Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Welcome to A Gracing Maze! First, a note about the name (it's not just a play on words that I couldn't resist). I often find myself explaining that a labyrinth is not a maze: a maze is a puzzle, full of tricks and false turnings where we can easily get lost, while a labyrinth has only one path which always in to the centre and out again, however much it twists and turns. But this is a modern distinction. In earlier times the words 'maze' and 'labyrinth' were interchangeable. No one knows exactly what 'labyrinth' means - it came into Greek from a more ancient language. A 'maze', however, is obviously 'amazing' - a good word for the experience of prayerful labyrinth-walking, which can be a taste of what Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel called radical amazement: what we feel when we sense a touch of the Divine.

So a labyrinth can be A Gracing Maze. It doesn't demand that we come with gifts of cleverness and cunning. It offers a place for us to receive gifts, graces, if we walk with open hands and heart.

I hope you will want to be part of this blog (maybe to join as a follower) and share your experiences of walking the labyrinth, especially in the city. You are very welcome.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hey there!

    THANK YOU for that WONDERFUL GIFT about grace and mazes!

    Well, I stumbled upon your blog first stumbling onto a blog two spots removed from yours... while looking for info on sound effects to play songs by a band that is like air to breathe for me, and air to exhale. That band gives one of the most hallowed renditions of the song Amazing Grace.
    That band is U2.

    I was blessed last month to sing Amazing Grace as a snippet to Walk On in the honor of Aung San Suu Kyi, and tweaked the lyrics turning it into "Aung San Suu Kyi, how sweet her grace".

    What you(?) have coined here takes things to yet another level!!!

    Like the French poet Saint John Perse said in his Nobel prize speech,
    "For if poetry is not, as it has been said, 'absolute reality', it is the closest we can get to understanding it, at that extreme limit of complicity where reality in the poem seems to inform itself."

    Somehow language plays on itself in occurences just like this site's name, like a mysterious tool where all in all reality is informing itself. Through a process called POETRY.

    I just shared a few thoughts on that other blog that led me here and was inspired to write that Serendipity is God hidden in pain sight.

    Beauty is Grace, "God", Love, Truth.

    I always had it in me to play with words - but in listening and distillating the works (worlds, shall I say!) of Bono things were taken to a metaphysical level.

    I am confident that I will meet him sooner or later. And I KNOW for a fact that when he hears that AMAZING GRACE had this jewel of a labyrinth hidden inside all along, he'll just be taken aback and make it a song...

    AS I wrote a decade ago about a Wim Wenders film [The Million Dollar Hotel]and that is true for many works of art :
    "It is riddled with keys//it is keyed with riddles..."

    These were the days where the idea of "A-Maze-ment" hit me like a ton of holy bricks.

    From Paris, with Grace

    Daniel Cochin

  3. Oh and I was forgetting... this amazing soul wrote, and sang, at age 24, about "A SPIRAL STAIRCASE TO A HIGHER GROUND"
    ("and, like a firework, explode!")

    Today he states that THE GOAL IS SOUL.

    The image is so striking it has never left me.


  4. Thank you - and welcome. An interesting connection... John Newton (1725-1807), who wrote the words of Amazing Grace, was Rector of the church of St Mary Woolnoth which has been connected with the London Centre for Spirituality and is just down the road from the Fen Court labyrinth.


Please share your labyrinth experiences and reflections with the rest of us. Everyone's welcome - and remember that we are all on different paths on the same journey. Comment with courtesy!