Monday, 23 March 2009

Yarra Valley Living Centre

I have just returned from a ten day residential programme at the Gawler Foundation's Yarra Valley Living Centre. I will write later of my impressions of the programme, but in the meantime, here are some snaps, fresh from the SD card.

What is missing from these shots is, of course, the main ingredient of the place: people. I shared the experience with 31 others, all of whom, like me, were coming to terms with a life threatening illness and at this vulnerable point in their lives, whatever they were expecting from the programme, it certainly didn't include having their photos on someone's blog. Hence the unpopulated look of these shots. But I hope they give a sense of place anyway.

The Yarra Valley Living Centre is located (surprise, surprise) in the Yarra Valley, an hour and a half North East of Melbourne

First view from the long, tree lined driveway is of The administrative building

Corridor in one of the dormitory blocks

Where I slept: clean, well maintained, comfortable

The resource centre, as seen from the dining room

Courtyard

The heart of the centre and the programme...

...is the meditation sanctuary

The fountain in the herb garden

Exterior view of the meditation sanctuary

A track circumnavigates the 40 acres of grounds, and passes this labyrinth

Most of the centre's vegetables are grown on site. Organically, of course.

One of the residents who is not dealing with a major illness

A mob of several dozen Eastern Grey Kangaroos includes the centre in its range. There is abundant birdlife, and wombat holes although, sadly,  I never saw a wombat

A small gazebo sits on a hilltop in the changeable Melbourne weather

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