Walking a Labyrinth in Search of the Big Picture


“We shall walk together on this path of life for all things are part of the universe and are connected with each other to form one whole unity.”

– Dr. Maria Montessori

On a sunny, pleasant November morning more than 850 students and teachers gathered quietly around the world’s largest temporary labyrinth for a Thanksgiving Community Gathering on the sports field of Hong Kong International School. With melodic wind chimes playing enchantingly  in the background, students and teachers took a 45-minute break from the intensity of school life above to contemplate anew the many good things found within our community.  Following an introduction of the significance and usage of the labyrinth as a tool for mindful introspection by alumnus Martha Collard, the entire community entered through one of four passageways onto this metaphorical model of the journey of life.

The idea of using a labyrinth walk with the entire high school followed a number of previous visits by Martha to my “Service, Society, and the Sacred” class.  In October, Martha led my 20 students through an introduction to the concept of the labyrinth, and then for the next 60 minutes my students and I walked through a 22-foot labyrinth, individually or in a small group, with eyes opened or blindfolded, or just sat along the side if they preferred.  The only sound came from a hand-held chime that has passed occasionally from student to student.  It was one of the few moments in my life where a spiritual energy seemed palpable to me,  and for that reason it will remain a highlight of my teaching for years to come.  I had invited a member from our communications department to take a few pictures.  They stayed and even walked as well.  They too seemed to sense the energy in the room.

Christien walkAt the center

Suzette, sitting to the right, wrote this comment after the experience:

Going in, I could feel the class excitement and unease even as we were all seated listening to her. Then when the class went to roll out the new fresh mat, I felt the energy. All the lines and the curves of the labyrinth somehow had a calming effect on me. Then, as we walked around the labyrinth with the chimes in utter silence, it was really calming. I walked the old mat labyrinth first, and then the new one. I could feel the immediate difference. I walked the new mat first normally, then backwards, blindfolded and then with two other friends. The question I had in my head was, “What am I doing?”  This was just a general question that encompassed a lot of things that I had been worrying about or had been floating in my head. Although I didn’t receive an explicit answer like, “You are here for xyz reason,” I experienced something else. The answer I received was that it didn’t matter. That the question itself, was unnecessary. That it was HOW I was doing it, and what I was learning along the way that mattered. Doing the right thing, was more important than trying to justify the why. It is a simple concept, that I guess was something I may have lost sight of in this busy life that I live here in HK. Yet after walking the labyrinth, the overall sense of calm was something that stuck with me all throughout the day.

Anna, to the left, offered this comment:

The labyrinth was nothing short of a “wow” experience for me. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in there and when I saw how “small” the labyrinths were I really didn’t know how we were going to be walking through them for a whole class period. It surprised me how long it actually took to get through once! The whole effect overall was so…calming. The chimes and the steady rhythm of my footsteps at my own pace really gave me time to just clear my head which has always been a difficult thing for me to do. My only real experience with meditation was freshman year in World Religions…but that form was never very effective for me because my mind, as much as I tell it to stop, just doesn’t stop whirring. The labyrinth me something to set my mind on without having to think about it. If that makes any sense. Two thumbs up and I’m thinking we should do it again soon 🙂

SSS in circleA labyrinth walk symbolizes a message of underlying unity amongst diversity and complexity.  Members are at different stages in the journey; some move quickly, while others find a slower pace.  But there are no dead-ends, no tricks, no attempts to derail. This is not a race or a competition to sift out the ‘most fit’ to survive at highly sought-after universites. To the contrary, one common path leads all walkers in a meandering trail towards home, a place of security, satisfaction, and gratitude. Although some are in different places in their journeys, communal walking of the labyrinth symbolizes a promise to every member: participate in the journey and we as a community will join you on the path towards home.  Purposeful individual action traverses a path well-trod by past, present and future students and teachers.

