Labyrinth Research Bibliography

Bibliography of Studies Related to Labyrinth Research (.pdf 517K)

This downloadable Bibliography has all entries sorted by author. The entries in the bibliography have been categorized below by topic and also by type (doctoral dissertation, journal article etc.).

Walking the midlife labyrinth: A phenomenological study of the embodiment of spirituality in women during the middle years

Carpeneto, G. R.

Abstract:  In this study, the researcher explores the phenomenon of embodied spirituality, as this is experienced in the lives of women who are in the middle years of the lifespan. Through a series of individual conversations, group meetings, and massage/bodywork sessions, four participants and the researcher attempt to answer the question, "What is this experience like in our lives?"  The ancient practice of walking a labyrinth to gain spiritual insight serves as metaphor for the midlife journey we explore in this study.  As we walk the labyrinthine path, themes are brought forward, and we reflect on the interweaving of spirituality in all aspects of our lives, but most especially in our being-bodily.  We find that we experience time differently in our middle years, gaining a sense of open-endedness that we had not had before.  We talk about our bodies, as they open into space in a way we had not known before, giving us a vastly different sense of spatiality and motility.  In particular, we reflect on the experience of touch that seems to have brought the felt-experience of spirituality to the surface for us in our middle years. We look at the experience of suffering and brokenness in our lives, as we explore the deep, existential meaning this has for us.  The theme of ineffability weaves its way throughout our journey, as we come to realize we are often powerless to put words on what we now know is the experience of Being.  We find our spirituality most tangibly felt when we are in question--living in paradox, ambiguity, and tensionality.  We reflect on the meaning of "both/and" in those polarities that have begun to riddle our middle years--immanence/transcendence, spirit/matter, being/doing, sacred/profane, then/now, brokenness/wholeness, speech/silence. In this study, the researcher uses the hermeneutic phenomenological mode of inquiry to reveal the nature and structure of the experience of embodied spirituality, as these have been brought forward by the voices of women journeying through their middle years.

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