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Sparq Labyrinth

Press Release: For Immediate Release
Contact: Sarah Hutton, shutton@library.umass.edu, 413-545-6740
March 26, 2014

W.E.B. DU BOIS LIBRARY INSTALLS SPARQ MEDITATION LABYRINTH FOR STRESS REDUCTION

Amherst, MA – The Sparq meditation labyrinth has been installed on Floor 9 of the Du Bois Library as part of a nursing study being conducted by Associate Professor Donna Zucker of the College of Nursing, UMass Amherst Libraries, and University of Oklahoma Bizzell Library. The goal of the study is to extend the knowledge of the impact of labyrinth walking on stress and relaxation. The labyrinth will be available all hours that the Library is open through the spring semester.

The Sparq labyrinth is an interactive mindfulness tool designed to counteract stress and promote wellness in computer-centric work and school environments. With a touch-screen interface the Sparq user first selects from a variety of culturally significant and aesthetically compelling labyrinth designs, and then engages the projected pattern to evoke a non-judgmental awareness of the present moment (i.e. mindfulness). The available patterns range in origin from native America, to Ancient India, to medieval Europe and each is fully explicated by provided display material. Engagement can take the form of yoga, dance, or a simple walk upon the pattern, which is projected on the floor of the meditation space from overhead. The five-minute technique requires no training and has been linked to decreases in systolic blood pressure.

Created by graduate student Matt Cook of the University of Oklahoma and previously installed at Bizzell Library at the University of Oklahoma, Sparq has been used for stress relief and relaxation during finals week.

For more information about the Sparq project visit the website: http://www.sparqlabyrinth.com/, watch a short video: http://bit.ly/sparqlabyrinth, http://ounightly.com/?p=1981, read an article: http://bit.ly/normantranscript.

Additional Information on Labyrinth Walking:

Labyrinth Walking in Corrections,” by Donna Zucker, Journal of Addictions Nursing

Full length video: “Pathway to Change: The Jail Labyrinth Project

 

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Last Edited: 23 April 2014