Sadly, this sense of unity amongst diversity is an uncommon experience in modern society. In a section entitled “the world lacks a vision of a viable global future,” Harmon (1998) states:

Since modern culture ascribes no “reality” to inner experience, transcendent values have no power and materialistic values prevail.  Thus it seems reasonable for society to be characterized by economic rationalization of an ever-increasing fraction of social behavior and organization (p. 127).

As Harmon alludes, the inner experiences of students are under threat as schools strive to become increasingly concerned with the minute particulars – those items which are demonstrable, measurable, and quantifiable.  In what might appear to be paradoxical, contemporary culture’s “big picture” deficit also fails to ascribe inherent value to student introspection and realization that are the most significant fruits of the soul’s journey.  In the middle of a culture accelerating towards greater personal achievement, students yearn to even contemplate some overarching organizing principle by which to make sense of their lives.  Indeed, it is a challenge for teachers to continue this quest for humane values when it seems that no enduring images are powerful enough to inspire widespread change of ailing sociopolitical systems.

In most cultures throughout history, priests and teachers have been the moral and spiritual leaders of a community.  In this modern era of fragmentation, we as educators should seek to re-take this mantle of community leadership. For only when one senses a whole can the small, the personal, the individual successfully find one’s place in a larger unity. Our use of a labyrinth provided a physical model of  spiritual terrain, allowing students to first visualize and then actively enter into a symbolic quest for direction and coherence. Using this labyrinth walk as a model, teachers should seek to serve the emotional and spiritual needs of school communities by discovering other efficacious symbols that honor an overall sense of wholeness that is absent in much of modern life.

References

Harman, W. (1998). Global mind change: The promise of the 21st century. San Francisco: Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Related Articles

  1. To see a January 3, 2016 South China Morning Post article on labyrinths in Hong Kong, which included comments from my students and myself, click here.
  2. 12 Reasons for a Church Labyrinth,” by Robert Ferre.

To see another entry I wrote on using the labyrinth as a symbol for social conscience growth, including a 9-minute video that Mike Kersten and I made for the Ndoto conference in February, 2013, click here.

Fellow teacher Rob Ferrin found a labyrinth on the wall of the orphanage his group was working at in Ruhegeri, Rwanda during his trip in June, 2011.  Apparently, a friend of a friend (Tash McCaroll) painted it a few years ago. Lots of smudgy kid finger marks were on it… must be much loved.

Below: On July 6, 2011 Martha recruited a group of like-minded labyrinth enthusiasts and built a very large labyrinth near Hong Kong’s Star Ferry. Second picture below: walking a labyrinth in my colleague Richard Friederick’s “Spiritual Practices of the East” class.

2013-02-05 03.30.032013-02-05 04.18.1820160925_204319_001.jpg

Advertisements

About martinschmidtinasia

I have served as a humanities teacher at Hong Kong International School since 1990, teaching history, English, and religion courses. Since the mid-1990's I have also come to assume responsibility for many of the school's service learning initiatives. My position also included human care ministry with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod in Hong Kong, southern China, and others parts of Asia from 1999-2014. Bringing my affluent students into contact with people served by the LCMS in Asia has proved to be beneficial to students and our community partners alike. Through these experience I have become committed to social conscience education, which gives students the opportunity to find their place in society in the context of challenging global realities.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Walking a Labyrinth in Search of the Big Picture

  1. Sasha Huynh says:

    I thought that this experience was much better than the typical community gathering first of all. Instead of having information and bible verses shoved down our throats for 45 minutes, people were allowed to roam around their own minds and come up with their own thoughts. Even physically, it was much easier for everyone to be engaged in this activity if you contrast it to passively sitting and listening.

    This blog post is very well written, showing students’ needs for additional introspection in their high school – or even all school – experiences and classes. I agree that the labyrinth is a great way of symbolising that. However, I personally felt that the labyrinth-walking worked better in a small group where you could feel the positive energy a lot better. In the community gathering, it was more symbolic than really a tool for introspection — again this is just what I got out of the experience. There are a lot more distractions when you add 850 kids to the mix, and while it’s great that a wide assortment of people get to have this experience, it’s still quite hard to focus.

