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Detailed List of Retreats

Catching The Ungraspable Moment - New Year at the BRC: Where to from now?

Teacher: Louis van Loon and Tsunma Tsondru
Cost: 3 days’ accommodation + R200 surcharge
Dates: Saturday 29 December 2018 - Tuesday 01 January 2019

louis van loon smltsunma tsondruLife consists of things coming and going, births and deaths, decay and renewal, stops and starts. We try to juggle these as well as we can, liking some of it, avoiding the ones we don’t. But there is a deeper wisdom behind all this - one that asks us not to be so choosy and opinionated about what should and should not be happening to us. This requires us to live on the edge of the only thing that is truly real: the ever-fleeting, ungraspable moment. In this retreat we will discover how we forget to live in the here and now when we focus too much on what is past and fret about what may or may not happen in the future. This is a good time of the year to take stock and contemplate our moment to moment, here-now reality in all its fullness; bid farewell to 2018 and welcome the New Year with a renewed willingness to take life on the chin and make whatever comes along workable.  We will welcome the New Year with a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha and chanting, and usher the old year out with an ancient Chinese temple gong, as well as periods of meditative Noble Silence.

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Louis van Loon lectured in Buddhist philosophy at the Universities of Cape Town and Durban-Westville for 22 years.  He established the Buddhist Retreat Centre in 1980 and, along with his wife, Chrisi, directs its affairs. Both were involved in the compilation of the BRC’s popular recipe books Quiet FoodThe Cake the Buddha Ate and Plentiful:The Big Book Of Buddha Food. His interest lies in the psychology of meditation and in the relationship between art, science, religion and philosophy.  He is an architect and consulting civil and structural engineer in private practice in Durban. He teaches Sumie, Japanese brush painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.

Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and is now its Executive Director. She spent a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s “Work That Connects”, which she has offered in Cape Town. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth.