Kenneth E. Smith Memorial Labyrinth and Meditation Garden
Address: 6067 E Old Maple Avenue, Terre Haute, IN 47803
Phone Number: 812-462-3391
The Kenneth E. Smith Memorial Labyrinth is located in Hawthorn Park adjacent to the Dogwood Shelter. The labyrinth, completed in 2003, is an 80 foot diameter circle constructed out of aggregate mix concrete. It is patterned after the labyrinth that was laid on the floor of the Chartres Cathedral in France around 1220 A.D. The singular path is switchback, turning and twisting, forcing walkers to concentrate as they make their way forward to the middle of the labyrinth and back again. There are 34 turns on the path going to the center. The path is 30″ wide with 6″ in-between allowing wheelchairs or walkers to be used. A meditation garden surrounds the labyrinth. A comfortable swing, benches, a babbling water fountain, rosebushes, trees, and shrubs create a quiet space and blend into the park proper. The garden has been maintained by the Wabash Valley Master Gardeners since 2010.
The labyrinth has been found in all traditions throughout history in various forms around the world. It is an ancient therapeutic tool that has been rediscovered and is growing in popularity. Unlike the maze, the labyrinth has only one path so there are no tricks to it and no dead ends. Labyrinths have served as spaces for meditation, ritual, community celebrations, gatherings, and children’s games to being used as places for guides and holistic problem-solving devices. Presently, labyrinths are being built at hospitals, schools, parks, spas, nursing homes, and even in individuals’ yards.
This labyrinth and garden is designed for all ages, those experiencing grief or emotional problems or those who simply want to free their minds of the pressures of the day. Children simply enjoy the challenge of staying within the boundaries of the path.
Mrs. Lavern Smith donated the major part of the funding for this project in memory of her late husband, Kenneth E. Smith, who died in May 2000.