I'm off for a month's retreat at the Santi Forest Monastery - a Buddhist monastery located in the Southern Highlands of NSW (a few hours from Sydney). Santi doesn't run formal, structured, retreats but is a 'living monastery' consisting of a community of around 20 monks, nuns and laypeople.
It's set in a large area of bushland; with alpine gums trees, craggy rock formations, caves, and wildlife. The monastery borders the Morton National Park, a huge park which stretches from the hills to the sea, 80 kms away. It's a beautiful, peaceful place to have a meditation retreat.
Here's a few photos I took last year, the first time I went to Santi. This photo is of a little meditation platform, wedged into a cliff face...
And here's the view you get as you sit on the platform...gorgeous huh? I can't say I spent much time sitting there with my eyes closed - I just kept my eyes open, looking at the view and listening to the sounds of the wind, the birds, and the nearby waterfall.
There won't be any posts for December, because I will be sans internet (eek!). But, I'm hoping to do some writing whilst I'm at Santi, so I might do a few posts and put them on the blog when I get back.