Students got a chance to find peace and serenity during TCU Earth Week this week through walking the labyrinth built inside Froghenge.
Dave Aftandilian of the TCU Anthropology Program was one of the facilitators of the construction of the maze on April 19th. He said the whole idea of walking the paths of the labyrinth was to take someone on an inward, as well as an outward, journey.
“A labyrinth is walking meditation,” Aftandilian said. “A lot of people will have something that is troubling them. As they spiral in towards the center of the labyrinth, they can let it go. On the way out [of the labyrinth], they feel themselves being lightened. It just, clears your head of whatever is going on in the day.”
According to the international Labyrinth Society website, a labyrinth is a single path or unicursal tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. Labyrinths are thought to enhance right brain activity.
The Rev. David Wynn, head pastor of Agape Metropolitan Community Church in Fort Worth, led a guided walk at Froghenge Labyrinth Wednesday at noon to inform those walking the labyrinth about its history and benefits.
“There’s one path into the center and one path out,” Wynn said. “It’s really a metaphor for a life or spiritual journey and it lets people know there’s not a right or wrong way to walk [the labyrinth].”
The Rev. Wynn said that the labyrinth’s key purpose is to serve as a set apart space or time for people to reflect on their journey through life and whatever they might be going through.
Andy Fort, a professor in the religion department and a member of the TCU Contemplative Studies Interest Group, performed an academic study two years ago to see how the student body would react to contemplative studies.
Of the several studies put on this semester by Fort and the TCU Contemplative Studies Interest Group, the labyrinth at Froghenge was the last study conducted.
“This is a contemplative space,” Fort said. “To tie it to Stonehenge, or Froghenge rather, there’s a real history of this kind of space being sacred and contemplative.”
For more information about labyrinth, visit the Labyrinth Society international website.