For my sixtieth birthday someone gave me a finger labyrinth. I put it in my drawer and promptly forgot about it. However, as I started to research various methods of prayer to incorporate in my book Return to Our Senses: Reimagining How We Pray I pulled it out again. To be honest this seemed a very strange way to prayer especially when most of the articles I read suggested that the best way to trace out a finger labyrinth is with a finger from your non-dominant hand. Evidently research suggests that our non-dominant hand has better access to our intuition and creativity.
Much to my surprise, when I experimented with my finger labyrinth, I found that it really did help me focus and often brought intuitive inspiration when I was grappling with challenging issues. It inspired the prayer that I posted yesterday.
Interestingly, some of the earliest labyrinths found in Christian churches are finger labyrinths, their circuits well worn over the centuries by the passage of innumerable fingers “walking” to the center and then out again.
For more information on finger labyrinths and ideas on how to use them check out my post: What on Earth is a Finger Labyrinth? or Meditation Monday – Questions from A Labyrinth. This one has lots of links to creative ways to make your own labyrinth.
Let’s Create our Own Finger Labyrinth.
Creating finger labyrinths is one of the creativity tasks I use frequently at spiritual retreats. The process we use is very simple for adults and kids.
Cut pieces of wood into squares – minimum size 6″x6″ but preferably 9″x9″
If possible use recycled wood.
Download templates for finger labyrinths and choose the one you want to use. A simple pattern like this one is best for this exercise.
Print the image onto card stock and cut it out. Then use as a stencil and spray paint onto the pattern to create your labyrinth.
Transfer your image to your block of wood using waxed paper and these simple instructions: or those in this video.
If you are plan to do this with a group you may like to transfer your image to sheets of cardboard. Either cut out the template with an x-acto knife and allow participants to trace around it with a thick permanent marker as part of the exercise or allow them to cut it out themselves and then trace around it or spray paint (much less fun).
Trail glue around the labyrinth pattern.
Sprinkle with sand. This creates a wonderfully tactile experience when you use the labyrinth that stirs the senses in unexpected ways.
Allow to dry.
Decorate it and use it regularly as a spiritual discipline.
For other ideas on making a finger labyrinth check these out: