Author: Prashant Bhatt

  In the Middle Ages as today, pilgrimages in the form of maps, manuscripts, and pavement labyrinths engendered an experience of embodied pilgrimage for those who could not travel physically to far away sites and shrines. The Maps of 12-steps is one of the paths to spirituality which many follow to see their role in dysfunctional relationships and have a more personal powerful connection with a Higher Power. This blog tells of the Labyrinth at the Jesuit Retreat center of Manresa, Pickering, Ontario. It is examined within the context of 12-Step Spirituality, through the lens of the experiences of retreatants, fellows and the sense of spiritual presence while perambulating this space.(Barush, 2020)

Drop the Rod

In my experience, a senior in the program pointed out the pitfall of intellectualising the steps, but not grasping their essence. He listened to the step worksheet and pointed out that I am using this work as a way to show others that I am doing the work, but not having a spiritual program, not being kind. “You have not yet dropped the rod. Now you are using these inventories to beat others around you, with these lists and inventories.” Having been around these labyrinths many times, he could see the false paths which take one away from the core and primary purpose of the program of recovery.

Embodied experiences serve as a pathway to enhance our comprehension of a Higher Power.

Natural places where we develop and deepen our connection made me remember some journeys of yesteryears. Now such collages are a regular part of my creativity cycle. These are also my thinking places

Readings- Childhood and Society-Erik H Erikson, Burlington Spencer Smith park-2024-March

Erikson describes the difference between way boys and girls use forms. This exercise helps deepen our understanding of how people process thoughts, feelings, memories, sensations in different cultural contexts. Cultural sensitivity is one labyrinth where one is always learning (Erikson, 1963)

Sympathy and Empathy- Readings in Riverwood- Mississauga- November 2019

Empathy is feeling with a person, if someone is stuck in a hole, you climb down with them and say you know what it feels like- you think with the person, rather than about them or for them. Sympathy is saying- Huh- It’s is too bad, it will be ok, you want a sandwich? (Jiang, 2015)


Barush, K. (2020). Labyrinths as an Embodied pilgrimage Experience: an Ignatian Case
Study. Material Christianity: Western Religion and the Agency of Things, 197-222.

Erikson, E. H. (1963). Childhood and society (Vol. 2). New York: Norton.

Jiang, J. (2015). Rejection proof. Random House.

12 step worksheet to rebuild relationship with loved ones:

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