The Weekend Australian - Travel - - TRAVEL & INDULGENCE -

‘Af­ter we pur­chased the land for our monastery in 1983, we were broke. We were in debt. There were no build­ings on the land, not even a shed. Those first few weeks we slept on old doors we had bought cheaply from the sal­vage yard; we raised them on bricks at each cor­ner to lift them off the ground. There were no mat­tresses, of course — we were for­est monks. The ab­bot had the best door, the flat one. My door was ribbed with a size­able hole in the cen­tre where the han­dle would have been … The wind would come up through the hole. I didn’t sleep much those nights.’

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