Background to Labyrinth Walks at the UEA Background to Labyrinth Walks at the UEA

Cretan Labyrinth detail

Since December 2006 a home-made Cretan style labyrinth was used for the staff Calm Lunchtime 'Labyrinth' sessions at UEA. In August 2008 CSED bought a professionally produced Santa Rosa style labyrinth from America to further develop this work. This was first used on 25 September 2008 when an afternoon of introductory 30-minute labyrinth walking sessions was held for staff. It was used again on 6 October 2008 as part of the DOS/STU Well-Being Week, and has since been regularly available for open walking sessions in the Multifaith Centre (formerly the Chaplaincy) and Council Chamber.

There are many reasons for walking the labyrinth - it could be for relaxation, prayer, problem solving, meditation, for inspiration, or just for fun. You don't have to be religious or to believe in any specific thing, and there is no particular way you should walk it, though there are plenty of possible approaches you could try.

When walking a labyrinth you can allow your mind to relax, though because the path twists and turns you still have to pay some attention. This state of awareness combined with a relaxed mind is what we try to achieve in meditation, so the labyrinth is often seen as a tool for meditation and the experience is often meditative.

The experience of labyrinth walking varies from person to person, so you may feel grounded and relaxed, you may feel inspired or even emotional. The process often restores a sense of balance and equilibrium which can be helpful when we feel overburdened or not quite in control of our lives.

If you have any questions about the labyrinth please contact Steve Oldfield in CSED (s.oldfield@uea.ac.uk, ext 2393).