chakra-vyuha …….. labyrinth

Intricate carvings showing a legend from Mahābhārata, where the warrior Abhimanyu enters the chakra-vyuha – Hoysaleswara temple, Halebid, India.

Mazes and Labyrinths are often lumped together in the popular imagination, but differ in important ways. A maze is a series of compartmentalised and confusing paths, most of which lead to dead ends. When you enter, your objective is to escape – as quickly as you can. A Labyrinth is a spiral walking course. When you enter, your goal is to follow the path to the center, stop, turn around, and walk back out – all at whatever pace you choose. Mazes are analytically puzzles to be solved ; labyrinths are a form of moving meditation. Mazes can be disorienting ; labyrinth can be centering. You can get lost in a maze, you can lose yourself in a labyrinth. Mazes engage the left brain, labyrinth free the right brain.

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