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The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Contemplative Studies

Selected resources and practices for learners and teachers

Spring 2021 temporary installation at UMass Amherst

Vision unfolding

Portable canvas labyrinth arriving December 2023!
The Office of Religious & Spiritual Life/Reverend Kent Higgins will bring a large canvas labyrinth to campus beginning in December 2023. Stay tuned for opportunities Dec. 11th and in the future. 

Permanent installation in the works
 A permanent labyrinth is slated for installation near the Lincoln Campus Center, along Ellis Way. A graduate student in Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning is working on the design and budget for the labyrinth. PAUSED

Temporary installations:
Spring 2021 - See photo above. As part of Wellness Wednesday, this colorful, COVID-safe labyrinth was installed on the lawn of Goodell. Coordinated by the Diane Fedorchak, Center for Health Promotion and designed by Chris Rucinski (e.g complicated math to figure out materials needed, built jigs for proper stake placement) along with many student volunteers.  

Spring 2016 - In the week before final exams, UMass Amherst students were encouraged to reduce stress by walking in a sun-powered circular labyrinth, a unique collaboration between the College of Nursing and the Department of Landscape Architecture.

Explore more about labyrinths here:
Exploring Labyrinths in Classrooms. Ronald J. Nelson. Originally published in Caerdroia 32 (2001), p.49-55

Labyrinths in Higher Education -  A campus labyrinth can engage all members of a campus community in ways that honor the uniqueness of their academic culture while strengthening the institution.

Learning with the Labyrinth: Creating Reflective Space in Higher Education - This book discusses the theory and practice of labyrinth creation and use. From issues of design and cost, to how a labyrinth may be used as a university-wide resource and also be used for outreach to the wider community. Download the first chapter for free HERE.