Diana Ng is widely known as the Labyrinth Lady for building Metro Vancouver’s first public park labyrinth with the City of Surrey, in British Columbia, Canada. She transforms words into music with her narrative of how she came to be involved with labyrinths. In an inspiring, powerful, and thought-provoking way, she shares other people’s personal stories of the amazing effects they experienced walking a labyrinth. Meander through the labyrinth with Diana to experience its profound calming and therapeutic benefits. Diana Ng, an award-winning speaker and leadership consultant, encourages openness, equality, and collaborative leadership in organizations. Sophie Munk interviews Diana as part of a series of profiles of this year’s lineup of authors at LiterASIAN Festival.
You are widely known as the Labyrinth Lady, based on your ambitious project to build Metro Vancouver’s first outdoor public labyrinth. What do you hope for people to take away from the labyrinth experience?
As written in the introduction of my book “Walking the Labyrinth: Your Path to Peace and Possibilities,” I hope for my readers to find happiness and answers to life’s deeper questions in their labyrinth walks.
How did you come up with the idea to develop a 42-foot diameter labyrinth?
In graduate school, I stumbled on the labyrinth when I happened to open an email invitation to a labyrinth walk. At the time, not knowing what a labyrinth was, I thought this outdoor evening event seemed a satisfying way to end a hard day’s work. I had little idea that my first labyrinth walk, a serendipitous event, would become a calling and begin my life’s work to live more consciously and spiritually.
What was the process of developing it like?
It took two years to complete this project from idea to fundraising to the actual construction of this 42-feet diameter pathway. The Classical seven-circuit labyrinth is located on the northeast corner of Fleetwood Park, at 80th Avenue and 160th Street in Surrey, British Columbia. Surrey is a highly diverse multicultural city, with a population of about five hundred thousand people, and is approximately a forty-five-minute drive southeast of Vancouver. With winding arms reaching 42 feet in diameter, the labyrinth silently waits to embrace everyone who enters. This winding path to peace is nestled in thick grass and surrounded by picturesque ruby maples, jade cedar hedges, and Celtic knot gardens. Dozens of colorful perennials and evergreen shrubs are located in two of its corners. As the three rows of maple trees become full and mature, they will be pruned to form a canopy enhancing solitude and peace for inner work. The tree canopy will form an umbrella, which will eventually keep a person dry from rain for at least fifteen minutes. The walk on this path to calmness is about a quarter mile, which is a gift for everyone in this fast-paced growing city. The path for walking meditation is constructed of crushed gravel, with attractive 4- by 4-inch reddish unpolished-granite pavers for borders. The 7-foot-and-9-inch-diameter is eye-catching and can comfortably accommodate several people simultaneously.
What are you currently working on?
I am currently working on a project dealing with racism against Asian Canadians.
Diana Ng will be at LiterASIAN 2021 as part of a panel, “Independent Authors or Self-Published Authors? Stories that We Live to Write About” with Cynda Yeasting, JF Garrard, Jackie Lau, & Diana Morita Cole May 8th, 12.00pm – 1.30pm (PST). Register here for your ticket.