Alice’s or another? What are you thirsty to learn from the people? What is the Universe, the Spirit of Life calling you to teach?
Let your breath join with the breath of the people of the world.
Listen to their songs.
Be aware that we all walk on the same planet.
3. Enterprise Labyrinth Walk
Alice’s Community Garden Vision Statement: Providing models of sustainable farming, cultural community development, and economic agricultural enterprises for the global landscape.
Space... the Final Frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Her continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilizations; to boldly go where no human has gone before.
There’s an opportune time to do things, a right time for everything on the earth…A right time to plant and another to reap… Ecclesiastes 3
As Alice’s models urban agricultural enterprises we go boldly where many have gone before- the corner store, the farm, the creation of healing herbal remedies…our mission is to renew the liveliness of individuals, families, and the community…to transform an aching civilization…
As you walk the labyrinth you are invited to consider your own projects/enterprises. Lift them up to the light. See the benefits you boldly seek for yourself, for others, for the community. Breathe in the strength which is needed for perseverance and success. Exhale timidity. Claim the power of life that is present for you & your brothers and sisters here and across the globe.
4. Nourishing Community Labyrinth Walk
What we have most in common is not religion but humanity. I learned this from my religion, which also teaches me that encountering another human being is as close to God as I may ever get-- in the eye-to-eye thing, the person-to-person thing--which is where God’s Beloved has promised to show up. Paradoxically, the point is not to see him.
The point is to see the person standing right in front of me, who has no substitute, who can never be replaced, whose heart holds things for which there is no language, whose life is an unsolved mystery. Barbara Brown Taylor, An Altar in the World pg.102
Prepare to walk: Take a moment to breathe. Thoughtfully open your awareness to whoever is near. Walk: Walk with this person/people/community. Resist interpreting who he/she/they might be. Let the Spirit reveal.
Center: Now notice how your community nourishes each one. What element lifts your spirit?
Walking out: Breathe in life, breathe out gratitude for each life and the communities that nourish.
5. Sustainable Labyrinth Walk
Sustain: To give support or relief to; to supply with sustenance; to keep up prolong
a : of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged <sustainable techniques> <sustainable agriculture>
b : of or relating to a lifestyle involving the use of sustainable methods <sustainable society>
(Merriam Webster Dictionary)
An offering of thoughts for your walk:
- Built to last, yet organic- changing with the flow of life.
- Taken care of- the little stuff matters- pulling weeds before crops are smothered…
- Staying connected to the source of life.
- Begins from the ground up- richness of the soil - claiming the concept of interconnectedness to land, creatures, humanity...
- Not on life support-not kept alive through artificial means
- The lifestyle choice for Alice’s community
6. Intergrity Labyrinth Walk
One take on Alice’s: Alice’s is land and people interwoven with history, present and future; flowing through all and within all a spirit of life, of vitality.
What does it take to live as a part of this community with integrity or to live as people of integrity?
Respect core values
Present our true selves
Be present for each other
Be honest in our dealings
Honor the good within each/all
What are the results of living with integrity?
Energy Strength Peace
Good for self & others
As you walk consider this core value: integrity
Walk tall, feet solid, yet light on the earth, heart open, listening engaged.
7. Endurance/Resourcefulness Labyrinth Walk
a core value of Alice’s Community Garden...
We celebrate the cultivation of healthy lives forged from the accomplishments of our ancestors & our peers.
Perhaps a way to celebrate the 4th of July is to focus on the quality of endurance/resourcefulness of the indigenous peoples of the land, those who crossed the seas to begin again and those who came by force.
We find a way to sustain life. The garden itself is a living witness to a community’s & peoples’ resourcefulness as land is reclaimed for life. We use the resources at hand. We network & barter. We endure .
We celebrate our strength, our resilience, our resourcefulness. As you walk the living labyrinth connect with your strength & resourcefulness. Consider how your community encourages you to endure. Wonder how the Spirit of Life may be leading you to share your strength & resources that every person may have enough to live with health.
8. Reciprocity Labyrinth Walk
It takes two to tango… Tú eres mi otro yo (You are my other I)... I got your back…
Ubuntu- I am because we are…
Mutual dependence, mutual exchange of privileges, allowing each other to have the same rights, interchange
Alice’s Garden is a land and community of welcome. We acknowledge our interdependence both with the earth & each other. We cultivate not a value of give and take, but a value of give and give. We celebrate a mutual exchange of life- we feed the living soil, the soil embraces our plants; we greet each other with an open heart , we return a look of favor…
As you walk this evening feel yourself being one with creation and community. Let your spirit mingle with the spirit of the earth, the spirits of others present, the Spirit of the universe. Claim this interconnectedness.
9. Vibrant Community Labyrinth Walk
Our eyes are drawn to vibrant colors. The mint and hyssop growing in the labyrinth are brilliant now. The purple and green shine. These plants are not showing off. They are doing what comes naturally. Their beauty draws us into the path of healing.
As you walk the labyrinth connect to your own vibrancy.
What brilliance comes from the core of your being/from doing what comes naturally?
Celebrate how you show up and shine.
Pay attention to what may dull your shine.
Consider the vibrancy of Alice’s
What about Alice’s energizes you?
Celebrate how Alice’s shine shows up in the community.