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Detailed List of Retreats

Under The Full Moon Of May: Wesak: The BRC - Forty years on

Teacher: Louis van Loon and Stephen Coan
Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
Dates: Friday 08 May 2020 - Sunday 10 May 2020

louis van loon smlstephen coan oct2019Wesak is the most important day on the Buddhist calendar, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha 2,500 years ago, and is traditionally held on the full moon of the lunar month of Vesakha (coincidental with May). This year Wesak has special significance for us at the Buddhist Retreat Centre as 2020 marks the fortieth year since the Centre opened its doors. As in the past, we will mark this festival with a programme of sitting and walking meditation, talks and reflections on aspects of the Buddha’s life and teachings and, in union with Buddhists around the world, a Wesak ceremony culminating in a candle-lit circumnambulation and traditional chanting. Please note: Apart from the talks 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 and teaches Sumie, Japanese brush painting, and sketching.

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 he 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).