• Saying Yes To Life – Finding The Divinity Within Ourselves: How having ‘faith’ can help us live wholeheartedly in the midst of a challenging and uncertain world

    Teacher: Richard-John Chippindall
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 01 July 2022 - Sunday 03 July 2022

    rj chippindallWe have a choice in the way in which we meet the many difficulties with which life inevitably presents us: we can be defensive and erect barriers to pain, or we can choose to approach discomfort and uncertainty with an attitude of friendliness and curiosity. Being open to what is challenging requires courage and practice as it is not in the nature of the human brain to remain calm in the face of difficulty. In relaxing into what is painful, we are making friends with ourselves and with our world, and we develop maitri – the unconditional self-acceptance that is the basis of compassion and well-being. Having faith in God, the teachings of Jesus, the Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu, and the great prophets of other spiritual paths can give us courage and provide us with great support in navigating this human life that can be so difficult at times. Faith can do a lot of things in our life if we let it. It will grow us and allow us to do things we never thought ourselves capable of. It will turn us into a dreamer who really believes that with faith, all things are possible. In the Gospel of Matthew, it is written Jesus looked at them said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

    In this interfaith weekend retreat, we will have the opportunity to say yes to life in all its forms, delightful and painful. We will embark on a journey into the minds and hearts of the great prophets of our world, a journey that presents the building blocks of world spirituality and helps us find the divinity within ourselves. Drawing on the writings of, among others, the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hahn that provide a Buddhist perspective on the teachings of Jesus, we will begin to discover the affirmation of the sacred in all religions and spiritual paths, and the infinite merits and common humanity they share. We will also draw on the writings of Pema Chodron, Ajahn Brahm, and other wise teachers to inspire us to live fearlessly by giving up control and waking up to everything we experience in and around us. Loving kindness meditations will support us in our journey, as will the exquisitely tranquil and containing environment of the Buddhist Retreat Centre. The weekend will include sessions of sitting and moving mindfulness practice, as well as walking the labyrinth and group discussions.

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    Richard-John Chippindall had an academic career in Microbiology until attending Louis van Loon’s retreat in the 1990’s. This introduction to Buddhist philosophy inspired him to study clinical psychology. After qualifying, he spent eleven years working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London where he gained extensive experience in providing mindfulness-based interventions to patients with emotional and psychological difficulties, as well as chronic health problems. He is now in private practice in Johannesburg.

  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A Family Retreat With Children In Mind

    Teacher: Anisha Maharaj and Eshara Ramphal
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Children's rate at 50% of the cost
    Dates: Monday 04 July 2022 - Thursday 07 July 2022

    anisha maharajeshara ramphalParents and children are invited to join a three-day retreat in the rolling hills of the BRC. Anisha will instill an appreciation of simple pleasures, joy and gratitude. The days will be filled with drumming, making art, mandalas and wind-chimes, nature walks, ubuntu story-telling and toasting marshmellows under the stars.

    Eshara will be offering yoga and mindfulness sessions over the 3 days. Children of school-going age (8 years and up) must be accompanied by an adult.

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    Anisha Maharaj worked for several years in corporate and global business roles tapping creativity and inspiring entrepreneurship. It is her playful, sociable nature and an unwavering belief in ethics, morality and kindness that have shaped her Hygge (contented) lifestyle. She is artistic, a yoga lover, a tree-hugger, a dance enthusiast, and widely travelled - with a knack for unleashing the inner child and finding beauty in simple pleasures.

    Eshara Ramphal is a trained children’s yoga and mindfulness teacher. She has taught yoga and mindfulness to children between the ages 3 -12 years for the past two years at preschools and offers Sweet Kidz Yoga And Mindfulness classes at the Durban Botanical Gardens twice a month. While offering a service to children and creating a balance in their lives with exercises of the body and awareness of the mind, she is equipping them with tools for life. As the children become more mindful about their thoughts, feelings and behaviour, they are sure to develop higher self-esteem and greater respect for themselves and others.

  • Blooming aloes! Gardening For Happiness

    Teacher: Chris Dalzell
    Cost: 2 days accommodation plus R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 July 2022 - Sunday 10 July 2022

    chris dalzellThe aloes, halleria and leonotis are in full bloom in Ixopo! If you are looking for some green-thumb inspiration and motivation join Christopher Dalzell for a dynamic weekend of basic gardening tips where you will learn the practice and art of gardening. The weekend will entail plant identification and plant selection of trees, shrubs, ground covers and bulbs. He will show you how to prepare a flower bed and how to lay out your plants, and how to plant trees and other plants and their maintenance; and advise on plant propagation. Experience all this - and more - and celebrate the BRC's gardens and its green spaces.

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    Chris Dalzell was Curator of the Durban Botanical Gardens where he was in charge of special collections. He has studied, lectured and travelled internationally, collecting plant specimens from USA, Canada, Brazil, S.E. Asia, Australia and New Zealand. For many years he guided the South African exhibition at the international Chelsea Flower Show where his stall was consistently awarded Gold and Silver-Gilt Medals. He was appointed Assistant Director for the development of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. He currently runs his own landscaping business Chris Dalzell Landscapes.

