On Wednesday evening I drove to Makawao with my friends Joyce, Verity and Terrill, to the Sacred Garden of Maliko. Our purpose was to go on the full moon labyrinth walk, hosted by inspirational speaker/author, Eve Hogan.Eve greeted us with hugs and offered hot chocolate or tea, which was very welcome on that particular chilly night. The sacred garden, is actually a 10,000 sq.ft. greenhouse, once known as Maliko Farms, selling only orchids. Now the nursery has an assortment of beautiful tropical plants, and offers people the ingredients to make their own private sacred gardens.
Eve invited us to have a seat in front of a beautiful massive 600 lb Buddha which was carved from a single piece of Balinese Monkeypod wood. We gathered here so that Eve could tell us a little about the history of labyrinths and to give us guidelines for walking the labyrinth paths. Until very recently I had no idea what a labyrinth actually was, except that the word conjured up the idea of a maze.
Eve told us that the difference between a labyrinth and a maze is that a labyrinth does not trick you as it has only one path leading to the centre and the same path leading out. The idea of the labyrinth originated in Greek Mythology and has been adopted by many cultures as a path of peace, prayer and contemplation. It was interesting to learn that during the crusades of the 13th century, labyrinths offered a safe alternative to going on a pilgrimage, since travel to sacred destinations was much too dangerous.
The Sacred garden has a medieval 11 circuit labyrinth, modeled after the one in the famous Chartres Cathedral in France. This one has a peaceful outside location under the Kukui trees beside a running stream. Inside there is a classic 7 circuit labyrinth and it is a mysterious fact that variations of this labyrinth have been found all over the world.
We learned that the most important guideline while walking the labyrinth is to be aware that everything you feel along the way is a metaphor mirroring the things you have to pay attention to and perhaps amend in your own life. Eve told us that if we experience a feeling or thought that doesn't serve us, then we should let it go and then move on.
The middle of the labyrinth is a place for meditation, contemplation and renewal, and we were encouraged to stay there as long as we felt like. The way back out of the labyrinth is a time to think about the insights that we have had into ourselves and how we might use this knowledge to implement change in our lives.
After the introduction we all went to the outside labyrinth, and each rang a bell as we started the walk. For me the experience evoked a mixture of feelings from insecurity, to confidence and then to joy. The presence of a child running around the path was a wake up call to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously. Afterwards we all met again under the Buddha, so that those who wanted to could share their experiences. Finally Eve told us the fascinating chicken skin story of how she managed to acquire the giant Buddha, which you can read about on her website. (link below)
As we said our goodbyes, I was overcome by an amazing feeling of gratitude, for being able to share this magical evening with my friends, because a beautiful person named Eve created this lovely sacred garden. Walking the labyrinth is an amazing spiritual experience no matter what religious belief you may have.I highly recommend a visit to the Sacred Garden of Maliko, in Makawao, Maui. You can visit any time in the day, and each month Eve hosts the full moon labyrinth walk.