Ben3Ben4Photography by Ben Apfelbaum

The Tibetan monks from the Gyuto Monastery have been visiting the Bondi Pavilion since 2008. It has become their spiritual home in Sydney. The support of the Pavilion and Waverley Council has been comprehensive and has resulted in crowds flocking to the two week event from all over Sydney.

Despite the every esoteric nature of their rituals, they are highly accessible. The Monks give workshops which are designed to allow even those of us who are new to any spiritual practice or to any sort of meditation an instant connection. The monks daily chanting requires nothing more that just sitting quietly for a half an hour and letting them do all the work. Their insightful public talks on issues we all struggle with, such as anger or jealousy are presented in a simple and straightforward manner based on Buddhism’s view of these afflicting emotions.

The Pavilion has proved to be an ideal setting as although their own practises are demanding in detail, they thrive on informality. They are used to people coming straight off the beach in nothing more than swimming costumes and staying to meditate with them. Kids sitting on their laps dripping ice cream and surfers wandering through carrying boards. It is quintessentially Bondi and the cultural cooking pot adds to the heady mix of sun, sand and spirituality.

The workshops of the GYUTO MONKS SUMMER RETREAT took place at the Bondi Pavilion Gallery between the 11th and 24th April.