Multi-faith and pastoral care pages
This guide to walking a labyrinth has several parts to assist you. Use the hyperlinks to navigate to the sections that you need.
- What is a labyrinth?
- How will it help me?
- What do I do next?
- Where will I find a labyrinth on campus?
- A labyrinth meditation
- Questions and contacts
What is a labyrinth?
A labyrinth is a single path that leads to the central space and back out again, along the same path. Labyrinths can be made by marking out a path using such things as rocks or hedges, using tiles, or drawing with chalk. It is different to a maze in that there is a single path. Labyrinths have been used in many cultural and religious settings as an aid to prayer, reflection and meditation. However, it should be noted that a labyrinth can be walked by persons of any faith or none.
The stone Labyrinth at the Coffs Harbour Education Campus
How will it help me?
Walking the labyrinth provides an opportunity to step aside from the ordinary pressures and stresses that you face and to enter into contemplation or relaxation in which your body, mind and spirit can be engaged. It requires as little as 10 minutes to walk a labyrinth. You can walk it in less time, but taking longer and walking at a relaxed pace is recommended.
The labyrinth provides an opportunity to withdraw from the things that occupy your mind, or it may be used to help you reflect deeply upon those things, or to working on resolving problems and issues.
A 5-ring chalk labyrinth on campus.
What do I do next?
- Pause at the entrance to the labyrinth and breathe deeply.
- Enter the labyrinth and follow the path. Trust yourself to the path!
- Walk at the pace that is most comfortable for you. Walk quietly.
- It is OK to overtake or pass people on the labyrinth. Simply keep an eye on the path and step around the other person.
- When you reach the centre, stay as long as you need to. When you have are ready to leave, simply follow the same path back out again.
- Before stepping over the threshold to leave the labyrinth. Pause again and take another deep breath.
- When you leave the labyrinth, you might like to just wait quietly for a little while and reflect on what you have become aware of during your walk.
Note: A labyrinth meditation is provided here as a guide. It was initially written to coincide with a Harmony Day theme of "Many Stories - One Australia", and is not intended to align with any particular religious tradition.
Where will I find a labyrinth?
All students (including distance students):
There are a number of virtual labyrinths that can be accessed online. Here are two examples that you might find useful:
Check your app store for other labyrinths, for example, iPause (iOS).
Coffs Harbour campus
A permanent, 7-ring labyrinth has been constructed at the CHEC Campus, under the gum trees, just across the road from the D Block theatre. (See the red star on the map, below, or look for D Block Theatre using the Mobile@SCU app.) This labyrinth was constructed in 2014 by volunteers and by staff and students of the campus, with assistance from SSAF funding.
Guided labyrinths are offered to mark special occasions, or may be requested by students and staff.
Finding the labyrinth at Coffs Harbour Education Campus
Lismore and Gold Coast campuses
Temporary labyrinths are created periodically at these campuses to mark special occasions. If you would like to a part of creating and walking and labyrinth on your campus, then please contact the Southern Cross University Chaplaincy team and we will be please to facilitate a labyrinth walk with you. Send your enquiry to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A labyrinth meditation
Many Stories — One Australia
A labyrinth mediation for Harmony Day, 2013.
Imagine your life as a story. The centre of the labyrinth represents where your story began. Picture it in my mind.
- When you enter the labyrinth you will walk from the present, through important events in your life, back to the beginning of your story. Some of the memories might be joyful, some might be painful, some might be ambiguous - all will be important. When you reach the centre space, pause quietly, be aware of your thoughts, the voices, the images, the sensations you are experiencing.
- After quietly contemplating your story in the centre of the labyrinth, slowly start to walk the same path back through your story. This time, as you walk, consider those other people who have shared your story. How have they helped shape your story? How have you helped shape their story?
- Before you step out of the labyrinth, pause. Take note of the things that are now uppermost in your thinking. Breathe deeply, and quietly move out of the labyrinth.
Questions and contacts
Questions regarding labyrinths, or about religious or spiritual support, can be directed to the Southern Cross University chaplaincy team at: email@example.com