World Labyrinth Day was celebrated on Saturday May 5th at the Armenian Heritage Park on the Greenway. This annual event offers an opportunity for neighbors, tourists, and friends to walk as one in peace and harmony at the same time as people in cities worldwide.The event commenced with an introduction to walking a labyrinth from Armineh Mirzabegian, M.D. who said to the crowd,
“For the park, the labyrinth is symbolic of life’s journey – the single jet of water at its center is symbolic of hope and rebirth.”
Mirzabegian went on to explain the health benefits of walking the labyrinth and of walking meditation in general. She cited that meditation can help with “anxiety, depression, chronic pain, insomnia, lowering blood pressure, memory, and improving focus and attention.”
After walking the labyrinth, Lucas Cowan, Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy’s Public Art Curator, led the crowd in celebrating the new configuration of the abstract sculpture. He said, “The best thing that public art can do is to speak to you. The labyrinth is constantly changing just like the immigrant landscape.” The dodecahedron is reconfigured annually, symbolizing the experiences of all who came to Massachusetts from other countries and who have had to create new lives.
Sarah Baker, Editor-in-Chief at Art New England, discussed the power of public art and the connection to who we are as a city. She also spoke about the art’s relationship with the community, explaining that students at the Eliot School in the North End are using the labyrinth to learn geometry.
Christine “Chris” Farrow Noble who wrote Walking a Labyrinth Daily: Exploring a Spiritual Practice also attended the celebration. In 2014, Noble committed to walking the labyrinth in the North End daily as a spiritual practice and writing about her experiences. Noble is currently writing a novel about labyrinths.
North End local Rita Pagliuca discussed with attendees how the experiences of immigrants makes her think of her own family, who had to leave Sicily and came to America. She sees the park as a reminder of what each heritage went through.
The reception ended with tea and desserts courtesy of MEM Tea Imports and Eastern Lamejun Bakers. For more information on the Armenian Heritage Park, please see ArmenianHeritagePark.org. To learn about upcoming events at the Park, see our community calendar.