Cloud Mountain Sitting Group


Cloud Mountain Sitting Group

What we do

We meet one Saturday morning each month (see Calendar for dates), beginning with a social morning tea at 10am, followed by several 25-minute rounds of seated meditation with brief walking meditation between rounds, starting at 10.30am.

In the final round of sitting, the silence is seeded with a Zen koan or two, and we conclude the morning with discussion led by the teacher, sifting through the rich range of responses the koans bring forth. We finish at 1pm.

Guided meditation is offered in the first round of sitting if there are inexperienced sitters, and if you are sitting for the first time, come 15 minutes early for advice about posture.

The basic form is low-key Zen in style, and people are welcomed from all meditation backgrounds or traditions, to share the silence and collective wisdom.

Need to know

Bring morning tea to share and Dana (donation) for the morning. There is a Dana bowl just inside the entrance.

The teacher, Roshi Susan Murphy, is a nationally and internationally recognized Zen master (Roshi) who teaches in Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, and is the author of three Zen-related titles, Upside Down Zen (2004, 2006) Minding the Earth, Mending the World (2012, 2014); Red Thread Zen (2016).


About Dana

These mornings of meditation and teaching – unlike almost everything in this world – are offered as Dana, free of charge. Zen teachers are not remunerated in the usual way but embody the Buddhist principle of Dana (generosity), offering the teaching as a gift.

Your practice of Dana – generosity in return to support the teaching – completes the gift cycle and is greatly appreciated.

Where we are

Cloud Mountain Zendo is at 36 Wattamolla Road, Woodhill, 7km from Berry. Take Woodhill Mountain Road from the Princes Highway turnoff at the northern end of the township, continue up the range and turn left at the top down Wattamolla Road, following the large sign that says ‘To Kangaroo Valley’.

The entrance driveway to 36 Wattamolla Road is just 360m down on the RH side, but parking inside is limited. Please park instead on the wide, gravelled parking verge a little further down from the front gate, on the same side of the road, and enjoy the short walk in, unless that presents a physical challenge.

Upcoming Events at Cloud Mountain

Zen Open Circle Spring Sesshin (7 Day) @ Cloud Mountain
Oct 7 – Oct 14 all-day

Dates: 7-14 October 2017
Location: Cloud Mountain, Berry (South of Sydney)
Teacher: Roshi Susan Murphy 
Closing date for registrations: 1 October 2017
Click here to REGISTER 


‘I went out following the scented grasses,
and came back following the fallen flowers.’
‘That is Spring mind itself.’

Join us for our classical seven-day Spring Sesshin with Roshi Susan Murphy

Spring at Cloud Mountain is the season of falling citrus blossoms, morning mists, a thousand birds, occasional wombats, many frogs…and Sesshin.

Sesshin is the offer of deep immersion in the Dharma in a setting of silence, zazen and silent work practice, with periods of open sitting and walking in the afternoon, opportunities for Dokusan (personal interviews with the teacher), and Teisho (Dharma talks) in the evening.

Spring Mind is the willingness to settle deeply and clarify heart and mind, allowing sorrows and joys to mature into human wisdom and compassion. It’s the intimacy of not-knowing, not-forcing — just opening to the natural radiance of being more fully here.

Roshi Susan will be assisted by Apprentice Teacher Kirk Fisher from Melbourne Zen Group at this Sesshin, which will also include the beautiful Ceremony of Jukai (Taking the Precepts) for several people.

Spring Sesshin typically fills early. Don’t delay if it’s your intention to attend. Click here to REGISTER 

Please note:
1. Spring Sesshin usually fills early, so don’t delay your registration if it is your intention to attend.
2. If visiting from interstate please book your return flights no earlier than 5pm on the final day of the retreat. It sometimes happens that there can be delays on the train line from Berry to Sydney due to trackwork.
3. For insurance reasons it is necessary to be a member of the Zen Open Circle in order to attend this retreat. Please register for the retreat using this form and our Membership Officer will contact you shortly with information about your membership renewal.


Full time attendance (Saturday to Saturday): $490 + dana*
Full time concession: $400 + dana*
Part time: $80 per day + dana*
Part time concession: $65 per day + dana*

What does the Sesshin fee include?
Zen Open Circle is a not-for-profit organization. Apart from sesshin, our teacher Roshi Susan Murphy receives no payment at all for the generous time she devotes to teaching. Your Sesshin fee includes a contribution towards sesshin costs such as food, accommodation, consumables, insurance etc, with surplus funds from fees, if any, being put toward general ZOC revenue (from which Sesshin scholarships are drawn).

What is ‘dana’?
Dana is the practice of generosity and is central to the life and sustainability of our community. With dana we celebrate the many ways in which we benefit from the great gift of existence and help to support each other’s work. As Roshi Susan does not receive formal payments for her teaching, it is customary that we offer dana in the form of money at the end of each retreat. This money helps to make possible the ongoing gift of Roshi’s teachings and is an acknowledgement of the special relationship between teacher and student. These offerings come from the heart and remain anonymous in nature.


Morning Sit @ Cloud Mountain
Nov 4 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Morning Sits begin at 10am with shared morning tea, then 1.5 hours of meditation are followed by koan inquiry. Ends at 1pm.

Morning Sit + Christmas Party @ Cloud Mountain
Dec 9 @ 10:00 am – 1:00 pm

Morning Sits begin at 10am with shared morning tea, then 1.5 hours of meditation are followed by koan inquiry. Ends at 1pm.

Full details closer to the event! 

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