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HIV Community Spotlight

Take a Walk With Me

April 2000

I am the new pastor of the Crescent Heights United Methodist Church of West Hollywood. I volunteer as a Chaplain at AIDS Project Los Angeles and I am also a person living with AIDS.

I invite you to take a spiritual walk with me during the Sundays of April.

Let me explain. Like others, in times of reflection, I have asked myself the question "Am I centered?" At other times I don't have to ask the question. When life is chaotic I know I am not centered.

It seems my quest in life is to find that center, to find that place where I can experience a sense of inner peace and personal contentment. Many of us long for that center.

But perhaps there is another place to find peace and contentment. That place may be the path one walks toward the center. Often it is the journey, rather than the destination, that gives us our strength.

A great metaphor for our life and a powerful tool for personal meditation is the ancient and Pre-Christian meditative device known as the labyrinth.

When most people hear of a labyrinth they think of a maze. A labyrinth is not a maze. A maze is like a puzzle to be solved. It has twists, turns, and blind alleys. It is a left-brain task that requires logical, sequential and analytical activity to find the correct path into the maze and out.

A labyrinth has only one path. The way in is the way out. There are no blind alleys. The path leads you on a circuitous course to the center and out again.

In my experiences of walking the labyrinth, there have been times I have encountered in different ways a presence of God. Each experience is unique, as is each person's life journey. The meditative walk can comfort and empower, allow for new thoughts and quiet fearful hearts.

To be clear, the labyrinth has no mystical or magical powers. It is merely one mean of meditation. It creates a discipline for the individual to move in a set pattern, yet the freedom to open one's mind and heart and to be present in that moment.

Each Sunday in April, I am organizing groups to walk a labyrinth found on the grounds of Forest Lawn, Glendale which is a copy of the one at Chartres Cathedral in France. For these five Sundays (April 2, April 9, April 16, April 23 and April 30), we will meet at 1 p.m. at the Crescent Heights United Methodist Church (at the corner of Fountain and Fairfax) and carpool to this labyrinth.

The group will discuss the labyrinth prior to walking it, and then, as a group, debrief each individual experience. All persons of any faith tradition, or of no faith traditions are welcome to attend. There is no fee for this experience.

This is an opportunity for us all to take some time for personal meditation. For information, call me at (323) 656-5336.

I hope we can walk together this month. And may you know the presence of the Spirit in every step of your journey.

This article has been reprinted at The Body with the permission of AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA).

This article was provided by AIDS Project Los Angeles. It is a part of the publication Positive Living.
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