    Also Mr Schmidt, could you make the comments viewable to the public? I want to see what other people have written 🙂

  2. Enoch says:

    About the actual labyrinth walk itself, I found the walk we did earlier in the year to be much more powerful and engaging. That walk was done in a small classroom with only around 20 members, about 1/40 of the amount of people taking part in the walk on the field. Perhaps it was just that the second time around I knew what to expect, but I think that something as personally engaging as the labyrinth walk is more effective when done in smaller groups. Unlike the AQAL demonstration during community gathering, which was mentally engaging for students, the labyrinth walk is one step removed – it engages with the emotional and spiritual side. As such, I think it’s harder for students generally to grasp the significance of it, because it’s not something you can actually think about in a direct sense. Coupled with the fact that in large crowds there are bound to be ‘deviants’ that act as distractions to those around them, it becomes that much harder to experience the power of something like the labyrinth walk.

    As to the article, I completely agree that our society (at least the society I know best: school), desperately lacks a ‘big picture’. This pretty much sums it up: “In the middle of a culture accelerating towards greater personal achievement, students yearn to even contemplate some overarching organizing principle by which to make sense of their lives.” This paradox that amidst the push towards more achievement and accomplishment there is a lack of deeper reflection – why do we strive to ‘do more’ all the time? what does our essential self look like? what is our purpose in life?. It is as if we are so concentrated on a tree that we miss out on the forest.

  3. florenceindia says:

    Congratulations Marty, for the effort in creating such a profound experience for students! I wish some time soon -you lead every member of the HKIS community – faculty, students, staff, support staff, and hopefully the parent community -to walk the labyrinth!

  4. Christopher Huie says:

    I am a student who has participated in a few labyrinth walks, including the one on the 23rd of November that involved the entire school. From my own perspective, the labyrinth walk is a powerful tool for relaxation and meditation. The labyrinth walk, when done correctly, can help students forget about the various stresses in their day. It’s a quasi-transformative process that almost forces individuals to listen to their thoughts, think about what’s important to them, and consequently, reflect on their lives. Each time I did the labyrinth, I was extremely stressed out beforehand. For example, on the 23rd, I was bombarded with various quizzes, tests, and projects, but the short yet relaxing walk through the labyrinth acted as a fleeting escape away from reality. It let me brush aside all of these worries and focus on the sounds around me and the sounds of my own thoughts. It was near Thanksgiving, and the serene time I had in the labyrinth gave me the opportunity to think about what I was thankful for – an opportunity I rarely get. Labyrinth walks have been incorporated into rehabilitation and correctional centers, and they have proved to be very effective. I believe that by further immersing myself into activities such as these, I can achieve a clearer, more controlled state of mind.

    I agree with many points of Mr. Schmidt’s article. To me, the most interesting and important point about labyrinths that his article made was the fact that labyrinths have “no dead-ends, no tricks, no attempts to derail.” This creates a sense of unity and continuity that leads that society is truly lacking. Modern society is quite the opposite of a labyrinth – it’s more of a maze with countless dead ends and obstacles. In a maze, there is a sense of competition as to who can get to through it first. This element of competition is reflected in the cut-throat society we live in today, and it has even been mirrored in schools. Mr. Schmidt states that in “a culture accelerating towards greater personal achievement, students yearn to even contemplate some overarching organizing principle by which to make sense of their lives.” I often find myself trapped within this idea – the “minute particulars” of society and of school culture make me forget about the underlying principles that make sense of my own life. That’s why relaxing meditation techniques like the labyrinth are so important. They remove the dead-ends of society and of your mind and let you be who you are.

  5. Chloe says:

    Firstly, that’s a really nice photo of the labyrinth walk! It’s really to see that everyone’s participating. Anyways, I agree with Sasha that the labyrinth walk was a much better experience than normal community gathering. Though I find this walk less powerful on a personal level, because I was much distracted by everyone on the field, I do think it demonstrates unity. During normal community gatherings, though we were all sitting in a gym, we might be thinking about something else. However, I felt like we were all into the labyrinth walk this time. Instead of simply sitting, we were all actively participating. As seen in the photo!

