Following the Functional Path of Ancient Walking to Primal
Functional Path Philosophy in Development
The Functional Path is a methodology that's been used
pragmatically in both therapy and mentor technology/coaching, but
had fallen out of use in favor of smoother, paved roads that
promised faster and easier results. Seeking to follow and
better define the functional path is a continuing journey,
fortunately it is a developmental process that many are now
realizing and traveling again.
Functional Path approaches and methods (like the three outlined
here) bring participants back to the basics of movement.
Whether it is labyrinth walking, a form of barefoot tai chi or
Ta-Ke-Ti-Na -- it is learning to tune into the body and it's inherent
wisdom to produce rhythmic flowing movement.
Why is this path important to explore?
Because in our contemporary times
"over-taxed stress response" has become a major contributor to
A state of "dis-ease" that subjects our body -- most of the time
-- to hormone releases that were originally geared for a temporary
And, when that stress becomes chronic, it leads to glandular
fatigue and organ failure.
In simple terms, a body under constant stress has been
conditioned away from the inherent mechanisms (the functional path)
designed to cope with stress.
We know stress disables and kills across the spectrum. It leads
to more premature births; it surely brings down elders.
Statistics reveal elderly people die within two years of losing a
spouse, and are more likely to expire after being compelled to move
to a new home.
Perhaps in this hectic, pimped-up, over-paced, modern world ~~
taking a moment to simply walk.....or move methodically.....or clap
/ chant / dance is the best remedy you can do for yourself.
Learn, Explore, and Be Well!
Music to Walk To:
"The most important thing
regarding music for walking a labyrinth is that it be appropriate for the focus
of the particular labyrinth event. In the research that I have done,
around 95% percent of people responding to a survey following a labyrinth walk
said that the overall environment, including music, candles, etc. was "very
helpful" or "helpful" to their overall labyrinth experience.
That being said, some
people prefer to walk a labyrinth using no music at all. That is very much
a personal preference.
In general, "new age,"
nonintrusive instrumental music works well. However, for labyrinth walks
that I facilitate at my church I often use CD's of Taize music. Two that I
particularly like are "Taize: Wait for the Lord," and "Laudate: Music of Taize."
This is vocal chant music with a lot of repitition. An instrumental CD
that I use frequently is "Feather on the Breath of God" by Erin Jacobsen.
However, when I facilitate
the "Appleton," a double-line dance on the classical labyrinth, I usually use
peppy Celtic dance music.
John W. Rhodes, Ph.D, Chairman, Research Committee The
Dr. John W. Rhodes has been trained as a labyrinth
facilitator by the Rev. Dr. Lauren Artress at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in San
Francisco, California, USA, and certified as a labyrinth facilitator by
Veriditas, the Worldwide Labyrinth Project. John also received training in
labyrinth construction from Robert Ferre, one of the world's foremost labyrinth
builders. John teaches labyrinth classes and facilitates labyrinth events and
retreats in the Atlanta, Georgia, USA, area. He is coordinator of the Labyrinth
Ministry at Harmony Grove United Methodist Church, Lilburn, Georgia. In
addition, he is Chairman of the Research Committee of the Labyrinth Society, an
international labyrinth organization, and is actively engaged in the fledgling
field of research related to the labyrinth and the effects reported by those who
walk or otherwise interact with it. In July 2006 John presented the labyrinth at
the World Methodist Conference in Seoul, Korea, making the labyrinth available
to more than 3,000 conference delegates from more than 130 countries. He also
writes a regular column for the Labyrinth Newsletter of Australia.
To read about a modern understanding of CHI by Jean
Erasmus go to: