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Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth Paperback – February 8, 2000

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Exploring the Labyrinth: A Guide for Healing and Spiritual Growth + The Sacred Path Companion: A Guide to Walking the Labyrinth to Heal and Transform + Walking a Sacred Path: Rediscovering the Labyrinth as a Spiritual Practice
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The oldest and most universally known labyrinth existed over 3,500 years ago on the Greek island of Crete--home of the mythical Minotaur. Now, over three millennia later, walking the labyrinth has become an astonishingly popular form of spiritual and emotional growth and healing. In fact, walking the labyrinth has proven itself to be so transformative and soothing, labyrinths are now being built on school playgrounds, university campuses, hospital courtyards, and even prison grounds.

Why the sudden surge in popularity? "Walking the labyrinth fulfills six important contemporary needs," according to author and psychotherapist Melissa Gayle West: "deepening spirituality; inwardness and connection; access to intuition and creativity; simplicity; integration of body and spirit; and intimacy and community." These are tall orders, but West manages to demystify this powerful process, explaining how it differs from walking a maze and how readers can make their own labyrinths. The book's narrative and organization themselves flow as thoughtfully and compellingly as a labyrinth. The three main sections cover "Meeting the Labyrinth," "Making the Labyrinth," and "Playing and Healing with the Labyrinth." West also offers an extensive resource listing and a thorough index. This is easily one of the best contemporary guidebooks on this fascinating and evolving form of spiritual practice. --Gail Hudson

From Library Journal

Labyrinths, a growing phenomenon in the New Age world, are used for emotional and spiritual healing. In this book, psychotherapist West explains how she has found labyrinths constructive in her life. But while she tells us how to construct our own labyrinths, she neither gives the uninitiated a clue as to how to find out if we live near one nor provides a general list of where they are located. She includes a very brief, glossed-over history of labyrinths and a too-short annotated bibliography that fails to include many references made in the text. She does offer detailed instructions on how to construct our own labyrinthsAfrom tabletop-sized ones suitable for finger-tracing to full-fledged football field-sized ones good for contemplative walkingAand a helpful appendix of organizations, products, and web pages. But on the whole, this book leaves the reader with more questions than answers. Not recommended.AMarija Sanderling, Rochester P.L., NH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony; First Edition, Later Printing edition (February 8, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767903560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767903561
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Adair Deacon on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a longtime scholar of the labyrinth, and labyrinth enthusiast. Ms. West's book is by far the best book I have ever read on labyrinths, and I believe I've read them all. I had never before had the courage to make a labyrinth, though. Ms. West's clear and simple instructions gave me the push I needed-I was astonished to find how really easy it was to create a labyrinth using her instructions. For anything to do with the labyrinth-history, theory, creative and imaginative uses, and how to make them-this book is absolutely essential.
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46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By helene m on November 30, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just discovered Melissa West's book. I am a longtime labyrinth facilitator and have devoured everything in print I can find. Her book is profoundly inspiring, both to newcomers (I've already recommended it to several) and regulars. I find especially helpful her specific instructions for using the labyrinth for fostering creativity and goal setting, something I've never thought to use the labyrinth for. I find very moving, and very inspiring, her work with people who are seriously ill to use the labyrinth as a powerful healing tool. Ms. West obviously lives life from a very deep place, and writes about the labyrinth from that place as well. Guaranteed to invite you into new territory with the labyrinth, no matter what your level of experience! A great gift to us all.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
If you want to explore all the many ways of working with a labyrinth, this is the best book available. I'm a veteran labyrinth walker, and I've learned ways to use the labyrinth I've never known about. I particularly liked the chapters on creativity, inspiration, and healing
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 29, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a longtime labyrinth facilitator and know every book out there-very excited to find this one. Particularly recommended are all the creative ways to "explore the labyrinth," and the rituals and celebrations. Highly highly recommended.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Ron Witt on August 25, 2000
Format: Paperback
With wisdom and intergrity Mellissa reaquaints us with nature and with the vitality of the mystics.We are put in touch with the sacreness that embodies the smallest aspect of creation.With humor and insight we are awaken to the joys of walking the path.You learn that less can really be more and what really matters in our stressed out human hearts. Mellissa Gayle West book inspired me to build a labyrinth facing east out of stone with three foot wide paths.It is near a pond with a mountain veiw and a apple,weeper,maple,cedar and oak trees PEACE
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Green on February 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest books I've ever read on practical ways of exploring personal and spiritual growth. Even if you've never walked a labyrinth, read it. Especially if you've walked a labyrinth, READ IT.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By joseph on March 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
I just walked the labyrinth for the first time last weekend. I wanted to know more and my friend gave me this book. It answered all my questions plus much more. I want to go back and walk it a lot with all the suggestions from this book. Reading this book gave me the confidence to explore the labyrinth a lot more. Read it, read it, read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne M. Troge on January 25, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best book that I know of for teaching you step by step how to create a labyrinth. I teach two year trainings in shamanism and in one of our classes we walk the labyrinth and this book shows very simply how to construct a rope labyrinth anywhere. I also teach at retreats and can take my "rope" with me and easily set up a labyrinth wherever I am teaching! Highly recommend this book. You won't be disappointed.
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