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Detailed List of Retreats

Under The Full Moon Of May: Wesak - Celebrating 25 centuries of Buddhism

Teacher: Louis van Loon and Stephen Coan
Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R200 surcharge
Dates: Friday 17 May 2019 - Sunday 19 May 2019

louis van loon smlstephen coanThe full moon of May - Wesak - is the most important day on the Buddhist calendar, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha 2,500 years ago. Wesak is traditionally held on the full moon of the lunar month of Vesakha (coincidental with May) which in 2019 falls over this weekend. We will mark this festival with a programme of sitting and walking meditation with talks and reflections on aspects of the Buddha’s life and teachings and, in union with Buddhists around the world, we will hold a Wesak ceremony including pertinent readings, a candle-lit circumambulation and traditional chanting. Please note: Apart from the talk and discussion periods this retreat will be held in 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 Food, The 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.

Stephen Coan has been involved with Buddhism for three decades. Inspired and informed by the Theravada and Zen Buddhist traditions his retreats place an emphasis on the centrality of practice in living a skilful and enlightened life while also exploring the interface between poetry and silence and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously. In addition Stephen draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet. His collection of poems Chant of the Doves (2008), inspired by time spent at the Buddhist Retreat Centre over the years, is featured in A Literary Guide to Kwazulu-Natal (2017).