    I agree with the points in the article, just as others have commented. I’d just like to say that it’s great how you, Mr. Schmidt, are putting this online and sharing it to the world. I think it’s a great way to get the message across. Great post Mr. Schmidt, I’m glad your setting up a blog to share with the world the awesome things we’re doing ☺

    • Thanks, Chloe. Ever since I got my results from my dissertation, I have been struggling with how to reach more people with what I’ve been learning about service, Humanities I in Action, SSS, etc. Not too many people will read a dissertation. I’m thinking maybe I should write a book, but where do you start with a book? It seems like an overwhelming project. But then Mr. Ferrin suggested I start with a blog several weeks ago. A blog gives me a chance to write some kind of entry that may take an hour or two to write (rather than the 20 hours I spent on the article I shared in class after the vacation). A blog also gives me something to show people that is bite-sized and can have some visuals. The comments, too, add thoughts for people to consider. Maybe I should open a page to allow students to also write something thoughtful as a post. What I’m trying to do is include some theory in every post, not just discuss the practical nature of classroom activities. Your recent theme papers could be developed into a post. With your permission, I would like to put your poem presentation on this site, too, although at the moment I think it’s too big.

  6. Sheron Luk says:

    I really enjoyed the experience of the labyrinth walk at school. It seemed like for once, our school was truly unified. All of us were on this labyrinth walking together, with none of the usual divisions such as grades, teachers, students, administration, etc. I think this experience was definitely different from that of SSS. I guess I liked it when we did it in class because it seemed more personal and we were more focused on having a spiritual journey. I think that we should do more activities like this that join the school together. It was definitely symbolic since we were all on a journey in life, and as you said at “different stages” of it.
    I agree with your statement that, “As Harmon alludes, the inner experiences of students are under threat as schools strive to become increasingly concerned with the minute particulars – those items which are demonstrable, measurable, and quantifiable. ” Our education seems to completely miss this idea of an “inner journey and improvement”. While this may be harder to be “tested” on, I think our school should take some emphasis on testing scores, GPA, etc. (although based on our current society/schooling it seems impossible to take away.) When I think about what I’ve learned about this class, I don’t think I could be tested on it. This is definitely one of the most meaningful classes I’ve had in high school, and probably one that I will remember when I’m older.

  7. However, I’m glad that the others in our class enjoyed it! I wasn’t sure if it would do justice to our extremely relaxing experiencing in the Middle School or in class. The attitudes of everyone really affected the process, and so I felt the other times were much more relaxing and releasing. The labyrinth experience on Tuesday was definitely more about trying to get everyone in and everyone out in a limited time– it was a race and it defeated the purpose of it to begin with. Also, it seemed like an attempt to see if we could hold a world record, which definitely affected the experience by making it a competition. It went from being a practice of de-stressing to being a stressful practice, but that’s just my side of things.

    It was interesting to see the community involved in something our class learned about. And I bet the time lapse video we’re currently making will come out great. I hope we do have more community gatherings on the field (it was such a nice day last Tuesday), and I also hope people left the gathering feeling lighter, and more thankful than they were walking in.

  8. Ahh! The first part of my post got deleted. I’ll try to rewrite everything I wrote…

    Having been a co-leader in creating the Labyrinth gathering, I stood in the center of the labyrinth, directing hoards of people to their exits. So my perspective of things are different…it wasn’t exactly what I envisioned the experience in my mind. The labyrinth this time around was larger with more people. At first, it was interesting to see people’s faces as they circled and walked the labyrinth, but what happened was I began to notice the faces of the students and teachers becoming confused and sardonic. It was disheartening, honestly. I couldn’t understand why people were making snide comments when it was all made for them to self-reflect and embrace gratitude. Upon passing me, many students asked me, “Um, what is the point of this?” and I would reply, “It’s for you to slow down and think about life.” Yet, they would continue walking unconvinced or uncertain of my response.

