Labyrinths in Higher Education

Ohio Wesleyan University Labyrinth. Photo by Brian Rellinger

Are you a faculty or staff member or administrator charged with finding a way to cohere your college community? Are you a staff development coordinator? Are you in charge of a learning community on your campus? Are you a counselor looking for ways to help students integrate their academic experiences? Are you looking for meaningful across the curriculum academic engagement? Are you a chaplain seeking another tool to use with students and faculty?

You might want to consider how having a labyrinth on your campus can engage all the members of your community in ways that honor the uniqueness of your academic culture while strengthening your institution.

What is a Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are ancient archetypes dating back 4,000 years or more. They usually consist of a meandering design on a singular path that leads from the outer edge in a circuitous way to the center. There are no tricks and no dead ends. Unlike a maze where you can lose your way, the labyrinth is a tool that can help you find your way. Useful for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation, they are also thought to enhance right-brain activity. Labyrinths evoke metaphor, sacred geometry, spiritual pilgrimage, mindfulness, stress-reduction, environmental art, and community building.

Labyrinths can be built from a wide array of materials, can range from simple to more complex, and can be permanent or portable. Labyrinth activities can be one-time, ongoing, seasonal, communal or personal.

 Classical
Labyrinth
 Chakravyuha
Labyrinth
 Roman Meander
Labyrinth
 Chartres Medieval
Labyrinth
 Gossembrot
Labyrinth
 Baltic Wheel
Labyrinth

 

Interested in having a labyrinth built on your campus?

Labyrinths are an open source archetype that can be adapted for use depending on the intention, setting, and budget. Temporary labyrinths can be created cheaply and easily with chalk on concrete, paint or ribbon on a lawn, or masking tape indoors. Canvas labyrinths are a good place to start.  They can be moved and stored easily. They can be offered for special events, during times of stress or for interfaith religious holidays, and can also be used as a resource for teaching, learning and reflection throughout the year.

For festivals or fundraisers, labyrinths can be created with common objects such as canned food, shoes, books, flowers, or electric tea lights. Semi-permanent labyrinths can be built with organic materials such as wood or stones reclaimed from landscaping. 

Permanent labyrinths can be created to enhance or harmonize with the campus environment, a beautiful feature for all to enjoy in the long term. These are often created with precision-cut pavers or stone, or with crushed granite on concrete.

For more information contact Lars Howlett: www.DiscoverLabyrinths.com

A professional Labyrinth Designer and Master Builder, Lars creates site-specific temporary and permanent labyrinths using sacred geometry. Lars is a Veriditas Faculty member offering inspiring lectures and leading transformative workshops to diverse communities. He has designed, built and introduced labyrinths at schools and colleges including Middlebury and Wellesley Colleges.



Interested in bringing a Veriditas Program to your campus?

Labyrinths come to life when they are cared for and offered by members of the community. Veriditas is the premiere organization for labyrinth workshops. Ranging from introductory workshops of several hours to several days, to more in-depth retreats, Veriditas will customize the workshop to meet your needs. Contact us no matter where your institution is in the process of establishing a labyrinth program. Veriditas workshops include an introductory lecture, guided labyrinth walk, topic lectures, and question-and-answer time.

You might also consider adding on a Veriditas Facilitator Training to your workshop. The goal of Facilitator Training is to prepare people to introduce others to the labyrinth in an articulate, professional and effective way. The training addresses both meditative walking and ceremonial use, including leading group walks and workshops.

For more information and to set up a time to discuss your workshop needs, please email Dawn Matheny at dawn@veriditas.org or call her at 707-283-0373.


Downloads


Valuable Resource Book: 

Learning with the Labyrinth has proved a valuable resource for many educators, advisers and administrators who are keen to bring a labyrinth to their campus. It is the first ‘mainstream’ book on this topic, part of a Teaching and Learning in Higher Education series, and includes a research overview, free resources to photocopy and many ideas about use of the labyrinth in teaching, guidance, educational development and outreach, from an international range of contributors. Visit the website for a free download of the detailed introductory chapter. Editors: Dr Jan Sellers and Professor Bernard Moss (both of whom are Veriditas facilitators). Now published by Macmillan International Higher Education

Research Resources: 

The Labyrinth Society Research:  https://labyrinthsociety.org/a-context-for-research

Labyrinths in University and Colleges:  https://labyrinthsociety.org/labyrinths-in-places


    Panel discussion on Labyrinths in Higher Education: An Enquiry


    Campus Labyrinths: From Idea to Reality

    a Veriditas webinar with Dr. Jan Sellers

    Please click here to download resources accompanying this webinar.

    At colleges and universities around the world, labyrinths offer time and space for students, faculty and staff to reflect, relieve stress, and build community. Whether traced with a finger, offered at an event, or installed for everyday use, there are a variety of designs, sizes, and methods for making labyrinths available to everyone.

    Discover the opportunities and considerations for creating labyrinths on campus in our third webinar as part of an ongoing series exploring labyrinths in higher education. 

    Creating Labyrinths on Campus: Part 1

    a Veriditas webinar with Dr. Jan Sellers

    Educator and author Dr. Jan Sellers shares her experience and advice on the use of canvas labyrinths on college and university campuses. 

    Creating Labyrinths on Campus: Part 2

    a Veriditas webinar with Lars Howlett

    Designer and builder Lars Howlett offers practical advice on creating permanent labyrinths in a variety of materials and settings.



    101 H Street, Suite D, Petaluma, CA 94952   |   Phone 707-283-0373   |  Fax 707-283-0372   |    contact@veriditas.org

    Veriditas is dedicated to inspiring personal and planetary change and renewal through the labyrinth experience.

    We accomplish our mission by training and supporting labyrinth facilitators around the world, and offering meaningful events that promote further understanding of the labyrinth as a tool for personal and community transformation. Our Vision is that the labyrinth experience guides us in developing the higher level of human awareness we need to thrive in the 21st century.

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