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. The BRC is a birder's paradise, with more than 160 species recorded.
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. The labyrinth, the Zen gardens, the deer park and the Buddha Boma invite one in for reflection and contemplation.
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