    –Start of above post–

  9. Audrey, it’s good to get your view as an organizer. Certainly as we take the labyrinth from our elective class in which most people want to be in the class to a religion class which most people don’t choose to a community gathering of 850 busy people that have very little personal investment in the event, we are likely to see a decreasing degree of effectiveness. Perhaps it’s a lesson on how hard it is to do anything for a large group of people that brings everyone together in some higher unity.

    How do we evaluate whether it was ‘worth it?’ This is the problem of ‘scale’ and it is faced by everyone trying to make a difference. As Alex Counts said, “Every global problem has been solved somewhere. The problem is we have micro solutions to macro problems.” How do leaders bring a larger vision not just to the people that agree with you, but to those people outside your circle of close friends or associates?

    Probably people in our class who were not part of the planning of the event would be in a good position to judge whether the labyrinth walk was ‘worth it’ to the community. Class, what do you think? Thanks for your post, Audrey.

  10. Stefanie Young says:

    This community gathering was definitely one of more memorable ones, not only were we out on the field under the basking sun, but we had the opportunity to walk a labyrinth as a whole school. It was amazing to see how some teachers and students really wanted to get the most of the this walk- with some walking fast, some slow and some really focusing on reflecting. I feel like someone people still didn’t understand the purpose of walking the labyrinth, maybe since we were in SSS, we understood it more and got more out of it walking on a smaller version the first time. I saw some people laughing, some texting, some laughing with friends…just overall not focused. It’s a little disappointed to see that, but I know that everyone got an experience out of this.

    At the end of your article, you said, “Using this labyrinth walk as a model, teachers should seek to serve the emotional and spiritual needs of school communities by discovering other efficacious symbols that honor an overall sense of wholeness that is absent in much of modern life.” I really agree with this statement because students don’t realize the main purpose of a labyrinth. They think it’s just “some stupid activity” that we are doing…but really it’s so much more, something that allows you to really connect with things emotionally and spiritually, and allow you to step away from you busy life for 15 minutes. I honestly feel that after walking it, I was a lot calmer and wasn’t as stressed as when I walked onto the field. It’s a very well written article that shows the purpose of walking the labyrinth!

  11. Suzette Gaynor says:

    Coming from a class where we have already participated in a labyrinth walk a couple of times already, it was really awesome to see our whole school come together to do one. Honestly, it went much better than I would have expected. The experience I had walking outside with about 800 other students compared to the one I had walking with 20, was obviously much different. On the smaller scale, it was easier to be more introspective and I could definitely do a lot more self reflecting than I did when I was outside. What struck me most, was when all 800 of us were in complete silence. It is very rare that in our busy lives (or even during community gatherings) that every single person is silent. However when walking the labyrinth, the moments of silence within the entire student body was really striking to me (in a good way). Sure, like Audrey mentioned I heard a few snide comments here and there, but overall I think it was pretty cool!

    You defined a labyrinth as a “walk [that] symbolizes a message of underlying unity amongst diversity and complexity.” It is so fitting that we as an international high school body could participate in something like this. Not everyone who has been through the SSS class will clearly understand it at first. This is only natural, but hopefully the more we introduce the idea people can understand it better.

  12. Joyce Yam says:

    I think this labyrinth was really what each individual made of it. I thought it was definitely much more engaging than our typical community gatherings. However, there were many students, as Audrey said, that didn’t really seem to understand what the experience was about. Although there were a few that didn’t use this time to truly engage in the whole experience, I’m sure there were some of us that were grateful for this time to slow down and recollect ourselves from our busy schedule. I think that the labyrinth was definitely “worth it” – at least for those within the 850 students that actually took the labyrinth experience seriously.

