Labyrinth event aims to ease stress, promote peace May 7 in Zionsville 

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During her first experience walking through a labyrinth approximately 15 years ago, Cheri DeBerry enjoyed the spiritual experience so much that she began seeking them out near her home and during her travels.

For the 14th annual World Labyrinth Day on May 7, she is partnering with fellow Zionsville resident and labyrinth enthusiast Julia Clement and Zionsville United Methodist Church to let the community experience it, as well. This is the first time the event will occur in Zionsville.

Unlike mazes, labyrinths provide a winding singular path to and from a center area, providing space for personal reflection, meditation, spiritual practice and stress reduction. They’ve been around for thousands of years and are not tied to a specific religion, often being used to promote peace.

DeBerry said she envisions leaving behind whatever clutters her mind as she enters a labyrinth; then she pauses in the center to rest and reflect until she feels ready to retrace her steps on the way out.

“It’s a chance – no matter where you are – to somewhat leave the world, leave whatever stresses you have going on,” she said. “When you enter the labyrinth, you’re entering a sacred space, whatever sacred may mean to you. It’s a time to reflect on whatever things are going on in your life or questions you have.”

The portable labyrinth will be open inside ZUMC, 9644 Whitestown Rd., from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. At 1 p.m. DeBerry will lead a short meditation as participants walk through the labyrinth, part of an international effort promoted by the Labyrinth Society to support peace by “Walking as One at 1” in each time zone. The event is free and open to the public.

The labyrinth in Zionsville will be a Chartres model, based on the 13th century floor labyrinth in Chartes Cathedral in France. Participants typically spend 10 to 30 minutes in the labyrinth, DeBerry said, depending on their pace.

ZUMC purchased the labyrinth shortly before the pandemic, DeBerry said, and was finally able to debut it earlier this year. DeBerry and Arnold connected through a Facebook group – unrelated to labyrinths – where they learned of their shared passion.

For more, visit worldlabyrinthday.org. Learn more about the Zionsville event by emailing ZionsvilleWorldLabyrinthDay@gmail.com.

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