I was aware of CERES before I even moved to Melbourne. Not because it is an amazing environmental oasis of calm in a huge, sprawling city, but because it is home to the Melbourne Insight Meditation Group. I’ve been sitting with Insight meditation teachers for about 10 years now and was pleased to find that I could continue my practice when I moved to Australia. Uprooting your life is unsettling and I found my way to CERES even before my jet lag had subsided. I loved it. Somehow, it immediately felt like home.
As a country girl, it has been a shock to find myself amongst skyscrapers, traffic and so many people, so I need a place I can get away from it all. Melbourne has such a huge suburbia, it takes about 40 minutes to get completely out of the city, but along the river, you can find pockets of tranquility and CERES is one of them.
From my home in Fitzroy, I cycle through Edinburgh Gardens and take the Merri Creek Trail to Brunswick, where this parkland has been sculpted from a old quarry site. David Holmgren told me that it was modelled on CAT, in Wales, which, coincidentally, was also an old quarry. Just one more reason to love it there.
As well as the Learning Centre where we meet for meditation and yoga, CERES has many other meeting rooms, where workshops are taught on tai-chi, organic gardening, group facilitation, Deep Ecology, massage and all sorts of learning for sustainability. They also teach a Permaculture Design Course, which are so popular here in Australia at the moment.
In March, they host their annual Harvest Festival. Last year, we went along and enjoyed the bands, workshops and a talk on Earthships with Rachel Goldlust. I thought it would be a great opportunity to film the place humming with life, so this year, I’ve done it. It was fun, but I was a bit distracted, because this year, I bumped into so many people I know!
I chatted with Greg, whose book, Changing Gears, I talk about in the blog post on Sustainable Living; I met my neighbour Karen, who collates the Yarra Transition website; I saw Anna Crowley, my wonderful yoga teacher and several of my own yoga students, too. It really is a place for like-minded folk to gather.
Watch Episode 53 of the Living in the Future online film series to enjoy the CERES Harvest Festival and find out why this place is such a great model for community sustainable education the world over!
One thought on “CERES Community Environment Park”
Meditation. It seems like such a simple word, but it has the power to chagne your life, attitude and priorities. There are times when I sit down to meditate and my puppy mind starts to wander. It’s amazing the things your mind will come up with to keep you from being quiet and restful. All the errands that need to be run, all the things that need attending to .. I breathe and concentrate on my breath and tell my mind to take a break. I breathe and breathe in and out and then THERE IT IS. The colors I see when I close my eyes and get in the zone of wonderful glorious breath. As I breathe the colors deepen and my body starts to calm and disappear. And just for that 15 or 20 minutes (sometimes even 10) I am at one with everything. I’m calm and tuned in to me and my connection to this universe and beyond. As I come back into myself my breath steady, my heart beat in time with life, I open my eyes and its as if I am seeing the world in technicolor. I notice things I didn’t before my practice, and for a few hours afterward I see the world as a kinder, gentler place. Because for a few hours I am a kinder and gentler being. Namaste’