TLS Annual Gathering

Concurrent Lectures and Workshops from 2023

WHILE THE "CALL" FOR 2024 PRESENTATIONS IS CURRENTELY OPEN, The descriptions below show those that were offered in 2023

Saturday Afternoon
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
60-minute presentations

Chartres Cathedral: Past, Present, Future
Robert Ferrѐ
All aspects of the Chartres Cathedral, including the labyrinth, have a single purpose. Through the centuries, the original purpose and meaning have been lost with the cathedral itself barely escaping destruction. Today, the revival of interest in the labyrinth has led to misguided myths and theories that have obscured the real meaning. Accordingly, a clear understanding of the past can lead us to a future consistent with the origins of the labyrinth. 

Robert Ferrѐ founded the St. Louis Labyrinth Project in 1995 (later known as Labyrinth Enterprises), beginning a decades-long association with Veriditas for whom he made canvas labyrinths for 15 years, taught labyrinth classes, and led two pilgrimages to Chartres and pilgrimage sites in France and Germany. He invented techniques for making portable and permanent labyrinths, and wrote several manuals on labyrinth construction. Robert organized the first meetings of The Labyrinth Society in 1997 and 1998 in which TLS was founded in St. Louis, MO.  He has been to Chartres 53 times and has given frequent tours there.

Commonly Reported Personality Types of Labyrinth Walkers
John W. Rhodes
Are some personality types more attracted to the labyrinth than others? How do the personality types of labyrinth walkers differ from those of the general population? This research study uses the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) to compare the personality types of a sample of labyrinth walkers to the distribution of personality types in the general population.

John W. Rhodes, Ph.D., has been involved in labyrinth research since 2006. He authored the frequently-used Labyrinth Walk Questionnaire in 2006 and developed the first comprehensive Bibliography of Labyrinth-Related Research Studies and Articles in 2008. John has periodically contributed research-related articles to the Labyrinth Pathways Journal and has made frequent presentations at TLS Gatherings. He is a past Chair of the TLS Research Committee as well as a  past President of TLS. John is a Veriditas-certified labyrinth facilitator.

LIUP: Labyrinths In Unusual Places
Jay Stailey
The majority of labyrinths are usually located at churches, schools, or other institutions and created to provide a type of spiritual or sacred experience. To reach a greater audience and create a wider range of experiences, the presenter encourages the installation of labyrinths in unusual places, where more and different walkers can experience and appreciate the power of the labyrinth.

In 2005, Jay Stailey began walking labyrinths for the purpose of reflection/clarity while contemplating career change. Following his departure from education administration, his interest and use of labyrinths as a tool for personal growth and community building grew. Jay became a Veriditas certified labyrinth facilitator in 2012, and an advanced facilitator in 2019. He has served as a labyrinth coach and constructed/installed temporary and/or permanent labyrinths on four continents. Jay has presented multiple workshops in which he is a strong proponent for the power of the labyrinth to enhance the lives of those who walk them

Saturday afternoon
2:15pm – 3:45pm
90-minute presentations

Pilgrimage: Diverse Journeys on Ancient Paths
MJ McGregor and Lisa Gidlow Moriarty
Throughout history, people have made pilgrimages, sharing well-worn paths, for diverse reasons. This workshop will explore several historical pilgrimages and will feature a walking  pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres in France. We will consider the pilgrimage experience through storytelling and images. Participants are invited to explore the meaning of pilgrimage within the context of their own lives.

MJ McGregor was introduced to a mowed Chartres labyrinth in 1998 that captured her heart. In 2003, she walked the stone labyrinth in Chartres Cathedral that changed her life. Since 2008, MJ has presented retreats and pilgrimages in Chartres, where she and her husband seasonally reside in their 15th century pied-a-terre. As part of the cathedral hospitality team, she welcomes individuals from around the world to the labyrinth. Each fall, she and Lisa Moriarty co-guide a walking pilgrimage from Paris to Chartres. MJ facilitated a monthly “Walking in Harmony” for a decade at Wisdom Ways Spirituality Center, St. Paul, MN.

Lisa Gidlow Moriarty is an artist, master labyrinth maker, Veriditas Advanced facilitator, and TLS past president. As the owner of Paths of Peace, Lisa has designed and installed labyrinths professionally for over 20 years, making hundreds of labyrinths, from canvas portables to permanent concrete installations. On her website, she sells exquisitely detailed Chartres replica finger labyrinths and other designs in wood, metal and jewelry. Lisa leads labyrinth making workshops, tours, and spiritual pilgrimages to international sacred sites, including an annual women's walking pilgrimage to Chartres, France. She has a passion for leading others on the creative journey.

Handheld Kintsugi Labyrinths: A Practice for Navigating Grief, Loss, and Change
Jill Carnell
Blending the Japanese practice of kintsugi, or “golden repair,” with a handheld labyrinth practice provides an accessible metaphor for navigating grief, loss, and change. The presentation will tell the story of how this practice was discovered, how it has evolved, share use cases, and will include a practice with a handheld kintsugi labyrinth.

