Meditation gardens provide a chance to reflect | The Gustavian Weekly

Meditation gardens provide a chance to reflect | The Gustavian Weekly.

The completion of a Swedish Labyrinth near the entrance of the Linnaeus Arboretum marked the first stage of constructing meditative gardens on campus.

Current Linnaeus Arboretum Director and Naturalist Scott Moeller discussed how students currently utilize the arboretum.  

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The Labyrinth and Meditation

LabyrinthThere are many types of moving meditation. Walking, Jogging, Tai Chi, Qi gong, and Yoga are several popular methods. One of the oldest methods of meditative self-development that is often overlooked is walking a labyrinth. A labyrinth is different from a maze. A maze is designed to get you lost with twists and turns that take you to dead ends, etc. A labyrinth is designed to always take you to the center. Once entering a labyrinth, you find that you take many turns left and right, right and left, however, following the path will ultimately take you into the center. The process of walking the labyrinth can be compared to achieving success in life: Choose to walk the path. Walk the path. You course will take you in many directions, but if you stay on the path, you will eventually reach your goal.

Labyrinths are found in every culture in all parts of the world. Labyrinths are one of the hidden mysteries that are right in front of us, begging us to partake and explore, but few do. Typically, labyrinths are outside in nature, which is relaxing to the mind in itself. One of the most famous examples of an internal labyrinth is at Chartres Cathedral near Paris, France. The labyrinth at Chartres was built around 1200 AD and is laid into the floor.  Church seating is placed over the labyrinth, however, several times a year the seats are removed so the labyrinth can be experienced.  There was even a pope who commissioned the construction of a labyrinth. Pope Paul III  had a labyrinth constructed into the floor of the treasury of the Castel Sant Angelo in 1546 AD.

There is no right way to walk a labyrinth. You only have to enter and follow the path.

I often use a labyrinth walk as a walking meditation. Pay attention to your experience, as your walk can encompass a variety of emotions, attitudes or feelings. Just be open and trust the universe. You may find, as I have, that walking a labyrinth can provide an excellent meditative practice.