The hum of bugs and the quiet shifting of dirt underfoot replace the urban roar of campus life. In a drive just under 30 minutes west of campus rests a simple, natural break from the stress of daily life.
Luna Bella Labyrinth is a 100-foot in diameter circular path which spirals into a meditation area in an 11-circuit medieval design. Guests follow the 0.75 mile trail, consider their worries or stress, meditate, sing, pray or chat in the path's center.
Then they can retrace their steps to exit the labyrinth.
“You walk the labyrinth and you release anything that you no longer want to carry with you,” said Joan Clark, the labyrinth's creator.
Clark is a local aromatherapist and traveling educator. She and her husband David Bartholomew were inspired by the famous labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral in France. Clark felt complete clarity after the walking the labyrinth and hoped to offer that sense of peace and balance to the public at home.
“Every time you take a curve or turn, it balances the right brain and the left brain so that this peace comes over you,” Clark said. “You're bringing yourself back into alignment basically.”
Clark said the labyrinth is a non-denominational sacred walk, a pilgrimage of inner journey.
Public feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. A visitor's log at the path's display case lists short, thankful messages.
Visitors have often knocked on Clark's front door to thank her for the experience. People have left stones, notes, bracelets and necklaces at the labyrinth's center.
Cole Eisenmenger is a sophomore from Norfolk, Neb., studying Music Therapy. He is interested in meditation methods and in walking the Luna Bella Labyrinth.
“I've always loved meditating when I've had the time to, or just sitting down to relax,” Eisenmenger said. “I would love to try a new method and just clear my mind and basically let enlightenment come in.”
Luna Bella Labyrinth is open to the public free of charge from sun-up until 8 p.m. on weekdays and until 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is located at 1661 E. 400th Rd. Meditators are encouraged to wear walking shoes and park off of the gravel driveway.
- Edited by Ryan McCarthy