Welcome to the Coastal Carolina University Labyrinth page! The labyrinth on campus is designed and constructed every spring semester in the GEOG 352: Sacred Spaces, Sacred Paths course with Dr. Amanda Todd in the Department of Anthropology and Geography. The outdoor temporary labyrinth is created as an experiential hands-on learning opportunity for the students in the class between the Prince and Edwards Buildings.
Labyrinths can be used by many disciplines and can be incorporated into contemplative pedagogy practices. Offices such as the LiveWell Office frequently use this space for their programs and community engagement throughout the year.
You may be asking so, “What is a labyrinth?”
Labyrinths are found around the world. They have been found as petroglyphs in Spain, rock-built structures on the ground in Finland, in medieval churches in France, and on pottery in the Southwest. Labyrinth patterns vary but typically there is one way in as the path guides you to the center. There is no confusion, no choices, no dead ends like a maze. Labyrinths have been built in hospital settings, at schools and universities, within city gardens, at churches, and at retreat centers.
People use labyrinths in numerous ways. Some take the walk for relaxation and wellness and others use it for religious purposes. Some people enjoy walking them slowly, while others enjoy drawing labyrinths. The labyrinth is not connected to any religion or denomination which makes it inclusive to all faiths and cultures.
How do you walk a labyrinth?
There is no one way to walk a labyrinth. Some people prefer to slowly walk the labyrinth alone and others may walk it at a normal pace with others also on the labyrinth. You may pass people on the labyrinth. You may stay in the center for a while or as soon as you reach the center, you may walk back out. In exiting the labyrinth, you can follow the same path you took in or walk straight out. There is no right way. Many people like to walk the labyrinth in silence. Noticing the place and your surroundings can be part of the experience, or one can completely turn inward while walking. No one will experience the labyrinth in the same way and every time you walk it, it may be different.
One common map for walking a labyrinth that you may find helpful follows:
- Before entering, take a deep breath and pause.
- While walking along the path release worries and thoughts from the day with each step. Observe your surroundings and thoughts passing through.
- In the center, receive ideas, peace, stillness of the mind, inspirations, and/or new thoughts.
- Upon walking back out, return to the world with a refreshed mindset and ideas or inspiration to move forward with.
The space is for faculty, staff, students, visitors, and the wider community to use. The labyrinth may be reserved on 25Live for classes or events on campus (PRIN*LABYRINTH).
For additional information, or to inquire about the GEOG 352: Sacred Spaces, Sacred Paths course, contact Dr. Todd.