Jill Carnell is the Cofounder and Chief Contemplative Officer of Thought Kitchen, a coaching and consulting firm headquartered in central Indiana. She is a Veriditas-trained labyrinth facilitator and the TLS Regional Rep for Indiana. In the last year, she has spent quite a lot of time painting broken labyrinths and mending them by practicing (as best she can) kintsugi, the Japanese practice of “golden repair.” She looks forward to attending her first TLS Gathering and connecting with other labyrinth enthusiasts!

Peace Club in Action!
Janice Lewis
We all know how helpful meditation is in reducing stress and anxiety. For those who live in under resourced communities, the pressures are enormous. Peace Club was created to provide young people and adults with tools of reflection and self-management. Learn how mindfulness modalities, including the labyrinth, form a complete curriculum. Enjoy art, labyrinth creations, and design a talking piece for a peace circle!

Janice Lewis, Labyrinth Society President, created Peace Club almost 10 years ago. Peace Club began with a small group of eight 3rd grade boys from a struggling community in Chicago. Today Peace Club is offered to more than 200 children, teens, and adults each year at a nonprofit that is dedicated to offering creative ways to help those who struggle financially in Chicago. Janice is an Advanced Certified Mindfulness and Meditation Guide, Advanced Certified Peace Circle Leader, and Advanced Certified Labyrinth Guide and Facilitator.

Return to Center; Reignite Your Purpose
Druscilla French
Entering a labyrinth, one willingly undertakes a solitary journey in search of divine guidance. Seekers are led to deep connection with the psyche, and return, frequently transformed. The gifts are clarity of vision and confidence of our power to manifest what we hold for the well-being of all. This experiential workshop uses Jungian techniques of active imagination and visual thinking.

Druscilla French, Ph.D. is the originator of “Return to Center; Reignite Your Purpose” conducted at the largest paver Chartres-style labyrinth in the continental USA, created by Marty and Debi Kermeen, located in Lee Summit, MO. She holds degrees in English and Communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and in Depth Psychology and Mythology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. Her background is in archetypal psychology, conflict resolution, women’s studies, and human potential. She is the author of three novels: Shadows on Samhain, Solstice on Ice, and Divining Women. The Labyrinthian Playbook is a work in progress.

Saturday Afternoon
4:00pm – 5:30pm
90-minute presentations

Labyrinth Activism-A Powerful Practice for Peaceful Change
Christine Katzenmeyer and Ellen Bintz-Meuch
Learn a unique way to make change in the world based on science, the power of a network of labyrinths and the unassailable power of the collective. We call it labyrinth activism. It is not the activism that works from division and aggression, but activism that is heart centered and intentional. It brings us into an expanded future of social action using labyrinths.

Christine Katzenmeyer is currently the Founder and Executive Director of The Legacy Labyrinth Project which builds/dedicates labyrinths around the world to form an energetic network for peace and healing. She is currently the Program Director for the longitudinal research project in partnership with Dr. Jocelyn McGee of Baylor University, called the Big Connection which is researching a model for using labyrinths for global transformation. She has been teaching Buddhist mindfulness practice for persons with chronic disease since 2008, and is a certified Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction instructor from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Chris is also a gerontologist.

Ellen Bintz-Meuch has used labyrinths to help individuals, communities and the world since 2001 when she became a certified facilitator. Originally, she focused her labyrinth energy on helping persons serving in prison. In 2005 she created the Global Healing Response, a plan that helps the unified labyrinth community respond to disasters and emergencies. Since 2020, Ellen has served as the coordinator for World Labyrinth Day. Mostly, Ellen has collaborated with The Legacy Labyrinth Project as Director of the Labyrinth Activist Network, using the power of collective healing, the labyrinth, and contemplative activism, labyrinth enthusiasts unite to make powerful change peacefully.

(Z)ENgaging Peace Paths: Tangled, Sculpted, and Faux Batik Labyrinths
Amy Broady
Relax into mindful moments of creative engagement in this light-hearted, and heart-minded workshop of small-scale labyrinth projects. These projects were developed to be appropriate for the school setting, but adults can indulge their inner child and create three unique labyrinths in the form of simple Zentangle®-Inspired Art, relief sculpting with an air-dry material, and a faux batik technique.

Amy Broady, M.Ed., is a Certified Zentangle Teacher™ and a Veriditas-trained Labyrinth Facilitator. She has been practicing and teaching the Zentangle® Method of mindful drawing since 2010. She traces her interest in Labyrinths back to 2010 also, as that was when she first admired a pewter labyrinth in a store and yearned to learn more. She nurtured her fascination for over a decade before attending Labyrinth Facilitator training and Labyrinth Summer School in the summer of 2021. She celebrates the mixed media potential of both passions at Pen & Path, her cozy little teaching studio in Knoxville, Tennessee.

