Before I die boards are erected in public spaces all over the world, including many states in America, New Zealand, Paraguay, Kazakhstan, China, South Africa, Thailand, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, India, Israel, Portugal, Spain, Australia, South Korea, Mexico, Italy, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and others.

The “Before I Die” movement was started by artist Candy Chang. She painted an abandoned house in New Orleans with blackboard paint and left chalk on the sidewalk hoping passersbys would write positive sentiments rather than continue defacing the area with negative graffiti. Within a day, the entire house was filled with commentary that was funny, poignant, wise and sad, resulting in a shift in the community dynamic as people witnessed, and were moved by, the voices of others.

Before I Die boards reveal the common dreams, sensitivities and priorities of all humanity. Filling in the board is an energetic affirmation of an individual’s hopes and dreams, and a way of supporting others as you dare to voice aloud who you are and what you truly care about.

How to Walk the Labyrinth

There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth, but there are some traditions that may help make your experience more poignant and offer greater insight.

1. The invocation: Pause at the entrance to set an intention for your walk. Take a few breaths to center yourself.

2. The walk: Follow the path, walking at whatever speed feels right to you.   If someone else is walking the labyrinth at the same time and you encounter them on the journey, you may choose to simply step aside to let them pass, then continue along your path.

3. The center:  Upon arriving at the center, you may wish to meditate or simply reflect on the feelings or thoughts that have come up during your walk. 

4. The exit: When you are ready to leave, walk the full path out. The exit is a transition time, reminding us that once we find our spiritual center, we are meant to carry it with us back into the world. Our insight or awakening serves to enhance our experiences in our daily lives.

5. Give thanks: At the conclusion of the walk, pause once again at the exit to give thanks for what you have learned or experienced. You may wish to devote a blessing to truth or deeper awareness towards your initial intention.

Other ideas for walking the Labyrinth

When we visit our spiritual center, we open up space to release that which does not serve us.

Consider carrying a stone with you into the labyrinth. Meditate on the change or emotional release necessary for embracing inner peace and well-being. When you are center, set down the stone which represents that which does not serve you. Leave the labyrinth and reenter the world ready to be free of whatever the stone left behind represents.

 Every relationship has a unique dynamic that ebbs and flows, teaching us about love, life, and what is most important.

Consider walking the labyrinth with a partner or someone involved in your life. As individuals, you should enter independently and walk at your own pace. Notice how the winding path of the labyrinth results in walking side by side for moments, but sometimes leading individuals far apart. Pause to await each other at the spiritual center. Walk together out of the labyrinth, respecting both your personal journey and the path you walk together.  

How does Walking the Labyrinth support your spiritual journey? Walkers say the labyrinth:

  • "Opens my heart"

  • "Centers and grounds me"

  • "Helps me know that there is a pattern of organization at work in the chaos of the current world"

  • "Receives my grief and pain and allows for its release"

  • "Connects me to that which is greater than me"

  • "Gives me creative insight to solve the problem I'm working on"

  • "Balances my energy"

  • "Revitalizes me to take on the rest of my life"

  • "Connects me with others walking"

  • "Is my path of prayer"

  • "Provides me with inner guidance"

  • "Gives me hope"

Learn more about Labyrinth's by exploring these links :

“A labyrinth is a symbolic journey . . . but it is a map we can really walk on, blurring the difference between map and world.”― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

The Labyrinth at Heartwood is listed in the International locator of the Labyrinth Society. We support this organization and participate in international walks for world peace.

A Labyrinth is a path designed to heighten spiritual awakening and deepen the connection between the spiritual self and our physical being. Often found at museums, churches, spiritual centers, or other community facilities, a Labyrinth provides opportunity to enhance creativity, open the heart and mind to self acceptance and understanding and to shed insight on our lives and how they continue to unfold.

Unlike a maze, which offers choices, decisions and challenges that engage the active mind, a labyrinth is designed in a pattern incorporating sacred geometry which curves and slowly leads a visitor into the quiet center. There is only one path out of the labyrinth as well, offering a visitor time to reflect on life, see parables with existence, and to forge inner stillness and peace. Walking the labyrinth invites a visitor to turn off the intellect to quiet the mind as they experience the path as a metaphor of the winding path of our lives and the twisting journey we take to find our spiritual center. It represents our journey from birth to death, and each person experiences the labyrinth differently, carrying away individual insight, awareness and inspiration. Whether you walk the labyrinth to quiet the active mind, to unleash your creativity, or to reflect and better understand your life, you need only step on the path with an open heart and mind.   . 

The Labyrinth at Heartwood is an 11 circuit classic design - a copy of the famed "Chartres Labyrinth,' built in the 13th century  at Chartres Cathedral in France (Pictured below).Just a few feet shy of the original, the path has been painstakingly laid out to keep the integrity of the design intact in respect of the history and heritage of this renowned and beloved symbol of spiritual awakening. Visitors are invited to walk the labyrinth alone or with others when exploring and enjoying the nurturing grounds of Heartwood.

The Heartwood Labyrinth

17507 Waterline Rd. Bradenton FL 34212