Meditate, de-stress, focus.
Walking the labyrinth can help reduce your stress.
The Labyrinth at Southeastern Oklahoma State University is located directly behind the Fine Arts Building. It is open to the public without reservations.
Labyrinths have been around for thousands of years and have been found in a variety of cultures. Many designs and sizes are available. Sometimes confused with mazes, the labyrinth differs in that there are no blocked paths. There is one entrance to a path that eventually leads to the middle. The exit is the same path in reserve.
Locations for labyrinths are varied and include churches, hospitals, educational settings, prisons, businesses, parks, and retreat centers. They are also used in a variety of ways, only limited by one’s imagination. Often, the labyrinth is used for a walking meditation to quiet the mind. Sometimes it is used as a tool for problem-solving, stress relief, creativity awakening, and focus.
There is no single right way to walk the labyrinth, though historically the path is followed from the entrance to the center and back out again. The three stages of the typical walk are:
- Release on the walk from the entrance to the center. Consider pausing at the entrance to take a deep breath and focus your attention. Walking the path toward the center is a time to let go of the many things on your mind and other distractions. Some walkers ask a question while others say a prayer. Still others just breathe and walk.
- Receive in the center. While in the center, you may stand, sit, kneel, or lie down. Do whatever feels comfortable to you. This is a time to be open…to a time to be still, to answers to your questions, to answers to your problems, to answers to your prayers.
- Return on the same path you walked in on whenever you are ready. Focus on what you will bring back with you into your daily life. It may be answers, awareness, or something completely unexpected.
Each walk is different. Each walker is different. You may or may not have an experience that seems meaningful to you. If the labyrinth is new to you, it may take a walk or two before you begin to feel comfortable. Much like in life, new experiences often feel awkward.
“The point of a maze is to find its center. The point of a labyrinth is to find your center.” Here are some links to help you in your journey of exploring labyrinths.
Labyrinths Through the Ages is an historical overview of labyrinths across the world over the last 4,000 years.
The Labyrinth Society is an international group of enthusiasts.
The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator will help you identify a labyrinth near you in your travels.
Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.
The construction of the labyrinth was the culmination of many months of work. A core committee grew out of the Housing and Residence Life Healthy Halls initiative. The RA assigned to that hall brought forth to members in Student Wellness Services that there was an interest in having a mindfulness space on campus. Many of the students had been a part of labyrinth walks by our very own Dr. Charla Hall, a professor of psychology in our behavioral sciences division here at Southeastern and she was eager to explore putting one in at the university as well. Dr. Hall was able to tap in to her resources through labyrinth facilitator training and those relationships helped make the installation of a labyrinth on campus a reality.
On the day of the event faculty, staff, students, alumni, community and family members came together to make this a special and productive day. The work was planned over two days; however, because many hands make light work, the project was completed in one. Other beautification pieces are planned around the site for the future. If you would like to be a part of the expansion and maintenance of the labyrinth project, contact the Southeastern Foundation to pledge your support.
Check out this time-lapse video of construction of the labyrinth!