  • Traditional Hatha And Raja Yoga

    Teacher: Duncan Rice
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 July 2022 - Sunday 17 July 2022

    duncanrice fullJoin Duncan for a weekend of reflection, rejuvenation, relaxation and restoration. The retreat is based on the ancient practices of hatha and raja yoga and is open to all levels of ability, including beginners, who wish to understand the fundamentals of yoga and develop, or deepen, their own practice. In the tranquil environment of the Buddhist Retreat Centre, we will discover how shatkarmas (cleansing techniques), asanas (postures), pranayama (control of the breath), mudra (gestures to manipulate and stimulate the energies in the body), bandhas (energy locks with the body) bring us into equilibrium. These traditional practices will help us to develop awareness of body, mind and breath. As the body gently opens like a lotus flower, and we start to release our past impressions, so the mind becomes relaxed preparing us for meditation. We will follow traditional guided meditation techniques in the meditation hall and in the labyrinth to quieten the mind, calm anxieties, recover balance in life and enhance creativity, insight and self-reflection.

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    Duncan Rice offers community-based yoga at "Yogam Yoga" in Durban. He has studied and lived in India for many years and has  followed the teachings of Patanjali (Ashtanga Yoga), Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga which are laid down in some of the oldest texts of yoga. His yoga is rooted in ancient tradition passed down by the teachers over thousands of years teaching that we are a multi-layered being from our physical body to your subtle body. Yoga is about creating health and equilibrium in our body, calming the mind and allowing us to be in touch and at peace with our true self.

  • A Winter Yoga And Mindfulness Retreat - Preparing The Soil

    Teacher: Magdarie van Staden
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 July 2022 - Sunday 24 July 2022

    magdarie van staden Winter time is a time for going inward, to consciously slow down and take stock. In nature, winter is the time we focus on preparing the soil before planting in spring. During this retreat, we create and hold space for you to go inward, take rest and reflect. We focus on preparing our soil for the seeds we wish to sow once we step out of hibernation - clearing out remnants of last season's crops and taking time to nurture and nourish - body, mind and soul. We will explore our inner landscape through pranayama, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, contemplation and journaling.

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    Magdarie is a 500 hour trained yoga teacher who has been practising yoga since 2010 and teaching since 2014. She completed her final training with Christine Withiel from Jivananda Centre for Well Being in 2020. She is trained in styles of Vinyasa, Hatha, Satyananda (Bihar) and Yin yoga. During a class with Mags you will experience a full-rounded, traditionally taught yoga practice that incorporates yogic philosophy and lifestyle practices along with pranayama, mantra, movement, meditation and Yoga Nidra.

  • Finding And Keeping Your Centre: Taking Care Of Ourselves In Order To Be Of Service To Others

    Teacher: Tessa Pretorius
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 July 2022 - Sunday 31 July 2022

    tessa pretoriusWhy is it so difficult for us to be kind or gentle or good to with ourselves? Perhaps it is because we have grown up within the paradigm that ‘good people put the needs of others first’. In other words, we believe that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to show we care. Or, it could just be that finding time for self-care just means one more thing on the already unobtainable to-do-list. But what if caring for ourselves wasn’t that difficult? What if, by a few simple adjustments or re-tuning of your emotions, thoughts or attitude patterns, we could find that calm place on the merry-go-round where we were at our best and could deal with and handle what life throws at us with style. The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. The wisdom of this teaching tells us that when we are kind and good to ourselves, we are automatically much more so to others.

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    Tessa Pretorius is an ex-trauma counsellor, activist, philosopher and writer, and has been facilitating workshops on self-care and mindfulness for over sixteen years. She was trained by Patricia Cane (founder and creator of Capacitar International) whose work she has incorporated into training programmes for NGO's, hospitals, members of the justice system, the SAPS, the corporate sector and at various retreat centres. She believes self-care is essential for personal well-being and, as in Buddhist practice, essential to be of service to others. Tessa and her dog, Maggie, live at Emoyeni Retreat in the Magaliesberg.

  • Open the Heart And Still the Mind Compassion Retreat

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 05 August 2022 - Tuesday 09 August 2022

    sue cooper 2021This 4 night, silent retreat Open the Heart and Still the Mind Compassion Retreat will provide an opportunity to develop and explore meditation practices and teachings which strengthen our embodied, heartfelt presence, whilst integrating the joys and the sorrows that we have all been confronted with during these years of so much uncertainty. Drawing on the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and the inspiring teachings and practices of Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of Compassion, who "Listens to the cries of the world at ease" we will strengthen our capacity to be with things as they are unfolding. After establishing a calm and grounded body, heart and mind, we will focus on the practice of loving-kindness (metta) meditation and the deepening of compassionate wisdom and appreciative joy. These practices connect us with our authentic presence, strengthen our boundaries and provide us with a secure foundation of courage and trust. In a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence, we will learn how to transform the viciousness of the inner critic, so that we can end the habitual cycle of self-abandonment and fear. As we discover how to internalise the archetypal good-enough mother, represented by Kuan Yin, we will develop the courage and trust which allow us to honour our vulnerability without fear or shame. When we can embrace our humanness with kindness and compassion, we can live more authentically and more courageously, and joyfully, so that healing and awakening can occur.

