Q&A with William Frost

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November 1, 2004 // UPDATED 4:32 pm - April 25, 2007
By: Britt Johnsen
Britt Johnsen

Just like a person generates ideas in the shower or while driving a car, William Frost says labyrinths spur creativity. The New Jersey native, University of Minnesota graduate and Northfield resident recently created a labyrinth at St. Anthony Main, 219 SE Main St. Frost is active in getting the word out about labyrinths. Following a cross-country tour of labyrinths, he explained how he became a fanatic.

How did you get into labyrinths?

I was regularly discovering how blocked people are creatively. Creativity is enhanced through labyrinth walking, and I started to realize how I could bring the labyrinth back into that kind of work [and help professionals think outside of the box].

For 15 years, I was a professional facilitator for a Fortune 500 marketing team. I was able to see firsthand ... why we needed that. What I really wanted to do is attract large clients in public settings [such as] corporate campuses and University campuses.

I just started it myself as my own spiritual practice. I have one that I mowed into the grass and flowers [that is] 150 feet in diameter.

Labyrinths have an energetic feeling to them that's kind of hard to believe and hard to explain.

What are they being used for?

Hospitals and hospices all over the country and they're finding there's a collaboration between walking and healing. The American Cancer Society is finding there's a link. Doctors and nurses are using them to relax, to calm themselves, to move beyond whatever traumatic experiences they may be having in the hospitals. They're being used in schools ... to teach mathematics because they're often set up based on sacred geometry ... golden mean, which is the number Phi, which is 1.613, the never-ending decimal. They find it helps students calm and helps them focus. They're popping up in people's backyards, for insight and reflection and meditation.

What can you tell me about the St. Anthony Main labyrinth?

It was commissioned by Peggy Laurentsen, and Peggy is a very progressive business owner who recognizes the cutting-edge tools to help their employees through the day and the stresses they encounter. As a part of a customer appreciation party, Peggy commissioned me to create (the labyrinth) as a one-day event. The landlord of that space agreed to allow that to be temporary. Once the party happened, and the people who work in the buildings and live in the neighborhood started using it regularly, he started saying, "Maybe we should keep it there." My hope is that it's going to be there forever.