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The Labyrinth in Rollins

In 2008, Rollins Chapel became home to a 24-foot-square custom 13th circuit labyrinth, modeled after the one in Chartres Cathedral, France. It is maintained by the Tucker Center and was made possible with the support of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Equity. Students, faculty and community members are free to use the labyrinth during regular chapel hours, unless a special event or group has reserved the space.

What is a labyrinth?

Although the styles and patterns have changed over time, labyrinths such as the one in Rollins Chapel have been in use for more than 3500 years. The tradition of walking the labyrinth cannot be traced solely to one religious tradition and, in fact, it's not clear whether it originated around any spiritual beliefs in the first place. It is apparent, however, that labyrinths have been used for meditative purposes by several religious traditions.

What are the benefits of walking the labyrinth?

Like prayers or meditation, the experience of walking the labyrinth varies with the individual. For some, it is a relaxing and soothing experience and for others it is an aid to prayer.

This labyrinth is not a maze and there are no dead ends – simply follow the path with confidence that you will reach the end. As is true of our life journey, as humans we all take a similar journey full of twists, turns, and unknowns.

Guidelines for Using the Rollins Labyrinth

You are welcome to walk the labyrinth in Rollins Chapel as slowly, quickly, and as often as you like.

Though there is no right or wrong way to walk the labyrinth, we offer the following suggestions as a guide for those who seek some direction.

  • Walking the labyrinth is a purely individual journey.
  • Please remove your shoes before walking the labyrinth.
  • Enter with an open heart and an open mind.
  • You may wish to walk with an intention. If so, allow yourself to focus on that intention before you begin.
  • Allow yourself to move at a pace that feels comfortable and intentional.
  • Resist the urge to focus on reaching the center; rather, attend to the step just ahead of you.
  • Allow others to pass by moving to the side of the path.
  • You may pass other walkers moving at a slower pace.
  • Remain in the center as long as you wish; you may sit, stand or kneel.
  • Pause upon exiting the labyrinth to reflect on your walk.

The Three Stages of the Labyrinth

Traditionally, there are three stages to a labyrinth walk.

Walking to the Center: Releasing

This is a letting go of the clutter in our minds, a shedding of distractions that prevent us from being present to ourselves and our bodies. The focus is on quieting the mind and opening the heart.

At the Center: Receiving

A place to reflect, gain insight, center, meditate or pray. This is a place of listening to the inner life.

Leaving the Center: Returning

A time for integration and gratitude, carrying back into the world new insights and new strength for transformation.

(adapted from TMC Hospice brochure: Labyrinth & Centering Garden: Walking Guide)

Contact Us

If you have questions or concerns about the labyrinth or if you have suggestions for additional uses for the labyrinth, please contact The Tucker Center.

Last Updated: 11/3/17