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Monk in the World Guestpost

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of writing a piece for Christine Valters Paintner over at

It turned out to be this great moment of clarity for me, learning a bit about how I make a mountain out of a molehill, or something into this huge whopping truth, when it might just really be a piece of my experience and someone else would define the truth of it entirely differently.  Here’s a bit about how that unfolded for me…

A few years ago, I was on a sales trip to San Francisco, working at a convention center across the street from Grace Cathedral.  I was exhausted from my work and searching for a few moments of peace and quiet.  On the second day I stepped out of the convention center for some fresh air and caught sight of the cathedral set up on a hill, beckoning me to cross the street and clear my head.  A posted sign read there was an organ and choir performance that day, the perfect opportunity to decompress.
valerie holt labyrinthAs I entered the cathedral, I realized I was too early for the performance and heard the organist practicing. The space was cool and dimly lit from nearby stained glass windows. I quietly circled the main space and returned to the entry when I finally looked down.  There at my feet, woven in simple variations of woolen dove grey was a huge labyrinth.  A nearby sign stated it was patterned after the labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral in France, which I had been to years earlier. The sign further described the labyrinth as a meditation tool.  It hinted at secrets of the walk and how levels of awareness were available to the devout practitioner.

Read the whole story HERE