The centre was established and continues to be inspired by the teachings of Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh. The way of life here is steeped in the wisdom of the Buddha Dharma. Friends come from many different cultural and spiritual traditions, to spend time at this centre to connect and inspire each other to live in awareness and harmony. Mindful living is non-sectarian and non-religious, which means that anyone of any faith can benefit from it.
Throughout the year, we offer regular retreats and specific practice periods of meditation and mindfulness. We offer support and the wisdom gained from our own practice and we encourage others to discover the deep calm and clarity of mindfulness practice through their own experience.
Mindfulness is the art of being truly present.
The capacity to be truly present, to have a clear and serene mind is innate, part of our natural state, but due to the conditions of our lives and our habit energies, this capacity has little chance to manifest and nourish us.
Caring for this beautiful sanctuary and her guests, and manifesting the main gardens are the focus of our practice, our work and our joy. Being fully present in the garden provides many wonderful opportunities to deeply observe life and to understand it. Working peacefully and in mindfulness, the Dharma, the true nature of reality, becomes profoundly tangible.
The centre is supported and guided by a guardian group of practitioners, some who live locally and others from many countries around the world. The centre is presently entrusted to the residential guardian, Sister Shalom, an ordained Buddhist nun. Sister Shalom practiced as a lay person for many years with Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village community in France. She is deeply committed to supporting people from all walks of life to receive and benefit from the wisdom, joy and clarity that results from mindfulness.
Dharma Gaia is in a coastal area of natural bush, streams, hills and great beauty. The environment is peaceful and deeply nourishing, with bush walkways, sea views and wondrous birdlife. It is close to the Tara Sanctuary, beaches, hot springs, hiking and outdoor recreation facilities.
The accommodation is simple, clean and comfortable. There are possibilities for individual chalets or to share in one of the single-sex dormitories. Food is vegetarian, locally grown and organic as much as possible.