If you have spent any time in the Blue Mountains, you will know that there is a special kind of energy in this area.
The mountains themselves are majestic, and the view from the Happy Buddha dining room is one of endless mountain ranges extending in all directions. Just gazing over the mountains from the dining room, your eyes experience something like the forest-bathing experience, termed ‘Shirinyoko’ in Japanese. Walk out on the path down to our special waterfall, and you get the full 3D shirinyoko effect!
It is no surprise that one of the most deeply spiritual nations in the world, Tibet, is also a country of mountains, sitting on the roof of the world.
There is something about the solidity of mountains that is at the same time grounding and uplifting for the spirit. Supported by such incredible land formations, you are also looking at things from an elevated (geographical) position, which somehow magically helps you see your own life from a more elevated place.
As a home base for many different centres for spiritual healing, from the Tibetan Buddhist Retreat Kunsang Yeshe, along with the Brahma Kumaris Retreat and the Blackwood Vipassana Meditation Centre, the Blue Mountains has been attracting people who seek spiritual renewal and healing for a long time now. So it’s no surprise that it is the place that has become the permanent home for the Happy Buddha Retreat centre.
A little over an hours drive west from Happy Buddha, the Jenolan Caves are significant to the local Aboriginal people, the Gundungurra and Darug tribes.
Over the course of thousands of years, Aboriginal people from many different clans came to Jenolan Caves, to bathe in the pools of Nadyung. People came from far away, sometimes walking for many days. In the summer months, the mountains were cool and serene. The water in the pools of Nadyung contains dissolved minerals that were thought to have healing properties. Aboriginal people drank the water to cure stomach and digestive tract ailments.
Gundungurra elder, Billy Lynch, recalled in the early years of the 20th century that, ‘The old natives knew the Caves’.
“They penetrated the caves as far as the subterranean water, carrying their sick to be bathed in this water, which they believed to have great curative powers. Sick people were carried there from considerable distances.”
Quotation from the Jenolan Caves website.
Just a 10 minute drive from the retreat, the walking track to the actual Wentworth Falls affords some stunning vistas, where the spectacular honeycomb like sandstone cliffs plunge one hundred metres down into a thickly treed ravine. The experience walking this track is enough to transport you mentally and emotionally to a higher plane of existence.
From there, it’s a few more minutes down steps to the top of Wentworth Falls, where Jamison Creek flows into a shallow pool on one side and the stunning Jamison Valley opens out on the other.
There are also many aboriginal art sites in the Blue Mountains, including the Red Hands Cave, which was used for thousands of years by the Darug people as well as the Lyrebird Dell Walking track from Leura which traverses spectacular gorges to a culturally significant cave site for the local indigenous people.
Have you connected with this ancient healing energy while at a Happy Buddha retreat? We’d love to hear of your experience!
Michelle is a writer, musician, meditation and yoga teacher based in Melbourne. She teaches mindfulness courses and leads yoga retreats. She runs her own business called Inner Alchemy and is available as a coach and mentor.