Our labyrinth is based on the design in Chartres Cathedral located just outside of Paris. The 11-circuit Chartres Labyrinth was constructed around 1201 C.E. in the stone floor of the cathedral. Its 11 circuits – the number of rows from the outside into the center – make it one of the largest labyrinths until modern times. The Chartres Labyrinth is also distinguished by a rosette with six petals in the center and turns broken up into quarters.
Our labyrinth has a diameter of just under 42 feet (12.8 meters) with a center of 10 feet (3m) and a path width of 17 inches (43cm), which makes it just about the same size as the Chartres Labyrinth. The distance traveled from entrance to center and out again is about one-third of a mile.
It is comprised of over 3,400 bricks stood on end and a product called Rubberific, which is mulch made from recycled ground-up tractor tires.
Rev. Marni Harmony provided the inspiration for the labyrinth which was designed by Thomas Cook, a member of First Unitarian, and constructed by over 40 members and friends of the church. It was completed and dedicated in 2003.
How to Find the Labyrinth
Our labyrinth is open to the public every day from dawn until dusk.
If standing at the corner of Hampton and Robinson, walk toward Altaloma along the entire length of the rectangular Religious Education Building. The path to the Labyrinth is set a bit from the road in the grass and you will find it among the trees.
Walking the Labyrinth
There is no wrong way to walk a labyrinth. We do suggest that you walk slowly and purposefully. Observe the process. Once the center is reached, most people spend several moments in reflection, prayer or meditation before leaving the center.
When you walk, your direction changes regularly, turning 180 degrees each time you enter a different circuit. This makes you refocus your attention every time you turn.
Each person’s walk is a personal experience. How one walks and what one receives differs with each walk. Some people use the walk for clearing the mind and centering. Others enter with a question or concern. Beyond reflecting, meditating, or praying, the time in the center can be used for discovering your own sacred inner space. What each person receives can be integrated on the walk out. Your walk can be a healing and profound experience or it can be just a pleasant walk.
This is a sacred location and an area dedicated to quiet meditation. If others are walking the labyrinth, please respect their space.
The rubber mulch on the pathway was chosen so barefoot walking would be possible, but note that twigs and other sharp objects might also be present. If you choose to walk barefoot, please do so carefully.
About the Designer
Thomas Cook began designing labyrinths on paper in the 1980s. Apart from designing our labyrinth, he has designed and built a number of temporary labyrinths for weddings, conferences and parties. He is currently the regional representative for Florida, Georgia and the Virgin Islands for the Labyrinth Society, an organization created “to support all those who create, maintain and use labyrinths, and to serve the global community by providing education, networking and opportunities to experience transformation.”