“My passion has always been to support the Spelman College mission from the perspective of religious and spiritual life,” said the Rev. Lisa Rhodes, dean of the College’s Sisters Chapel and director of its WISDOM Center.
Rev. Rhodes passion has manifested into the development of a spiritual labyrinth scheduled for construction in Spelman’s religious and spiritual community to enhance students’ spiritual foundation. To be located behind Sisters Chapel and on the south side of the WISDOM Center, the project is a collaboration between Rev. Rhodes and Veta Goler, Ph.D., associate professor of drama and dance.
A spiritual tool for reflection, meditation and prayer, the labyrinth is designed in six concentric pathways. “The purpose of the labyrinth is to leisurely and in a reflective posture walk from the outside to the center, symbolically walking and shedding as you walk all the cares, stresses and pressure that you may bring into the labyrinth,” explained Rev. Rhodes.
As opposed to a maze, in which it is possible to get lost, Dr. Goler describes a labyrinth as a place to ‘get found.’“Walking a labyrinth is a practice that helps individuals access their inner wisdom — to hear that quiet voice inside — which can provide answers to questions, a sense of connection with the Divine, and a general sense of peace,” she said.
Dr. Goler exposes students to labyrinths in class. “I have taken my Contemplative Practices and the Arts classes to various labyrinths around Atlanta. I am very excited about us having a labyrinth on campus for my class, but also for the entire Spelman community,” she said.. “I believe many people will find it relaxing and powerful to walk the labyrinth during their lunch hour or at another point during the work day when they need a short, uplifting break.”
The efforts and goals are to help students get a spiritual foundation at Spelman that leads to a lifelong experience.
“I want to help make sure that students who graduate from Spelman leave through the gates with a sense of spiritual grounding,” said Rev. Rhodes, “and that they have acquired spiritual practices that will help to sustain them through life, particularly through transitions and difficult pathways that they may take in their careers or in their educational pursuits.”
Phase one of the labyrinth will be completed by Founders Day. Student Affairs in conjunction with the Founders Day committee will host a small dedication at 6 p.m. on April 11 outside of the WISDOM Center, which is located in Bessie Strong Hall. — Kia Smith, C’2004, is social media coordinator for the Office of Communications.