Meditation Garden

The CERES Meditation Garden is a welcoming, personal, small-scaled, centred space for small groups and individuals to meditate and seek refuge.

The large open spaces and smaller private areas of the garden create areas for educational activities and private reflection – a place to be still and listen.

A ripple across the surface of water has been the anchor of this design. The soft curves and repeating patterns of widening circles takes us from the inner world to the outer.

Design Development

In 2016 a series of community consultations were undertaken to determine the needs of the various groups that use the Learning Centre and surrounds.

The concept of the garden was presented on the 6/6/2016 to CERES staff, volunteers, representatives of Sophia’s Spring and the Melbourne Zen Group. Following on from this detailed discussion, amendments were made and the final concept design was presented to Colin Briton, Jan Garood, Belinda Kennedy, Nick Curmi, Shane French, Ian Culburd, Loren Kaszubski, Emily Wilson and John Burne on the 26/10/2016. Approval of the concept design by those present occurred and was confirmed by CERES site planning on the 15/11/2016.

The outcome of these community meetings was a detailed list of materiality, program and issues that would need to be addressed in the design of the new garden.

The Meditation Garden was built by hand, by the community.


The concept for the CERES Meditation Garden was created by Philomena Manifold. Philomena’s connection to CERES was originally through the “Melbourne Insight Meditation Group” that sits on a Monday night at CERES. Practicing within the Insight Tradition for the last 5 years she has also been a dedicated practitioner of Taichi and Qigong over the last 15 years. These meditative practices have guided the design of CERES Meditation Garden.

A significant part of the design process was engaging in detailed consultation with the different groups and individuals that use the Learning Centre. This has resulted in a design that is particular to CERES.

Prior to 2017 Philomena spent nine years living between Melbourne and the Southwest Victorian coast photographing, researching, writing and sketching the coastline. The goal: “Written in Stone”, a book that explores the geological stories of the region. See more at www.writteninstone.net.au

Philomena has studied Landscape Architecture, Geology and Creative Writing. These disciplines have resulted in a particular way of working with place. Perspective, deep time, connection and reflection all play a part in the CERES Meditation Garden.

Opening hours

Open during daylight hours


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