BRC Ixopo

header3.jpg
You are here: Home

Welcome to the BRC

Perched on a ridge at the head of a valley in the Umkomaas river system in KwaZulu-Natal, the Buddhist retreat Centre looks out on a vista of indigenous valleys, forests and rolling hills receding like waves in the blue distance. Here, for more than twenty years people of all religions and none have come to experience peace and tranquillity. It is a gentle, sympathetic space where one can be still and get in touch with oneself and reflect on the things that crowd one's life. CNN featured the BRC as one of the 10 finest Meditation centres in the world.

Paths threading the 300 acre property each bring their own revelation: follow the pine-scented path to the dam; walk past ancient cycads to the tracks of early Voortrekker wagons; discover an assegai-sharpening stone on a hillside; or point your feet towards the rocky outcrop that provides a perfect seat for contemplating the valley below. Nearby are the breeding sites of the exquisite, but rare Blue Swallow of which the Endangered Wildlife Trust has appointed the BRC a custodian. Their presence, together with the BRC's commitment to encouraging the indigenous biodiversity of the area, has led to the Centre being declared a Natural Heritage Site by former President Nelson Mandela.

Integrated into this setting are the Centre's buildings, accommodation lodges and cottages, the dining room and office, a shop, a lecture and art studio, a library, and the meditation hall.

Upcoming Retreats

The retreat schedule from November 2016 to October 2017 is now available

View full retreat schedule and details

Next 5 retreats

Fri Sep 30 - Sun Oct 02Zen Pen: A writing - being and meditation retreat
Sun Oct 02 - Wed Oct 05Crafting Words In Silence
Fri Oct 07 - Sun Oct 09The Zen Of Seeing: Photography as a meditative practice
Mon Oct 10 - Wed Oct 12SoulCollage® and the Labyrinth: Tools of transformation
Thu Oct 13 - Sun Oct 16SoulCollage® Facilitator Training

"Plentiful - The Big Book Of Buddha Food" to be launched in December

plentiful2"Quiet Food" became more vocal in the "Cake The Buddha Ate", which was eaten to the last crumb. The Ixopo food story continues with the BRC's third recipe book, "Plentiful -  The Big Book Of Buddha Food" to be launched on:

Durban: Thursday 8 December  
Adams Musgrave bookstore,
Musgrave Centre, Durban.
Time: 5.30pm
RSVP: 08246683060 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ..

Cape Town
Details to follow.

RSVP: Please let Chrisi know if you would like to attend the Durban or Cape Town launch - 0824668306.

“Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon

If you can hand-write a letter, you can sketch – it is as simple as that. “Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 11-13 November.
Pen and ink sketching is a very rewarding skill to acquire. Yet, no special talent is required. Louis will take you from the stage where you claim that you “can’t draw a straight line”,  through some elementary exercises in “Seeing-Drawing”,   such as still-lives and interiors,  to figure studies and portraits. You will be encouraged to simply  notice what something looks like from where you are viewing it - and draw it like that. You will then be able to take your sketch pad and pen anywhere and draw anything that takes your fancy. You will be truly present in where you are.  For enquiries for his Durban course: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

International Zen teacher: David Loy at the BRC

david-loyBook early for “Awakening from the illusion of separateness: a Zen retreat” led by international Zen teacher, David Loy, from December 20-27. “To study the Buddha Way is to study yourself. To study yourself is to forget yourself. To forget yourself is to realise your intimacy with all things.” Read more about the retreat here.

The accidental Buddhist scholar

During the 1960’s, the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at South African universities arranged a series of public lectures on ethical subjects, such as euthanasia, professional secrecy, suicide and so on.  I was then practicing as an architect and civil engineer, but was also an enthusiastic student of eastern philosophy - in particular, Buddhism.   I noticed that the lecturers were largely ignorant of the teachings of the Buddha.  I therefore made contributions to the debates from a Buddhist perspective, from the floor, as a member of the audience.  I felt that it could add a vital element to our understanding of how religions and philosophies can throw a useful perspective on contemporary social problems.

Read more...

Sangha Projects: September 2016

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas (Perfections) and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gives rise to the other quintessential qualities of virtue. This altruism is evident in the way our patrons and donors respond so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre - needs that are not catered for in the rates we (reluctantly) charge for food and accommodation.

Read more...

Our Books

book cake_buddha

Quiet Food, our fabulous BRC recipe book, is in its eighth reprint. Like Quiet Food, The Cake celebrates the food served at the BRC as much as it does the BRC itself with photographs showcasing the beauty of the place, and stories about it and the activities that take place there.

You can order copies from our shop.

Scenes from the BRC

Mailing Lists

Submit your details to stay in touch with BRC activities
captcha 

Wishlist

If anyone would like to get involved with donating goods to the Centre, please see the much-needed list below, or email us:  

  • Portable power drill
  • Small generator
  • Indigenous plants & seedlings
  • Gardening equipment
  • Patio chairs 
  • Towels, linen, pillows

Contact Us

E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Telephone: +27 [0]39 834 1863 / 0878091687
Fax: +27 [0]86 683 9307
Mobile: 082 579 3037

Information: Follow us on Facebook

Emergencies:082 741 7901
Durban nos.:+27 [0]31 209 5995 or 082 466 8306 (Chrisi)
Email: (Dbn) louis@vanloon.co.za
If our telephone lines are down, please would you call us on our cell phone : 0825793037.