Detailed List of Retreats

The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring Traditional South African Healing

Teacher: John Lockley and Nomusa Mthembu
Cost: 3 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
Dates: Friday 26 April 2024 - Monday 29 April 2024

john lockleynomsa mthembuParticipants will experience a traditional South African healing ceremony over three days during which they will learn to connect to their Ancestors (bones), Dreams, 'Umoya' (spirit) and one another. 'Ubuntu' means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. It is a circle of interlinking relationships connecting the seen and unseen worlds. The ceremony will involve a plant cleanse, using medicinal plants to cleanse the spirit and open the heart. Included will be an in-depth discussion on 'African cosmology' and the understanding of ancestors, plant medicine and dreaming. Retreatants will learn one of the most ancient and misunderstood cultures in South Africa today - the Sangoma medicine people, the monks and nuns of Southern Africa. The retreat will focus on educating people about South African traditional spirituality and also lead participants on a spiritual journey to rediscover their own ‘soul’ or what is termed ‘umoya’ in Xhosa/ Zulu culture. This is a unique opportunity as there are very few places in South Africa today where people can learn from this mystical tradition. 'Ubuntu' in essence represents harmony and is similar to the Zen circle. Linking the past and present, it is an evolving state of co-operation and compassion whereby every human being is linked to their own families and communities as well as the unseen world of ancestors. John will be assisted by his colleague Makhosi Nomusa who is the resident Zulu Sangoma. Please bring a plastic basin which will be used for medicinal foot healing, a dream journal, pen and paper to take notes, a meditation blanket and an open mind. This retreat is suitable for all therapists, healers and those with a desire to heal South Africa. 

Read the Odyssey magazine article on John Lockley.

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John Lockley is a traditionally trained sangoma from the Xhosa culture, with over 21 years' experience. He was taught the essence of 'Ubuntu' by his Xhosa elders in the Eastern Cape and has lectured and run retreats all over the world stressing the importance of 'Ubuntu' ('Humanness') and our need to unite as a human race and reconnect to our "blood and bones". The name he was given by his Xhosa teacher MaMngwevu in 1996 was 'Ucingolweendaba' which means "The messenger or bridge between people and cultures". This is an auspicious name and reflects his calling and mission to help bridge African spirituality and western psychology. John also has a background in Zen Buddhism and was a Zen student under the late Zen Master Su Bong from South Korea. His book Leopard's Warrior is an account of his pioneering journey in crossing the 'rubicon' or divide between white and black people in South Africa. This will be John's 6th retreat at the BRC and every year there are amazing stories of healing and transformation.

Nomusa Mthembu has been a traditional healer and Sangoma since 2001. She lives in the Chibini community where she meets monthly with other traditional healers for traditional ceremonies. She has been a valued BRC staff member for twenty-two years.