Students were invited to navigate a labyrinth in the Great Hall on April 11 and 13 as part of a research project conducted by a student.
The project was put together by Chantel Zimmerman, a 45-year-old graduate in environmental studies who is also a trained labyrinth facilitator and a broadcaster for kpcradio.com.
The goal of the project, conducted as part of Instructor Angela Belden’s psychology 74 course, was to find out if walking the labyrinth can induce a sense of mindfulness and reduce stress according to Zimmerman.
“My ultimate goal is to do a study to find out if labyrinths can be used to treat patients diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder,” said Zimmerman.
Labyrinths are ancient tools that have been used by many different cultures for thousands of years. This particular labyrinth is a Chartres Labyrinth.
It is a copy of a pre-existing labyrinth located in the gothic cathedral in Chartres, France.
“I only came because it was extra credit, but it really did make me feel calmer,” said Dennis Nole, a 23-year-old Pierce College student. “I would definitely recommend this to others.”
The project was sponsored by the Holy Spirit Retreat Center. A mat was placed on floor of the Great Hall to form the labyrinth after being leased to Zimmerman by the center.
“Walking the labyrinth really calms me,” said Destine Thie, a 29-year-old sign language interpreting major. “It really helps me find my center.”
Participating students can find out the final results of the research project on May 16 in the Great Hall. All the research programs for the course will also be on display from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
More info about labyrinths can be found at www.kpcradio.com in the archives of the Living Well Show.