    A pre-retreat individual session via Zoom/Whatsapp is requested and highly recommended for newcomers or if you have not attended one of Sue’s residential retreats before. The fee for this is R975 for 50 mins or R800 for 30 mins, fully covered by medical aid and can be reduced if necessary.

    Please contact Sue on for the 4 day course fee.

    Please Note: At present, in-person retreat attendance requires a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test 48 hours prior to the retreat.

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    Sue Cooper is a Cape Town-based Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice since the early 1990's. She has a long-standing interest in the interface between psychological and spiritual approaches to self-discovery and inner healing, and has attended Buddhist meditation retreats, mainly in the Theravada tradition, for over 30 years, both in South Africa and at Gaia House in the UK. She has been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest tradition, and is deeply grateful to her primary teachers: the late Godwin Samararatne, Kittisaro and Thanissara, Ajahn Sucitto and Stephen and Martine Batchelor. She has a particular interest in exploring how our practice enables us to embrace our humanness, integrating love and loss in our lives, so that we can live and die with compassionate awareness. She offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Temenos, Mont Fleur, Blue Butterfly and Somerset Gift in the Western Cape; Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and the Buddhist Retreat Centre in KwaZulu Natal; and Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the North West Province, as well as 6-8 week "Open the Heart and Still the Mind" courses, on-going weekly groups and monthly half-day/day retreats in Cape Town See: https://stillmindretreats.com and please contact .

  • A Weekend Of Hatha Yoga: Rekindle Your Life Energy

    Teacher: Kugan Naidoo
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 August 2022 - Sunday 14 August 2022

    kugan naidoo lotusJoin Kugan for a weekend of gentle yoga to restore and rejuvenate the body and mind and for holistic health and well-being. There will be time for walking in the tranquil grounds of the Centre, for rest and meditation.

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    Kugan Naidoo has studied Yoga and more especially Hatha yoga (asana) informally since 1988. He has taught in Ashrams and temples on a very basic level, free of charge. His formal training began in 2014 and culminated in his 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training qualification. He holds a diploma in Yoga and certification from Yoga Alliance and co-organizes the International Day Of Yoga in Durban. He presents yoga for the Wellness Series on a National Television channel and has been featured on radio programmes to share his knowledge.

  • Relaxation: Opening And Relaxing The Heart And Mind

    Teacher: Pippa Cope
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 August 2022 - Sunday 21 August 2022

    pippa copeEverybody experiences tranquility from time to time, because this open quality of mind is natural to us all. Yet, often our bodies and minds tighten and freeze to life’s challenges and stresses, even though creative solutions and expansive ideas are most likely to arise from a relaxed state. Healing Relaxation - designed by the late Akong Tulku Rinpoche, a wise Tibetan Buddhist healer, and a team of western healing professionals - is a simple, highly practical, yet profound programme which helps people repair the strains and tensions resulting from the conditions of modern life, and prevents them from developing in the first place. Relaxation and awareness practices can enhance our ability to access calm, expansive states of mind intentionally throughout our day. In this workshop, we will explore the benefits of developing such calmer states of mind, and learn effective relaxation, breathing and visualisation techniques.

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    Pippa Cope has been involved with the Tara Rokpa Therapy Process, Healing Relaxation, a creative fusion of Tibetan and western Wisdom, since 1997, and was authorised to practise as a senior helper in South Africa. Having worked in the caring, therapeutic and development fields in the UK, Zimbabwe and Sri lanka, she is currently the resident manager of the Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Marico.

  • Working With The Elements: Enquiry Into Ourselves And The World Around Us Through A Deeper Understanding Of Our Environment

    Teacher: Pippa Cope
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 21 August 2022 - Wednesday 24 August 2022

    pippa copeThe five elements provide a very dynamic system of understanding life. They make up the world around us and are in all living organisms, only the proportions differ.When the elements are in balance there is balance and harmony, when they are out of balance there is disharmony and dis-ease.The balance is constantly changing within and around us. To help us learn how to work with this ever-changing balance of the elements in a positive way, we have to first get to know them. In this retreat we will use the Tibetan schemata of the five elements - earth, water, fire, air and space. We will explore and get to know them in a practical way. We will examine and become familiar with the characteristics and qualities of each, and observe their interaction. At the same time we learn to observe our mind/body states in relation to the elements. The retreat will include guided relations, gentle stretching and creative work around each element, including painting and working with clay. Please wear loose comfortable clothing.

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    Pippa Cope has been involved with the Tara Rokpa Therapy Process, Healing Relaxation, a creative fusion of Tibetan and western Wisdom, since 1997, and was authorised to practise as a senior helper in South Africa. Having worked in the caring, therapeutic and development fields in the UK, Zimbabwe and Sri lanka, she is currently the resident manager of the Tara Rokpa Centre, Groot Marico.