The Future of Labyrinth Programs
Gael D. Hees
Will labyrinth programs be different in the future? Will they target new audiences and provide support in new thought areas? Come brainstorm the labyrinth programming of the future, rich with meaning and growth potential. We’ll cover new topics, settings, audiences, methods of delivery, and more. Plus, we’ll create stories that allow us to go even deeper and develop programs that heal.

Gael D. Hees has been an active member of the labyrinth society since 1998, having served on the board, and as a regional rep in both Nevada and Arkansas. Instrumental in building three public and many private labyrinths, Gael has studied concepts of the creation of sacred spaces and healing. After the publication of the booklet, 108 Ways to Use Labyrinths in Schools. Gael facilitated workshops in classrooms across the country. Professionally, she managed graduate programs and taught in the School of Hospitality at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and has been a freelance writer for more than 40 years.

Finding Presence in Nature
Christine Wiles
Workshop participants will take a slow, gentle forest bathing walk in the nearby forested area, accompanied by a certified Nature and Forest Therapy guide. Multi-sensory "invitations" will be offered to help slow down, unwind, and appreciate the restorative qualities and subtleties of nature. For these invitations, we will pulse out from the center of the outdoors labyrinth at Kanuga.

Christine Wiles, a retired HR professional with many years experience, now manages a wellness spa located in northern Vermont. She received training from Lauren Artress as a Veriditas Advanced Labyrinth Facilitator and accredited workshop leader. She is a certified nature bathing guide by the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy. Christine enjoys leading wellness workshops and connecting with people through experiences. She has volunteered for many non-profit organizations, served on the Veriditas Council, and is currently expanding the family businesses. Christine possesses a curious and creative mind, which drives her to explore the world and everything it has to offer.

Sunday Morning
9:30 am – 10:30 am
60-minute presentations

The First Labyrinth on Mars
Kay Sandor
The Mars Desert Research Station (a Mars Society analog habitat in the Utah desert) is the site where Crew 238 was introduced to the labyrinth as a meditative activity to manage stress. During two weeks of isolation in an extreme environment they drew finger labyrinths and built a Classical Labyrinth to walk on the Mars (desert) surface. 

Kay Sandor has been a certified labyrinth facilitator for almost 20 years and an advanced labyrinth facilitator for 12 years. She is interested in the bio-psycho-spiritual responses of meditative labyrinth walking. She has been organizing and facilitating Full Moon walks and Seasonal Sunrise walks since she first became a labyrinth facilitator. Kay and other locals draw a 7-circuit classical labyrinth on the beach and her monthly Full-Moon Labyrinth Walks on the Gulf of Mexico are well attended. Kay is a Lifetime Member of The Labyrinth Society and the Australian Labyrinth Network.(photo credit Pedro Marcellino).

Labyrinth Patterns and Expansive Transformation
Stephen Shibley
Journey along to experience labyrinth forms in new ways. Creative processes that lead to variations on labyrinth patterns will be shared. Discover how contemporary labyrinth designs are connected to healing, grounding, and exploration through images and stories. Learn how expanding the reach of labyrinths could be more inclusive and diverse, and how contemporary designs can broaden the variety of ‘ways in’ to  experience labyrinths.

Specializing in labyrinth design and construction, land artist Stephen Shibley holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. A licensed Landscape Contractor and owner of Fertile Ground, LLC, Stephen has been creating healing spaces for private and public clients for 30 years. A builder of labyrinths for the past 20 years, he has designed and built labyrinths for churches, libraries, rehabilitation facilities, city plazas, retreat centers, and private properties. Stephen and his family are deeply rooted in the lush foothills of the Oregon Cascade Mountains.

Sunday Morning
9:30 am – 11:00 am
90-minute presentation

Channeling Mr. Rogers: How the Ancient Path of the Labyrinth Can Guide Us as Modern-Day Helpers
Marion J. Patterson and Leslie R. Wright
“There’s a nurturing element to all human beings….”
Mr. Rogers encouraged the nurturing quality in us. He paused to feed his fish and introduced viewers to everyday helpers. We can be the antidote to the angst around us by being a helper. Participants will connect through nurturing and helping stories and puzzles. A unique labyrinth will help explore our theme.

Marion J. Patterson, a Veriditas trained and certified Labyrinth Facilitator, invites pilgrims to walk her front-yard labyrinth when they wish. She hosts walks regularly for neighbors, friends, and church and business groups. She seeks out labyrinths when traveling and guides clients in healing energy work. A co-owner of Winding Pathways she and her husband write features for various publications, are “chicken whisperers,” and encourage folks to “Go Outside and Play!”

Leslie R. Wright, a Veriditas Advanced Certified labyrinth facilitator, loves to share her passion for labyrinths with everyone she meets. She is the guardian of a 7-circuit Chartres-style labyrinth in her backyard and two canvas ones. She encourages people to explore the labyrinth unselfconsciously. She was part of the team of presenters at Parliament of World Religions in 2018. She is grateful to be part of the Veriditas Council as a way of continuing to connect with others. She is reigniting her interest in photography.