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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Searching for your center
Megan Blume
Antelope Staff
Courtesy Photo
The 11 circuit labyrinth is a replica of the labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in Paris, France, which was built in 1220. The same meditation results can often be achieved by tracing the pattern with your finger.

Conference offers Labyrinth walk for meditation

The Women’s and Gender Studies Conference offered poetry, research presentations and a walking labyrinth this past weekend.

A labyrinth walking path offers one path into the center and one path out, unlike a maze that has trick routes. It is used as a meditation tool, and is one of the oldest contemplative and transformational tools.

According to Linda Shaw, director of the Women’s Center, the labyrinth at the conference was a seven circuit labyrinth about 35 feet across. The labyrinth was set up in Ponderosa Room A, offering a low lit environment with calming meditation music.

Shaw built the labyrinth by taping string to the floor in a seven-circuit pattern.

“It took four hours to complete the labyrinth,” she said. “Last year when I built the labyrinth, I got rug burn on my knees from crawling around and taping it to the floor.”

Shaw facilitated the labyrinth and explained that the conference was about “artful healing” so the labyrinth was a great addition to the theme. While visitors walked the labyrinth, Shaw walked around the outside of the labyrinth “to keep the energy within the labyrinth.”

“When walking the labyrinth, I like to think of it as letting go of your stress and problems as you walk in,” Shaw said. “When you reach the center, take a moment to connect to your feelings and then make your way back out.”

The most famous labyrinth is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around the year 1200 and is paved into the floor of the cathedral. The Chartres Labyrinth is larger and consists of 11 circuits.

In Kearney, Yanney Park and Good Samaritan Hospital both offer permanent walking labyrinths.


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