Face it, life in 2007 is complicated. Stress and anxiety dominate daily living but this event may help one purge and find that elusive inner peace, even if just for the moment.

On Sunday, Feb. 18, from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. in the Commonwealth Ballroom at Virginia Tech, one can turn to an ancient and medieval form of meditation and contemplation – walking a labyrinth.

Many people picture a hedge maze when they hear the word "labyrinth" but labyrinths used for contemplation are two-dimensional designs that were found on the floors of medieval cathedrals.

“Labyrinths are not mazes and are not intended to trick you,” said Matthew Gabriele, assistant professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and coordinator of Medieval & Renaissance Studies. “Most follow a simple path in which you don't have to make any choices at all.”

“Labyrinths provide the opportunity to walk in meditation or contemplation and they can help to discern life decisions or aid in physical and psychological healing,” said Gabriele.

A quotation ascribed to Saint Augustine, “solvitur ambulando,” portends to the strength of this exercise. The translation: “It is solved by walking.”

The labyrinth, which is co-sponsored by the Classics Club and Medieval & Renaissance Studies at Virginia Tech, is a recreation of the one that used to be on the floor of the cathedral in Reims, France, which was destroyed in 1778. The unusual form, octagonal with bastions, is relatively symmetric with peaceful, rhythmical qualities. Scholars will be on hand to answer questions.

This activity at the Squires Student Center on the Virginia Tech campus is free and open to the public. Wear comfortable socks, as no shoes are allowed on the labyrinth.

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