• "You Can't Fill The Hole In Your Heart With Food" ...And Other Things Jan Chozen Bays - "Mindful Eating": The hidden gifts of our compulsions

    Teacher: Xenia Ayiotis and Richard-John Chippindall
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 October 2019 - Sunday 20 October 2019

    xenia ayiotisrj chippindallFood and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of great suffering and struggle. This retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating and also draws on techniques from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that enable us to become aware of - and manage - the sometimes destructive patterns and habits around food, eating and our bodies. The focus is on creating a healthy relationship with food, using a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat, also examining our rules around food. We will look at how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. Through a process of enquiry, we will explore the emotional triggers that often lead us to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be understood and effectively dealt with. Using mindfulness and examining our conditioning around food, we will gain an awareness of our habitual behaviour and begin a process towards a joyful and peaceful relationship with food and our body. This retreat will also help us to explore the habits and thoughts we have developed (often mindlessly) around other areas in our lives.

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    Xenia Ayiotis is a certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, Life Coach and Mindful Eating Coach. She holds a Masters degree in languages from Wits University. Her passion lies in helping people to let go of the struggle around eating and to find peace in their relationship with food and their bodies. She is in private practice and offers workshops and 8-week programmes on Mindful And Intuitive Eating and Body Acceptance. See www.theartofmindfuleating.com

    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.

  • Beginner's Mind, Quiet Mind: Meditation instruction and practice for meaningful daily living

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 5 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 20 October 2019 - Friday 25 October 2019

    tsunma tsondruIt is important for us to take time out from the incessant demands and fast pace of daily life. The BRC gives us a space to step off the wheel and the time to come home to the quiet, strong refuge which lies at our centre. Cultivating the natural state of peace and ease that lies there reveals our true nature - which enables us not to just help ourselves, but to help the world of which we are a part. Then daily living becomes meaningful. This mid-week retreat will bring out our Beginner’s Mind through the practice of meditation. The time will be silent, quiet, and slow. There will be meditation instruction and guidance, formal sitting, and time for walking, writing, or staring into the distance.

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    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 molecular biologist, 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 as its Executive Director. Earth. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. 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.

  • Yoga Mind, Body And Breath: A journey of self-discovery

    Teacher: Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 25 October 2019 - Sunday 27 October 2019

    marc kressThe practice of yoga brings the mind and body together, grounding us in the present, connecting us with where we are and what our body tells us about ourselves. Yoga is a process of re-connecting to our body and breath, coming back into the present moment. The ancient yogis realized that in order to be able to meditate effectively requires a healthy, strong body, so they developed yoga postures (asanas), cleansing techniques and breathing exercises (pranayama). Through regular practise of asanas, pranayama and meditation, yoga unlocks the deeper levels of our being. It is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who we are. This retreat is open to beginners and experienced students. Please bring a yoga mat.

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    Marc Kress is a yoga teacher and percussionist living in Durban. He was attracted to the yoga path while travelling through India in 2003: “I discovered a path of self-practice and discipline that fulfils my desire to grow on a spiritual level by working with the body and mind”. Marc has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Iyengar, Sivananda, Tantra and Astanga. He has a Hatha yoga teaching qualification from the Yoga Alliance and is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher.

  • Spring Writing Retreat. Let your inspiration flow and renew your writing impetus with nature’s most creative show

    Teacher: Elana Bregin
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + cost of workshop
    Dates: Tuesday 29 October 2019 - Thursday 31 October 2019

    elana breginThis 3-day mid-week writing retreat is an invitation to steep yourself in the joyous energy of nature’s loveliest season, and get to grips with the writing you have been wanting to do. Amid the Spring abundance of flowers, birdsong, bee dreams and gorgeous views, we will begin the dance with inspiration that all good writing entails. There will be scenic walks, starlight talks, sensory sitting and other activities that feed the creative spirit in us, as well as practical guidance on what goes into good writing, how to craft and shape your story, and other useful insights. Whether your intention is a novel, memoir, short story or simply to renew your creative fire, the retreat will offer you the time, space and creative support to accomplish your writing goal. Contact Elana for the cost of the course: elana.bregin@gmail.com or 0714930791

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    Elana Bregin is a seasoned author, editor and creative-workshop facilitator whose creative output includes both fiction and non-fiction novels, short stories, radio drama and more. She has been dancing with words since she first learnt how to write them and had her first piece, a poem, published at the age of 8. In her 11 years of working as a publishing-house editor she accompanied many authors - both novice and experienced - on the journey to published success and gained valuable coaching expertise. Her own writing journey through the years has given her insight into the intimate processes of story-writing and its ability to reconnect us with both personal meaning and the wider currents of life in which we are embedded. She has been a BRC attendee for many years and has been privileged to be part of a number of enlightening and enriching retreats.

  • If The Buddha Found His Soulmate: Finding a loving relationship on a spiritual path

    Teacher: Natascha Prussen and Warren Shaw
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 01 November 2019 - Sunday 03 November 2019

    natascha prussenwarren shawBeyond ideas, there is a field,
    Will you meet me there?
    Will you see me - without filters or fixations or illusions?
    Don’t make me special, Just see me, understand me, be with me.
    Experience the passing moments by my side.

    The Buddhist teachings provide a wonderful foundation to understand why relationships work - and why they don’t. This helps us to develop an ability to live in the present moment - because only then can we truly flourish. Our exploration of vital, loving relationships will include Buddhist insights into how compassion, impermanence and loving-kindness are key in the way we relate to others. We will explore the role attachment and craving plays and the suffering these cause. Because if we were fully awake and present, we would know that to harm another is to harm ourselves, and that to harm ourselves is to harm another. As we come to fully understand this, we will become less reactive to others and will respond with loving-kindness. Some of the fundamental traits of a loving relationship that we will explore are: a deep commitment to being a couple and yet separate individuals; the ability to resolve conflict; having shared values, dreams and life-style; showing appreciation, respect and care and sharing a strong connection to community and being of service to others; having a sense of humour and being able to laugh at ourselves. Natascha and Warren are able to speak from their own experience and how Buddhism triggered a deeper understanding of the subtle issues involved in maintaining a healthy relationship.

