From the time I reached Hamilton airport I was cared for by the staff of The Monastery, with many extra touches provided.
Avenue leading to The Monastery
The building is a 1906 villa, originally sited in Hamilton city, and moved in 1990 to a ten acre site beside the Waikato River.
I was one of three guests – usually there are five – and we each had our own room with en suite. All the furnishings of the house are gracious and comfortable.
My bathroom window
View from my bedroom window
There’s plenty to see in the spacious grounds, and I was delighted to be able to feed the hens each morning.
Their area is beside the potager garden which supplied fresh vegetables for our healthy meals.
These were always beautifully cooked and presented.
Table set for lunch
Each day began with a yoga session and ended with a guided meditation, with all activities optional. I also had Reiki, a scented bath, a Cultural Body Work Massage, and a counselling session. In between there was lots of time and space for relaxation and reflection. My counselling session led me to consider grief, and to write a poem about it (to come in a future post). A week with no newspaper, no television, and no social media passed without any withdrawal symptoms (although I’m now catching up on my missed ‘Press’es).
The Monastery is run by a charitable trust and is spiritually inclusive, but from 1956-1988 it was run by priests from the Roman Catholic Passionist Order. A relic of their time can be seen in the garden.
There are beautiful views from every corner of the house.
View from the West Door
As a not-for-profit manager I was interested to learn that The Monastery almost closed down last year because of funding issues. They were rescued by a grant from the Lion Foundation. I find it ironical that my stay in a place with such a holistic philosophy was partly subsidised by proceeds from pokie machines.
My week’s stay was just what I needed, and it was wonderful to have a break away from responsibilities and the continual stress of living with post-earthquakedisruption. I urge anyone who needs such a break to consider applying to The Monastery.
“They take exquisite care of you
with mindful peace in all they do.”