Above: Modeled on the labyrinth in France’s Chartres Cathedral, this one awaits by the doors of the St. Francis Cathedral, near the Santa Fe Plaza. Photograph by Stephen Bohannon.
In Los Alamos, a labyrinth winds through a grove of ponderosa pines. At the Mandala Center, in Des Moines, one overlooks Capulin Volcano. At St. Francis Cathedral, in Santa Fe, walkers must marshal their meditative focus against loud bells and a crush of tourists. With roots in petroglyph spirals and medieval churches, labyrinths appear all across New Mexico, from the roughly outlined to the finely landscaped. Their series of circles that wind toward a center and back again bedeck churchyards, school playgrounds, public parks, and private retreats. World-Wide Labyrinth Locator lists more than 100, from Carlsbad to Farmington and Questa to Deming. In Santa Fe, the Labyrinth Resource Group crafted the original sand labyrinth (it’s now paved) at the Museum of International Folk Art and organizes meditative events at ones all around town. Pick one, slow your breathing, and step with purpose. You can say a mantra, pray, or practice silence. In this, a month of gratitude, simply whisper a list of all that graces your life. Include the labyrinth builders in your thoughts.