advertisement



Meet Dr. Weil


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Rebuilding the Labyrinth

“It was beautiful,” said Dr. Weil, staring across the barren landscape. “It drew people here. I must say, I’ve missed it.”

The object of the doctor’s wistful reminiscence was his original labyrinth, a 60-foot-wide assemblage of concentric stone circles he helped to build three years ago. Based on the famed labyrinth laid into the floor of Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France around 1200 A.D., it stretched across a patch of sandy ground about 100 yards from Dr. Weil’s home near Tucson, Arizona.

Two friends, Jace Mortensen and Tamarack Little, had worked with Dr. Weil for three months (during the hours they could spare from their busy schedules) to wheelbarrow rocks from the nearby riverbed and place them to form the evocative shape. The effort had paid off - immediately upon completion in April of 2005, the original labyrinth was a hit. The daily parade of visitors to the ranch - assorted friends, medical professors and students, book publishers, even jaded journalists - could not resist the pull of a 20-minute contemplative walk through the structure. “It had an energy to it that was just very nice,” said Dr. Weil.

But a once-in-a-century flood on June 31, 2006, scoured away more than 2/3 of the stones, and scarred and pitted the earth beneath. “The water was about three feet deep through here,” recalled Jace (he and his brother Justin were the only two people at the ranch on that harrowing night). “And the current was incredibly swift, it just grabbed the rocks - I’m sure some are miles downstream.” 

The post-deluge cleanup focused on getting the house, offices, bridges and other homestead essentials rebuilt and operational. Finally, after eight months, the ranch was largely back in order.

It was time to resurrect the labyrinth.

Reluctant to spend another grueling three months on the project, Jace had another idea: a labyrinth rebuilding party. Emails and phone calls promising a good time and free food promptly radiated across southern Arizona. On the morning of February 22, 2007, 28 volunteers, including faculty and students from the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, Weil Lifestyle staffers, ranch hands, assorted friends, children and five dogs gathered in the brilliant desert sun.

“If there is a pretty face on a stone, put that face up,” said Jace.

“Stay hydrated! Have fun!” commanded Dr. Weil, and the build was on.

Jace had prepared for the day by trucking in 12 tons of rock, since the tedious process of wheelbarrowing local rock to the site had been the main time drag during construction of the original . He had also pounded a center stake into the ground, tied a rope to it, and drew marks on the rope at two-foot intervals. As the volunteers moved the taut rope around the center pole like a clock’s minute hand, the marks showed where to place the stone courses.

Punctuated by laughter, barks, squealing kids and some serious discussions of stone positioning (doctors, it seems, are reluctant to place any object casually) the work went surprisingly quickly. By lunch, consisting of extraordinary Bolivian empanadas prepared by household manager Dena Jaffee, it was nearly half done.

Dr. Weil Fills the Gaps

View the entire slideshow of the labyrinth rebuild.

That afternoon, the most challenging aspect proved to be erecting the monumental center stone, a five-foot-long, half-ton monolith that the raging current had pushed on its side. “It has to be exactly in the center,” decreed Dr. Weil. Some 45 minutes of vigorous anaerobic persuasion by Dr. Weil and others finally accomplished the feat.

By 4 p.m., the last stone was in place. Adults began walking the path. Children ran. Dogs slept, and were carefully stepped over. “I’m amazed,” said Jace. “It’s inspiring to see what a lot of people working together can do.”

“I am just really happy,” added Dr. Weil. “Now it feels like the ranch is back where it needs to be.” Today, the resurrected labyrinth is a focal point of Dr. Weil's ranch. Visitors, often accompanied by Dr. Weil, walk it nearly every day.

By Brad Lemley, DrWeil.com News
Photos by Brad Lemley

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here