#17: Walk a Meditation Labyrinth
Today I decided to track down New York's "hidden" meditation labyrinth rumored to be nestled somewhere in Battery Park. I wasn't entirely sure I'd find. Hell, I wasn't even sure if it was still there. But I figured a little Sunday morning treasure hunt couldn't hurt. So I hopped the 4 Train to Bowling Green and set out to explore.
Spoiler alert: the labyrinth is still there.
The poor thing is quite untidy and rather battered. It's encircled by a gate that, I guess, is meant to protect it? Or maybe protects the accompanying (and overgrown) Urban Garden? Whatever the case, at first glance, you'd never know it was even there...which makes it all the more satisfying to find!
Despite the streams of tourists drifting by on their way to the Statue of Liberty cruise, nobody seemed to really notice this little patch of land. There was only one other person inside the gate, a guy sitting on a bench glued to his iPhone. He didn't seem to notice the labyrinth but I'm pretty sure he noticed me, the crazy girl staring intently at the ground and turning little circles in the grass. I was searching for the spot where the labyrinth begins. And trying not to step on the bees.
OH, here it is:
And so, I began, becoming the crazy girl walking larger circles. The scent of freshly cut grass drifted through the air, which is exactly how Sunday mornings should smell, and I found my mind drifting. The Labyrinth for Contemplation, as it's officially called, was designed by Ariane Burgess in 2002 to mark the 1 year anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Situated just northeast of Clinton Castle, the view is quite lovely and provides a lovely atmosphere for quiet meditation. I slowly walked the circuits, losing my way several times due to the condition of the labyrinth, but I still managed to find the center. And find my way back out again.
I was also thrilled to see a young family bounce through the gate, overhearing the mother explaining to her young daughter how to walk a labyrinth.
"Walking" was all relative but at least she enjoyed it.
Did I successfully meditate? Not really. Did I walk away feeling a sense of peace and "centered-ness". Yup.
In my book, that makes the labyrinth experience successful.
After haphazardly completing the circuits, I wandered around Battery Park. Waved to Lady Liberty. Dodged tourists. Peeked inside Clinton Castle. Considered buying an ice cream. Sat on a bench. Visited the various monuments and statues sprinkled throughout the waterfront park. Then happily made my way home to cross another 40 by 40 item off my list.