Oklahoma State University (OSU) is one of the first universities in the United States to have two labyrinths: the Botanic Garden Labyrinth and Morrill Labyrinth.
A labyrinth is a unicursive path that offers potential wellness, healing and relaxation benefits. Labyrinths have been in existence for more than 4,000 years and are found in every culture, every time period and virtually every religion around the world. Labyrinths are not mazes. There are no dead ends. You cannot get lost in a labyrinth.
Experiencing a Labyrinth
As you walk a labyrinth, you may decide to pause along the path. The walk is yours. There is no right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth–no expected or prescribed outcome. Along the path, you may encounter other walkers and choose to step aside to allow others to pass and resume your walk at your own pace. You will bring your own journey to the labyrinth and leave with your own perceptions of time spent within the labyrinth.
Labyrinths provide an opportunity for self-care and healing. Labyrinths inspire creative thinking and promote inner wisdom. Moving through a labyrinth is a type of "walking meditation". Meditative Walking offers a number of benefits including helping the participant to bring their mind and body in sync with one another.
- Simple, no new skills necessary
- Available to everyone–children to adults–any fitness, ability or wellness level.
- Increased mindfulness.
- Believed to decrease stress, symptoms of anxiety, depression and distress.
- Used for healing grief and loss.
- Found to have benefits for hypertension, heart disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, cancer recovery and gastrointestinal symptoms/disease.
- Increased feelings of well-being, self-compassion and self-esteem.
- While it is believed bilateral, rhythmic motion is part of the reason walking a labyrinth is therapeutic, labyrinths can be used by those with assistive technology such as wheelchairs, children riding trikes and by following the path with the eyes or tracing a small labyrinth with a finger.
Botanic Garden Labyrinth
The labyrinth at the Botanic Garden, designed by David Brown, OSU Coordinator of Landscape Design Services, uses an ancient Cretan design formed by carving a path through the Oklahoma natural landscape. The Botanic Garden labyrinth is free and open to the public.
OSU Botanic Garden
3300 West 6th Street
Stillwater, OK 74075
Open dawn to dusk
The Morrill labyrinth, designed by David Brown, OSU Coordinator of Landscape Design Services, incorporates three spirals rotated around a center point to create three sides: mind, body and spirit. Experience the labyrinth by walking from bench to bench in a swooping pattern beginning at the Roman numeral I bench and moving toward II, then III and so forth. The labyrinth is free, open to the public and ADA compliant.
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078
Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year