Today we’ll be sharing one of my favorite DIY’s to date: a backyard labyrinth!
The classical labyrinth pattern has been used from as early as 430BCE on coins and mosaics, and floor labyrinths have been used for walking meditation/prayer since the 11th century. It’s an ancient tradition that I’m glad to be a part of. I’m also really glad that it was super easy! I’m definitely not a measure twice, cut once kind of gal, which worked out great in this project.
- Labyrinth Pattern found on internet
- Weed Whacker bought at Home Depot $39
- Rocks bought at Home Depot $3.97/bag
- Arms pretty great, thanks Mom for the genes
My backyard is relatively flat, and didn’t get used for much, because the deck doesn’t have stairs – making it more of a one story balcony. We busted up a pinata in the yard once, but that’s it. I knew I wasn’t using any valuable ‘real estate’.
Step 1 – Cut the Grass
- I wanted the path to have good contrast, so I let the grass/weeds grow for about a month so I had almost knee high growth.
- Referencing the pattern image, which I had up on my phone, I imagined how the path would twist and decided the where the turns would go.
- Then I just started walking with the weed whacker, sweeping it back and forth like a Russian hay thresher. PRO TIP: long pants would’ve been a good a idea, as I got a small gash on my shin from a flying stick! I’d stop, pull out my phone from my pocket, and get my bearings in the yard every 5-10 steps.
- When I got to the center, I turned around and walked back out with the whacker on, this time really going at it, making sure I got all vegetation in the path cut right down to the dirt. This is tough work, so say thank you to your strong arms.
Step 2 – Lay the Rocks
- Bags full of rocks are heavy. Really damn heavy. Who knew? Make sure you have these at intervals around your labyrinth, so you don’t have to drag them around (like a … friend I know).
- Open up the bags, and start divvying up the rocks. I only had three bags, so I decided to just line one side of the path as an accent. If I’d had four bags, I could have lined both sides. I still like it this way, as it ended up having a very Hansel and Gretel bread crumbs feel to it!
- The bags will have a lot of rock dust at the bottom, so when a bag gets close to empty, just pick it up and empty the contents along your path.
Step 3 – Walk
- You’re done with building your very own labyrinth! You can now do what I did, and invite 14 of your favorite ladies over to enjoy it, or just savor the meditation on your own.
- Repeat one phrase or word over to yourself with your breath as you walk in, and then change it to a different one on the walk out. This evening after work, I said “I am kind to myself,” on the walk in, and “I am kind to others” on the walk out.
- Sing, or listen to a favorite song. Repetitive ones in the round are particularly great.
- Think of something internal as you walk inwards (feelings, emotions), and something external as you walk out (surroundings, other people).
- Just breathe.
At the workshop I appreciated the labyrinth, but I’ve really fallen in love with it the past few days enjoying it on my own. I’ve found it to be a great way to prep myself for transition times, either before work to get mentally ready for the day, or after work to decompress from a stressful time. Please feel free to come over and walk it whenever you like!