More and more campuses are using labyrinths to bring peace and mindfulness to their communities, while also helping individuals relieve stress. The maze-like structures are often found near green spaces on college campuses, in gardens or in public parks. Polk State College (FL) Professor Mary Ann Murdoch is leading the way in bringing a labyrinth to her institution. “The last two and a half years with COVID-19, people have been very stressed out and feeling like they’re fractured,” Murdoch said. “People spend so much time in stressed-out states that things start to multiply. Research shows that taking even a few minutes a day to sit quietly or refocus can have profound effects on people’s health and wellbeing.”
A grant from the GiveWell Community Foundation will fund the 18-foot permanent labyrinth at Polk. While waiting for it to be built, Murdoch has been using a portable fabric version to get students used to its purpose and uses.
“Not only are labyrinths beautiful to look at, but the space becomes special in itself,” she explained. “It’s a very personal experience. It’s a physical place, but it’s more reflective of one’s state of mind. It will be a lasting permanent part of our campus.”
Read more about this project here.