Labyrinths New Zealand

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NZ Koru Labyrinth at Oasis Retreat Centre, Albany, Auckland

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Andrew and Margaret Dunn have a retreat centre in Albany Heights outside Auckland. They are retreat leaders, spiritual directors and supervisors of ministry and spiritual direction.
Andrew is a minister and Margaret a quilter. "God's grace and love in Jesus Christ focuses our spirituality. The Scriptures and creation as 'God's other book' nourish and inspire. Trinitarian spirituality and God's presence underpin life and faith. We have a keen interest in conservation and enjoy caring for our five acres of bush and gardens."
"Our bush, our 'bush cathedral', has well-made tracks and seats and is the home of many native birds. In season the bush grows a wide variety of fungi and orchids. Our labyrinth is in the form of an unfolding tree fern koru with seats for meditation."

This contemporary labyrinth in the shape of the unfolding head of a koru was the natural shape to emerge on the steep hillside. A path winds into the bush with occassional glimpses through the canopy overhead. There are seats along the way to stop and contemplate the unfolding journey and listen to the birds. A wooden chair is placed at the centre of the koru. The labyrinth is a key part of spiritual retreats at the centre.

People who have walked the Koru Labyrinth have found the walk very profound and the central seat a very special place of God's presence.

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Walking the Koru Labyrinth


The prayer koru is a New Zealand version of the traditional labyrinth. Instead of walking around the cruciform shape of a labyrinth the koru walk follows the shape of an unfolding tree fern frond
(ponga, mamaku etc.) walking from the base to the tip, and back again.

The koru is a symbol of life unfolding. It is a complex leaf form where each part of the frond
unfolds as a miniature frond with the result that the whole frond is a delicate, expansive patterned shape that is a mark of our bush. Here we use it as a way of walking meditatively
and praying.

Finding The Koru: It lies between the Glade and the Glen on the top track which is entered on one of the short tracks starting below/behind the garden shed and water tank.

Using The Koru: The steep descent down the steps takes you to the start of the Koru. Use the handrail to steady yourself - it’s steep! The stepping stones cross a wet patch with the track rising to a seat under a ponga, a reflective spot. It then crosses a bridge and rises up a slope through ferns, kanuka and tanekaha trees. The seat on this slope looks over the regrowth of The Circle, as we call it.

Further on, the track begins to curl around to the end of the frond past another seat and ends in an open space with a garden seat to relax and reflect in.

What does the journey so far suggest to you?
What’s it like moving out along the unfolding frond?
What signs of life and hope have you seen?

The return takes you back down the frond to the base and up the steps to the Glade-Glen
track. Walk it slowly; stop at the seats.

What do you see going this way?
What is it like to return to the start?
What did the rising back up from the Koru suggest to you?
What insights have you had overall?

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Getting there ...

Physical Address:

Oasis Retreat Centre
206 Albany Heights Road,
New Zealand

Availability: Please call for an appointment.

Contact: Andrew and Margaret Dunn

Phone: +64 9 415-9686


More on this Centre ...

Oasis Retreat Centre offers:

  • Retreats
  • Quiet Days
  • Use of our spirituality Library
  • NZ Koru Labyrinth
  • Study Leave opportunities
  • Spiritual Direction - monthly or to suit
  • Supervision of ministry, spiritual direction, and retreat leadership
  • An ideal place for planning days

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