Anyone who's a fan of Black Adder
or Monty Python probably believes that labyrinths existed in medieval Europe to provide comic relief -- to make a chase scene between the good guys and the bad guys more entertaining. The truth is, labyrinths were used as a spiritual tool, a way for a person to make a minipilgrimage. Labyrinths have become popular in the United States for the same reason: A person who makes the trek through a labyrinth supposedly emerges calmer and more centered. The Hollis Renewal center, a 153-acre wooded spiritual retreat that's run by Lutherans (but welcomes anyone), is home to a winding labyrinth where guests may lose themselves in a walking meditation. And no, the center's labyrinth isn't a maze with a lot of annoying dead ends, so those who lack a sense of direction won't actually get lost -- although that would be very, very funny.