George Mason University: New meditation garden and labyrinth offer Patriots a place for reflection

Just in time for spring, George Mason University’s new meditation garden and labyrinth are now open to the community. The garden and the labyrinth are visual artifacts signaling Mason’s commitment to the well-being of its community. They can be found between Horizon Hall and the renovated Harris Theatre, adjacent to the new mini amphitheater that sits on the former site of Robinson Hall.

The garden and labyrinth are meant to provide the Mason community a peaceful place for contemplation and relaxation in the heart of the Core Campus Project. According to Nance Lucas, executive director and chief well-being officer of the Center for the Advancement of Well-Being, the garden connects to the university-wide goal of Mason evolving as a model well-being university.

“We want well-being to be in the DNA of this institution, and this garden is symbolic of it,” Lucas said. “It also supports the research on being in nature and meditation.”

The garden—which is filled with purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, creeping phlox, and purple aster flowers—allows individuals to experience a calming atmosphere while studying, walking, or relaxing.

Those who choose to walk through the labyrinth will notice a slight rise in the path. Stephanie Wolfgang, the project’s senior landscape architect from Perkins & Will, said that’s intentional, so people feel as though they are “building toward a destination.” The center of the labyrinth is marked with a sandstone boulder surrounded by a ring of linden trees. Similar to the garden, the space is configured for sitting and contemplation.

Lauren Long, executive director of Student Involvement, encouraged the community to visit the new space. “[It is] a place of deep contemplation and a place to reflect and renew after such a long time being isolated from others,” Long said.

“Individuals can sit on the steps, take a stroll through the garden, and enjoy being outside, relaxing and spending time alone or with others,” she added.

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