    But the fact that some students took the experience more seriously is represented by the concept of the labyrinth itself. As you said, “a labyrinth walk symbolizes a message of underlying unity amongst diversity and complexity. Members are at different stages in the journey; some move quickly, while others find a slower pace.” Everyone’s at a different place and stage – and that’s part of the beauty of the labyrinth. I love how you worded it: “Although some are in different places in their journeys, communal walking of the labyrinth symbolizes a promise to every member: participate in the journey and we as a community will join you on the path towards home.” Despite us being in different stages, the labyrinth was something we all shared.

  13. Christien Laible says:

    I hate to be redundant, but as my fellow classmates have said, this was expertly written! One quote in particular caught m attention: “A labyrinth walk symbolizes a message of underlying unity amongst diversity and complexity.” Just the other night Suzette, Vincci, Jackson and I were discussing the social groups at our schools and why some people were more approachable then others. We didn’t see a problem with the tendencies of our fellow classmates, including ourselves because they are usually nondiscriminatory. We do have a very diverse student body, which I think the school attempts to celebrate. Part of the reason that cliques exist is because people don’t realize the unity that exists amongst one another because it may not be apparent on the outside. A labyrinth provides an opportunity for everyone to see each other as friends. I do think it would be worthwhile for everyone to experience the small, class size labyrinth that we did without the distractions and pressures to move faster.

    I just had this idea for a permanent bamboo labyrinth at our school that I thought would be really neat. Perhaps not bamboo, maybe just hedges, but I think that if the Jubilee Service Learning Center (or whatever we decided upon for the name) were to be built, that the top could serve both as a rooftop garden and a walking labyrinth. I don’t know about space restrictions, but how cool would that be?!

  14. I wonder if students are aware of the unity more so after they leave HKIS – when they realize that their international school education is really different than what many others experience in ‘national’ schools. If so, we should try to help students appreciate the value of this form of education while students are here.

    The center is moving forward, although whether it will be sooner or later (perhaps 3-4 years later) depends on priorities the school is considering with its MFP (Master Facilities Plan). The roof idea is one I will mention next time I see Mr. Condon.

  15. Stuwie Wong says:

    Firstly, I think it’s pretty amazing we pulled it off. Getting 800+ students to partake in this activity and not mess around too much is a difficult task to manage. But personally I wasn’t that affected by it. When I first walked the labyrinth, with less people, I was disappointed that I didn’t really feel anything. It was a good quiet and soothing time, but I was too concerned with not bumping into people that I couldn’t even concentrate on my own personal problems. This time, with 40 times the number of people, I was even less affected.

    Maybe I’m missing the point in some way, but all of us have different ways of thinking, and this way just isn’t for me. I can understand why some people would find it rewarding though, and it could serve as a tranquil break in our busy days. Everyone can interpret it in his or her own ways, and I’m glad that the entire school got the chance to try it out. I thought the tie-in with thanksgiving was also nice, as it gave us something to think about.

    Like everyone else said, the post was very well written. And the picture is actually really cool. Good job to everyone who helped set it up!

  16. martha says:

    I am continually being impressed by the insightful comments posted here. You students show a maturity and depth of understanding beyond your years, this coupled with inquisitive natures that seek to understand rather than just to know.

    A labyrinth walk is a personal experience. It will meet you where you are and take you where you need to go. I invite you to reflect on your feelings towards others who seemed to have not taken the walk as seriously as you. How do you know? Does it matter? Why?

    Own your own experience. Yes, it was crowded. Yes, we were limited for time.

    Think about the first time you walked the small labyrinths. Remember how skeptical you were at first? Did you move through them quickly too? Was your objective to get to the center despite being told that the journey rather than the destination was the focus. Once you were comfortable with knowing that you would certainly reach the center, did you your experience change?

    Remember that there are no hard fast rules for walking the labyrinth. Some people burst into song, others tears, some become sombre, some laugh or dance. To each their own. Embrace the diversity and the fact that for a few minutes on a sunny November day, the entire senior school student body was a united community walking together on their journey celebrating thanks.

