After a slight transportation/directions snafu, I arrived at Harnham monastery on Tuesday morning. I felt immediately welcomed, and sensed a closer atmosphere. Harnham is a smaller place surrounded by rolling hills of farmland. The sound of sheep bleating and cows mooing provide a soothing, pastoral setting. Although there isn’t much in the way of forest at the monastery, within the grounds are quiet gardens and conservatories, and many quiet spots. There is also a pond on the property which serves as a conservation area and a place for monastic dwellings, and a short walk away is a larger lake surrounded by forest.
The buildings are smaller cottages, and my room on the second floor seemed to me to the best in the house, looking out over the fields and hearing sheep nibbling on grass below my window.
The abbot, Ajahn Munindo, seemed warm and welcoming, and the rest of the residents were as well. I found myself wishing I had scheduled more time here, as it became my favorite of the three monasteries I’ve been to. Perhaps someday I’ll be able to return for a longer visit.