About Perkins

The Ruben L.F. Habito Labyrinth

Habito Labyrinth at Perkins School of Theology

Perkins School of Theology

Guide for Walking/Praying the Labyrinth (JPG) | (PDF)

The Habito Labyrinth was given in honor of Dr. Ruben L.F. Habito, professor of World Religions and Spirituality at Perkins School of Theology, by Dodee Frost Crockett and William B. Crockett, Jr., and was dedicated September 11, 2009.

The Habito Labyrinth—a seven-circuit design, based on the eleven-circuit medieval labyrinth in France’s Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres—is located in the Frost Marcus Labyrinth Courtyard Gardens, in the open and accessible space between Prothro and Selecman Halls at Perkins School of Theology.  The path of the labyrinth is about one-third of a mile long and takes about 20 minutes to walk at a moderate pace.

The labyrinth is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to anyone who seeks to walk the path toward peace.

What is a Labyrinth?

Labyrinths are ancient human symbols known to go back at least 4,000 years. The labyrinth symbol was incorporated into the floors of the great Gothic pilgrimage cathedrals of France in the 12th and 13th centuries. The most famous extant design is in the nave floor of the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres outside of Paris, which is now more than 800 years old. 

For Christians, labyrinths often held specific spiritual purposes. They served as a way to make a sacred pilgrimage even if one could not undertake an actual journey to a holy place (the shrine of a saint) or to the Holy Land. They engaged the body, the soul and the mind focusing upon movement along a defined path which fostered a sacred promise that if one followed the one way of life, it would lead to peace.

Today, you will find all types of labyrinths throughout the United States, being used for reflection, meditation, prayer and comfort. During the past two decades, labyrinths have undergone a dramatic revival, beginning in churches and now encompassing religious communities of all types: hospitals, health care facilities, spas and retreat centers, schools and universities, public parks, memorials, healing gardens, prisons, and even progressive businesses.

Why walk a Labyrinth?

Personal and spiritual growth
To pray
To gain clarity
To be in the present moment
To feel inner peace
To calm your nerves
To grieve
To be refreshed
To remember
To celebrate
To explore
To connect

The Process of Walking the Labyrinth

Move to the center of the labyrinth and let go of the details of your life to quiet the mind. 

When you arrive at the center, remember that this is a place of meditation, illumination and prayer.  Receive what is there for you to receive.

As you leave the center, you begin the third stage, union with God in Christ and service in the world.

Guidelines for Walking the Labyrinth

Maintain silence for your benefit and that of others.

Take time before you walk to clear your mind and become aware of your breathing.

Proceed along the Labyrinth at your own pace, beginning to pray.  As you meet other walkers, gently give way to your meeting and passing.

It is worth remembering that whatever happens along the way is not a distraction, but part of being Christ’s disciple in this world in which we are called to serve.

Take time after your walk to reflect and meditate.

About the Construction of the Habito Labyrinth

Diameter: 35'-8"

Materials: Mesabi Black, quarried in Babbitt, Minnesota; and Radiant Red, quarried in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Finishes: The path, radiant red, is provided in a non-slip "thermal" finish. The mesabi black is a "diamond 10" finish, a thermal process with a high pressure water jet treatment to boost the color of the dark stone. The center is "diamond 8" finish, a type of honed finish, nearly polished, suitable for adding future inscriptions or engravings.