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Front cover for Labyrinths


Walking Toward the Center

Gernot Candolini tells the story of his family's journey in a borrowed camper to visit historic labyrinths across Europe. Each new labyrinth is a revelation that informs the family's quest and deepens the author's understanding of labyrinths as maps of the soul.

The mystery and power of the labyrinth come to life in the inspired, personal stories of labyrinth architect Gernot Candolini. His understanding of the ancient tool for meditation and reflection unfolds throughout the course of this work from an offhand interest to a researched passion. Eventually Candolini designs and builds his own labyrinths, moving from novice to expert with the same steady footsteps that he travels the winding paths of his creations.

Candolini's profound knowledge of the structure and function of the labyrinth, as well as his musings on his road of discovery infuse the subject with a depth and quiet awareness and awaken the reader to the contemplative opening that the labyrinth offers.

Paula D'Arcy offers a foreword for this lovely book, setting the stage for Candolini's surprising and thought-provoking voyage into the unknown. 

Reviews and endorsements

“'The labyrinth is a sacred tool for knowing; an image that connects us to God, the world and ourselves. There is something of the mystery in it, and at the same time a fascinating clarity and perfection. It reveals something of our mysterious being to ourselves and offers us a glimpse of the beauty and harmony of the universe in which we are cradled.'

With this profound statement Gernot Candolini ends his all too brief but profound study of the labyrinth through history as well as a sharing of the wisdom he has obtained from visiting many of the world’s ancient labyrinths and designing them throughout Europe.

Beginning with the premise that the labyrinth is an image of life, a mirror of the soul, a symbol of humanity, Candolini believes that 'much lies waiting to be discovered in it, above all, oneself.'

Each chapter begins with a drawing and explanation of a labyrinth somewhere in the world as well as a reflective quote. In the beginning chapters, Candolini shares his family’s experience visiting a specific labyrinth. As the book concludes he tells of the tales of Theseus and Ariadne and finding the Minotaur, which may be ourselves.

With the renewed interest in the labyrinth today, this little book will be invaluable to readers as they enter into this ancient form of prayer, reflection and discovery as we seek balance and direction in today’s world. As Condolini notes, 'if life is viewed as a maze, every mistake is an unnecessary detour and a waste of time. If life is a labyrinth, every mistake is part of a path and an indispensable master teacher.'”
—Ann Lynch, SSJ

"Gernot Candolini’s book titled Labyrinths: Walking Toward the Center begins as a gentle travel guide. He and his wife, Uli, quit their jobs, placed their possessions in storage, and with their 2-year old daughter set out in their trailer, their only plan to explore the labyrinths of Europe. Each brief chapter is focused on a specific labyrinth. Its shape is hand drawn in the text along with a statement that imparts wisdom about walking the path of life followed by a brief text that tells more about the labyrinth and reflections about their trip.

Gernot Candolini is an Austrian . . . His entry and interest in the labyrinth comes from the early work of Hermann Kern a German whose early research in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s led to the European branch of the labyrinth revival occurring in the West.

At times the author seems to confuse labyrinths and mazes in that some illustrations are clearly mazesdesigned as a game to confuse yourather than a single path labyrinth designed to help you find your way.  That aside, this is a gentle and insightful book that serves as a guide to both labyrinths and our spiritual path."
(The Rev. Canon) Lauren Artress, San Francisco, CA

Paperback / 144 pages
Dimensions: 5 3/8 x 8 1/4