Learning from the Lavender Labyrinth

John Schaeffer by John Schaeffer | March 24th, 2008 | 3 Comments
topic: Green Living

When I get stressed out I head directly to our Lavender Labyrinth. We planted our labyrinth in the middle of our 2800 tree organic and biodynamic olive orchard and 8-acre vineyard. From its gorgeous vantage 800 feet above the Hopland Valley, it is comprised of 700 “Provence” variety lavender plants that have grown up exceedingly fast since they were planted in 2006. The labyrinth is modeled after a French cathedral in San Quentin, France. It is a 11 course labyrinth meaning you have to walk in a half circle 11 times before you get to the middle, each row bordered on either side with gorgeous and redolent lavender plants.
The idea of the labyrinth is to center your mind. By swinging your arms back and forth you balance your left and right brain and get them synchronized to gather back the strength that may have dissipated in your hectic life. Sometimes I really get into our labyrinth and treat it like an uber walking meditation. One day, on July 7, 2007, strictly by coincidence, I decided to count the time and the steps it took me to walk through the labyrinth into the center. Lo and behold it was almost exactly 700 steps and 7 minutes to go into the middle. And this I found on 7.7.07. And on top of that there are 700 lavender plants. Cosmic enough for you?
For each of the past two New Year’s Eve’s, we’ve invited friends out for a New Year’s Eve party – away from the bright lights and the horns. Invariably we end up in the lavender labyrinth before midnight walking through with  candles to light our way celebrating the year gone by and setting our intentions for the year to come. It feels great and so much better than a countdown in Las Vegas in the midst of 50,000 screaming weirdos! 
So when the going gets tough, take a trip to a labyrinth – you’ll find them in churches in most big cities and there are a few out in the country that welcome visitors. Check out the labyrinth registry:  http://wwll.veriditas.labyrinthsociety.org/ 

If you’re in Hopland sometime, look me up and if I’ve got the time, I just might take you up to see mine.
For the Earth,
John Schaeffer


  1. Labyrinths are so wonderful! We have one right around the corner from our house and it is just magnificent! Thanks for sharing your story.

    Lauren Goldstein
    Wellness Coach
    The Space Betweeen

    Lauren Goldstein | April 16th, 2008 | Comment Permalink
  2. My wife and I live on a retreat property where they installed a labyrinth using my design. The labyrinth experience has been greatly appreciated by our guests.

    Chris | March 3rd, 2009 | Comment Permalink
  3. We have planted a ceremonial labyrinth in the Willamette Valley, Oregon, comprised of 700 Buena Vista Lavender plants. Our labyrinth is in its second year and will be ready for visitors in 2011. We are building a 12 foot white gazebo in the center for ceremonies and wine tasting. Today we have bees galore and sit in the middle of the labyrinth and sip our pinot noir and listen to the calming buzz!

    TeBri | July 26th, 2010 | Comment Permalink

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