Whirled Musings

Across the Universe with Cosmic Connie, aka Connie L. Schmidt...or maybe just through the dung-filled streets and murky swamps of pop culture -- more specifically, the New-Age/New-Wage crowd, pop spirituality & religion, pop psychology, self(ish)-help, business babble, media silliness, & related (or occasionally unrelated) matters of consequence. Hope you're wearing boots. (By the way, the "Cosmic" bit in my moniker is IRONIC.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

It never ceases to a-maze me…

It seems everything is a competition these days. This just came across the wire services…

"Labyrinthaletes" race to the center – and to centeredness

(API) One of the hottest new sports among the fashionably enlightened, achievement-oriented set is competitive prayerwalking – through a labyrinth.

Labyrinths have enjoyed a huge rise in popularity over the past few years, first taking hold in religious and spiritual centers across the country, and quickly spreading to more secular venues as well. The home labyrinth industry is now booming.

Labyrinths have a long tradition in spiritual practice. "The labyrinth is a universal symbol of wholeness, and as a tool for meditation and prayer, it is unsurpassed," says the Reverend Leeda Straye of Lunity Church in Goatthroat, New Mexico, a suburb of Taos. The traditional practice is for an individual to begin at the perimeter of the ’rinth, and make his or her way to the center, at his or her own pace, while meditating, praying or just unwinding.

But for more and more "rinthwalkers" the activity has become competitive as participants in group walks race to be the first not only to reach the physical center of the ’rinth but also to achieve a state of spiritual centeredness. The latter may seem subjective, but can actually be measured by sophisticated tools such as the Hawkins Scale of Consciousness. And a growing number of public 'rinths have a certified Hawkins Scale reader on site to measure the before-and-after consciousness of the rinthwalkers.

It’s all part of the general trend in competitive enlightenment, according to social analyst Hak Ryter, Ph.D. "For many folks, it's not enough to achieve enlightenment and spiritual fulfillment these days," says Dr. Ryter. "They want to reach a greater state of enlightenment than the average Joe, and they want to be the first in their crowd to achieve that state."

It's no wonder, then, that competitive rinthwalking is now all the rage in some of the most spiritually and monetarily advanced circles in the country. A huge outdoor labyrinth racetrack and prayer center (pictured above) is now being constructed on Maui, scheduled for completion by next Christmas. Participants in the 'rinth races will pay a minimum $1,000.00 entry fee per race, but the winner of any given race receives a prize worth much more than $1,000.00: the opportunity to attend, at a reduced rate, a Miracle Manifestation weekend presented by one of the country’s leading Miracles Coaches.

Competitive rinthwalking has taken hold in a big way in corporate America. Across the US, companies large and small have installed indoor labyrinths, and many have gone to the expense of having huge outdoor ’rinths created for employee use. It’s part of the whole workplace soul-and-spirit trend that has taken hold over the past couple of decades or so, says Dr. Ryter. ’Rinth enthusiasts say that adding competition to a rinthwalk offers the best of both worlds: a boost to one’s personal spirituality as well as to one’s personal excellence in the workplace. Of course, not all participants use their ’rinth time to pray or meditate; many plug a self-help or motivational recording into their iPod and listen to that as they race to the center.

Some corporations have added firewalking to the mix, and although this has resulted in a few burnt tootsies and, in at least one case, an all-out conflagration that destroyed the labyrinth, the CFO’s hair extensions and an entire wing of the company’s home office, most participants give the new fusion a big thumbs-up. "Fire-racing through my company’s labyrinth while listening to the audiobook of The Secret on my iPod has made me a much more productive worker and a better employer," says Al O’Vera, Executive Vice President of LOA Industries on Maui, "and, most important, it's made me an all-around more excellent person. It has changed my life. I make all of my employees do the ’rinth fire-race at least once a month, and I recommend it to everyone."

Copyright © 2006 by API News Services
Augusta Wend contributed to this report

Okay, I admit it; I had so much fun with the trauma-image consulting piece the other day that I decided to do some more spoof news. I made this whole thing up. Actually, however, it’s not nearly as silly as some of the "real" stuff I write about on this blog most of the time…

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aw, it's not real? I was going to ask if Jennifer Connelly and Bowie came with the home labrynth kit

Monday, December 11, 2006 9:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, there really are companies that sell portable labyrinths, so who knows what might be available in the future. :-)

Monday, December 11, 2006 10:08:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, now I see a whole new potential for spoof new-wage items. You should host a contest. The first person to start a new-wage hoax site and have it mentioned by Larry King or Oprah will get an autographed 8x10 of Cosmic Connie along with a slightly used copy of her BLP.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 8:12:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, CD. It's something worth considering.

It's really hard to tell the spoof stuff from the real stuff, isn't it? I think maybe the best of the "real ones" so far is the "Atlantean High Life System" I blogged about on Nov. 1. I'm still getting emails advertising this "like-new" system, which regularly retails for $13,500, but is now on sale for only $8,500. It's supposed to relax and energize you at the same time, and just generally raise your vibrations. The person offering the used system is none other than Dr. Da Vid, founder of The Silly Party. Oops, I mean The Light Party.

What a wonder-full world we live in!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Duff said...

You totally got me. This was great.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 12:35:00 AM  
Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Duff. The funny (and sad) thing is that there are probably many people who, if they read this piece without the disclaimer (and especially if they read it somewhere besides my silly blog), would be scrambling to find out where they could sign up.

Thursday, November 05, 2009 9:32:00 AM  

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