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Moving to the land
I first encountered this place in 1977. There’s a meditation centre up the back of the property that people from here and Bodhi Farm had built and at that time I was kind of organising, or one of the organisers, of an outfit in Sydney called the Sydney Zen Group, which is still in existence – probably the first organised Zen Buddhist Group in Sydney. And so we came up here to do a retreat and that’s how I met Dudley and Ray and Carol and decided, I’d had it in the back of my mind ‘I want to go and live on…’ and this looked like a pretty together place.
The thing that impressed me about it was, after the retreat they brought out this cheese that they’d made from their own cows. And I thought ‘wow, that’s incredible,’ and just connected with the place then. That was back in ’77 and so only five years after Dudley and Carol bought the land and only three years after they’d moved here and they were building a community house. They’d pulled down a couple of old houses and put together one house with the bits and pieces and all the material cost a thousand bucks! So every plank was as hard as concrete and they had to drill a hole in it to bang a nail in it. It was hard work. They were just about finishing the first stage of that when Ellen and I got here in 1979.