Last week, you walked with me through the labyrinth at Ontario’s Grail Springs in a video I shot during my healing weekend at the holistic health resort. If you don’t want to know how the labyrinth helps you solve your problems, then read no further. For those of you who would like to understand how the labyrinth works, well, let’s start off with…
Wikipedia defines intuition as having “many related meanings, usually connected to the meaning `ability to sense or know immediately without reasoning’, and is often regarded as a divine or prophetic power, including,..” And Wiki lists them. But the one that’s most relative to our discussion is the, “understanding without apparent effort, quick and ready insight seemingly independent of previous experiences or empirical knowledge.”
It’s that gut feeling or hunch we sometimes get. It also comes in the form of “Eureka!” moments or epiphanies. Some people trust it even more than their rational mind and regularly practice methods known to strengthen it as if it were a muscle. Meditation has been known to be mind building exercise for centuries and science is finally catching up.
Meditation & Brainwaves
Tons of studies on Tibetan Buddhist monks prove that meditation activates and builds certain areas of the brain, some of which are responsible for focus and states of happiness and well-being. Some of these studies seem to suggest that consistent meditation can permanently alter a person’s brain chemistry, structure and functioning.
One neurological aspect studied has been brainwaves and states of consciousness. Apparently, our minds operate within varying ranges of different brainwave frequencies. For instance, we’re in beta right now which corresponds to our normal waking state. Gamma is the highest frequency known and has been shown to be accessed easily by monks.
The other frequencies correspond to states like being totally relaxed and daydreaming (alpha), tapping into the subconscious through dreaming or creative, peak experience states (theta), and dreamless deep sleep or the unconscious (delta). While it seems that meditation can access any of the different brainwaves, it most commonly activates theta frequencies.
The Secret to the Mystical Powers of the Labyrinth
Have you ever had a burning problem and took the advice to sleep on it? And did you have a solution to that problem upon waking?
As I learned in our meditation workshop at Grail Springs, intuition can be tapped through recreation of Rapid Eye Movement (REM), which happens while we dream. Apparently the creator of a very successful therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR), hypothesizes that REM is our natural way of processing emotional experiences. When the trauma is greater than what can be processed in a night, we get a build up of unresolved issues that generally get in our way.
Fascinating psychotherapy treatment that boasts quick and long-lasting subconscious resolutions, the point here is the recreation of REM. This is the answer to the labyrinth riddle, or so suggested Barb. the Grail Springs assistant manager and meditation workshop leader. Take the labyrinth walk again and even though I was going fast, you’ll see the camera move side to side… an awful lot like REM!
I think the trick to using the labyrinth, though, is moving through the frequencies. We start at beta and move to alpha, which is the bridge from our waking reality to the dreaming world and allows us to remember what we experience there. By the time we reach the center of the labyrinth, or the symbolic City of God, we catch a glimpse of delta, of being unconscious with this reality and whole with the Universe once again.
Reaching delta brainwaves or experiencing inspiration simply means we have tapped into the all-knowing, original creative source of all living matter. Although my guess is that you don’t want to stay there too long, at least, not without a pillow.
So what do you think, Readers? Is all this hokey, mumbo-jumbo stuff or is it plausible?