CERES Meditation Garden 2019-07-23T15:03:47+00:00

CERES Meditation Garden

How can a garden act as a gateway to the meditative experience? Can it foster sensitivity to both the human and non-human world?

The CERES Meditation Garden is an exploration of these questions. It is also a practical response to the needs of its users – the large open spaces and smaller private areas of the garden create areas for educational activities and private reflection.

Through research into spiritual/contemplative gardens and extensive consultation with Melbourne Zen, Sophia’s Spring, CERES Education and Habitat team, a clear picture of everyone’s needs was established and an idea of the garden was developed. The garden will be restorative, sensory and practical. In particular there will be a focus on providing shared areas of meaning that cross all religious and spiritual modalities. This garden will be a curated space that uses the senses to cultivate calm, serenity and reflectiveness – a place for both private and group spiritual practice.


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.

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