Originating from an interest, six years ago, to honor the passing of a beloved Daemen employee, Anna Ogorek, a core group has steadfastly worked to have a labyrinth constructed to honor her, as well as to hold in mind other Daemen employees who have passed.
Labyrinths have been in use for over 4000 years. Walking a labyrinth helps put our lives in perspective, facilitates introspection, helps quiet the mind and increase insight.
A labyrinth is not a maze or a puzzle to be solved but a path of meaning to be experienced. Its path is circular and convoluted, but it has no dead ends. A labyrinth has one entrance -- one way in and one way out. When we walk the path, we go around short curves and long curves; sometimes we are out on the edge, sometimes we circle around the center. We are never really lost, but we can never quite see where we are going.
Along the path we sometimes move forward with ease and confidence: sometimes we creep ahead cautiously, sometimes we find the need to stop and reflect, and sometimes we even feel the urge to retreat. The center is there but our path takes us through countless twists and turns. Sometimes we are at the heart of our life experiences, sometimes we are at a playful turn; sometimes we share our path with others, and other times we don't. No matter what, we are still on the labyrinth path. It holds all our experiences, in life and in work. And to draw upon the wisdom of the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus, we need to be aware that what looks like an end point can also be a beginning point. Indeed, in so many ways, the labyrinth is like life. (Life and the Labyrinth of Meaning by Alex Pattakos)
Courses from almost all disciplines will find specific meaning to the use of the labyrinth. Expanded understanding of the labyrinth will be provided through presentations and workshops including such topics as:
- Is there a right or wrong way to walk a labyrinth?
- The history of labyrinths,
- How a labyrinth can aid healing
- Is there a religious meaning to a Labyrinth?
There is a Labyrinth Project* to establish labyrinths in cathedrals, retreat centers, hospitals, prisons, parks, airports, and community centers so they are available to walk in times of joy, sorrow, and when we are seeking hope.
Daemen College can consider itself distinguished in that we, too have a beautiful labyrinth after many years of preparation, constructed with the help of a variety of volunteers of staff, students, and faculty.
*The Labyrinth Project is a research initiative on interactive narrative at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Art.