  17. Ana Dratz says:

    I agree with a lot of the responses here in that organization-wise, it went quite smoothly. We managed to guide 800 people through a carefully constructed labyrinth without too much hassle. I was surprised at how well they followed instructions too, even with the moment of silence and stillness we had in the middle of it. However, I also found it difficult to get anything out of it this time through. I think part of it was because people were walking it to get through it quickly so the pace matched that. It’s something that needs to be taken slowly and I think that might have been the biggest problem. The people around me weren’t too much of a distraction, to be honest, it was mostly the pace of the whole walk.

    I think it might have been better if it were a homeroom activity or a grade or community; something smaller so the purpose of the activity would still be clear. After a while people started grouping with their friends and what-not, and I think part of it was because in that environment, it was hard to see the point.

  18. jrfildes says:

    I was stunned at how our school was able to construct and execute such a large scale activity. It just goes to show that as a community we are able to pull off more than we normally achieve. From the involvement in the original labyrinth gathering to the full scale 800+ labyrinth on the field, as a school group we excelled and cooperated, something I didn’t quite believe could be possible.
    It’s important to understand that not all students will have thoroughly undergone the intended “experience” as was impressed on by the leaders in the activity, but I believe what we went for was a law of large numbers system. With the involvement of many, although a spatter of students may have chosen just to walk through like sheep following a dog’s orders, there are those who chose to involve themselves in a deeper way. Helping those people “find themselves” in this activity was a realistic and achieved goal.

  19. Tiffany Ong says:

    This kind of just hit me, but I realize that we as an international school, although coming from different backgrounds and countries, is indeed quite united as a community. And the labyrinth walk with 850 people further exemplifies that. This labyrinth walk could never have worked at my local primary school, for one, there isn’t enough space to do this walk, but mostly, it’s the culture of the school. At my local school, we are quite individualistic and deep down (a little unconsciously) we saw each others as competitors. It would not have been easy to let our guards down, and unite as a collective group to walk this labyrinth. Sure, the local-school me might have walked it, but I would not have found it much meaningful or effective. However, at an international school like HKIS, I think that we are generally more open and accepting to other people’s beliefs due to the diversity of the students. And thus coming together for a labyrinth walk was worthwhile.

    It was definitely an interesting community gathering and much different from the ones before. I saw that some students were engaged in the activities, following instructions, but it was disappointing to see that there were others who did not take the labyrinth walk seriously. They would step over the lines to get to the exit sooner or they would chatter and laugh loudly. It was a little frustrating to see that, since I had such a strong experience from the mini labyrinth we did in class. I just wish that those people could have gotten more out of the labyrinth walk, just to slow down their daily pace of life, to think and to relax for a bit.

  20. Michelle says:

    I was really surprised that some one was going to go do the labyrinth with the entire school, i didn’t really know what to expect. but i knew that people probably will not walk as slowly and take it was seriously as we did in class. but once i read mr. leese’s email about it might be breaking the world record, like everyone else, i was really excited.
    when we got to the field, i think the weather wasn’t very suitable since a lot of people were getting really hot. when we got back to the gym, people had to rest for a while in the gym because they were exhausted, mostly from the heat.
    but while walking around the labyrinth, being one of the first ones to start, i could clearly see the labyrinth starting to form. it was really cool to see people walk in opposite directions, if someone took a picture of that, it couldve been really good picture. there were people of multiple colors and nobody was turning around but rather just walking in the lines. occasionally there were people that skipped lines and didnt really walk inside the lines.
    overall, i think this was pretty successful because a lot of people showed up and participated. i think most people went because of the world record, but they showed up anyways. people seem to be concentrated and wasnt fooling around.

  21. Pingback: “Can I Teach a Whole Semester on Purpose?” | Social Conscience Education

  22. Pingback: Use of Wilber’s AQAL in “Service, Society, and the Sacred” | Social Conscience Education

  23. Pingback: “For Hongkongers who feel life is going too fast, walking a labyrinth can help” SCMP, Sunday, January 3, 2016 | Social Conscience and Inner Awakening

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s