The Garden of Slow Time

The Garden of Slow Time at Loyola Marymount University

The Garden of Slow Time was designed by Paul Harris in 2016 as a Slow Time Zone for the Bellarmine Forum on The Values of Time (Harris and Brad Stone (Philosophy), co-directors). The landscape was flawlessly installed by Mario Arroyo and LMU Facilities Management crew. Beautifully sited on the bluff overlooking the L.A. basin, Santa Monica Bay, and Pacific Ocean, the garden invites visitors to pause in peace, connect the present moment to deeper timescales, and discern their life-path.  The garden integrates ancient elements with a playful sensibility to create a contemporary spiritual site.

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The Garden’s distinctive features include:

Seed pattern and labyrinth drawing

Cretan Labyrinth: meditative labyrinth walking calibrates body and mind and creates calm, balance, and clarity. This pattern, dating from the Neolithic Period, carries symbolic associations with a womb or brain of the earth. Artifacts bearing its seed pattern have been found around the world, marking it as among humanity’s oldest written symbols.

 

Benches/Epigraphy: The benches were made from repurposed outdoor ashtrays and concrete slabs. The carved inscriptions amplify the garden’s invitation to ‘be here now,’ to pause and center in the present moment.

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Stone Circle: In December 2017, nine boulders were sited to form a stone circle. The named rocks include: the Solstice Stone, a tall megalith sited to casts its shadow at sunset on the Winter Solstice through the center of the labyrinth; the Cosmos Stone, which features concentric ring markings that evoke the solar system; the Janus Stone, a tall spire with two faces.

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Solstice Celebration

An annual Solstice Celebration invites participants to light candles to form an Advent Garden in the labyrinth as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. Join us next year!

Click here for a feature on the labyrinth’s history and dedication ceremony.

Read Professor Harris’s essay on the mythology, topology, and spiritual phenomenology of the labyrinth: Kronoscope Labyrinth Essay