This presentation was for a professional organization, the Midtown Chapter of the American Academy of Professional Coders (AAPC); it would take place on a state college campus; and most of the audience would likely be Southern Baptist, and thus unfamiliar with the labyrinth (and might be suspicious of “Roman influence”). Wishing to be sensitive to these factors, I chose to downplay spiritual benefits, and reference the Roman Catholic Church as little as possible.
To accomplish this, I focused on health benefits, which are similar to the
benefits claimed for mindfulness meditation. As I was researching the benefits
of mindfulness meditation, I became aware of contrarian views - interestingly,
from Tricycle: The Buddhist Review
Since this was an academic setting, I included these critiques, and offered my
As you’ll see in the presentation, I also incorporated the health benefits of
walking, which are less controversial.
The room the Midtown Chapter uses for their meetings would not accommodate the
labyrinth I had available (60 x 60), so I made arrangements to place the
labyrinth in an atrium on the same floor, several yards away from the meeting
room. The meeting takes place at lunch, and most members are expected to be back
at their jobs in a little over an hour, so only a handful walked the labyrinth.
I compensated for this by bringing the wooden labyrinths and sheets of paper
with labyrinth patterns and instructions for making your own labyrinth. I
talked the participants through a simple meditation using the wooden labyrinths.
I had planned my presentation while considering the needs of this unique community, and
“The Health Benefits of Walking Around in Circles” was warmly received.