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    Natascha Prussen believes that when you do what you love and love what you do, you attract people into your life who help you grow your contribution in this world. She has been in IT and the learning and development space for more than 20 years and started an independent Microsoft Learning Centre in South Africa, LGIT Smart Solutions in 2000 which offers both technical and leadership skills to businesses and communities. She is an ILS accredited coach and a trained Demartini Method and Values facilitator. Her passion is to help people understand what drives them intrinsically to build relationships, to deal with conflict and to enhance communication. She has helped to address the unemployment and IT literacy gap in South Africa since 2001, providing affordable, accessible computer literacy training to individuals in impoverished communities at Siyakhula. This project won the Microsoft Corporate Responsibility Partner Award in 2011, and continues to upskill more than 1500 learners per annum across all community centres. Her journey has helped her realise the importance of knowing yourself first before you can create healthy relationships. Human behaviour, and the way we show up in the world, continues to fascinate her.

    Warren Shaw has enjoyed a successful twenty-five year career in information technology. He has had some rich life experiences, including buying the richest man in the world a coke because he had no money. As an educator, he works with many people and cultures. His work in over 60 countries has taken him on a journey of spiritual self-discovery - a journey that first began at the BRC. He now has a deep curiosity about recovery, from personal to business, which has become his main passion.

  • A Pilates Retreat: Moving with agility

    Teacher: Kim McCusker-Bartlett
    Cost: 3 days' accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 04 November 2019 - Thursday 07 November 2019

    kim mccusker bartlettThis retreat will incorporate a series of core-strengthening movements. The Pilates methodology helps to stabilise your spine, improving posture and balance. Enjoy learning our Mat routine, using your body weight as a tool and specific breathing patterns to encourage efficient movement, core stability and flexibility within the body. Included in the workshop are the Advanced Mat exercises to accommodate both beginners and experienced students. There will be an evening discussion on how Pilates can thread through your daily life. Moving with agility helps you to deal with life’s stresses and to discover your best self.

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    Kim McCusker-Bartlett is a dancer with a passion for Pilates. She qualified as a Pilates instructor in 2011 and set up the Agility Studio, a private Pilates space, where she taught  for over four years. She currently resides in Mauritius with her family of three. Her goal is to help students of movement to find mind and body harmony.

  • Eyes Horizontal, Nose Vertical: A weekend of meditation practice

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 November 2019 - Sunday 10 November 2019

    stephen coanOn returning from an extended pilgrimage to China, the 14th century Japanese Zen master, Dogen, greeted his followers with these words: I have returned home with empty hands... I say only this: my eyes are horizontal, my nose vertical - their position in meditation. Thereafter Dogen spent the rest of his life teaching the merits of zazen (sitting meditation), the practice which lies at the very heart of the Buddhist experience. Simply being attentive, moment to moment, can have profound consequences: reconnecting us with our deepest selves, to others and the natural world around us. Experience this intimate connection supported by a programme of sitting and walking meditation. There will also be time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the Centre. Please note that apart from an introductory talk and a discussion period, the retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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    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).

  • Playing A Lute With No String: A meditation practice retreat

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 10 November 2019 - Thursday 14 November 2019

    stephen coanOn a quiet evening in my thatch-roofed hut, I play a lute with no string. Its melody enters the wind and cloud, mingles deeply with a flowing stream, fills out the dark valley, blows through the vast forest, then disappears. Other than those who hear emptiness, who will capture this rare sound? - Ryokan (tr. Kazuaki Tanahashi)

    This will be a simple no-frills, "bare-bones" Zen-style retreat consisting of sitting and walking meditation, including a morning and evening dharma reading, as well as time to experience the beautiful surroundings of the Buddhist Retreat Centre while capturing the rare sound of a lute played with no string. Held in the supportive space of Noble Silence, this retreat presents an ideal opportunity to extend and deepen your meditation practice.

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    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).

  • An Introduction To Chi Kung: Boost your health and longevity

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 November 2019 - Sunday 17 November 2019

    paul dorrianChi kung is an ancient Chinese practice that boosts one’s health and longevity. Through gentle, slow and flowing movements, it integrates and harmonises one’s bodily functions and states of mind by eliminating static and toxic energy patterns. Chi kung also strengthens the internal organs and skeletal structure and encourages good posture. In this retreat, Paul will teach the Healing Sounds Short Form - a set of gentle exercises that incorporates sounds to cleanse and heal our major organs. In addition, it is fun to practise. He will also teach the ancient Taoist Brain Cleansing healing meditation.

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    Paul Dorrian is an international management consultant, author and speaker.  His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach chi kung and tai chi chuan. He has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao.  He teaches tai chi in the Yang style and chi kung in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of Tai Chi Chuan, in Pietermaritzburg.

  • Being Our Own Best Friend In This Crazy World

    Teacher: Chandasara
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 November 2019 - Sunday 24 November 2019

    chandasara smlThis is a silent meditation retreat focusing on the relationship we have with ourselves: what does “being our own best friend” really mean? Can we be steady and at ease simply being who we are without needing to be particularly special or better or worse than anyone else? Can we similarly be at peace with others who are different to us without being critical and judgmental? We will explore these questions, using insights from both psychology and the Buddha’s teachings on what keeps us trapped in cycles of negativity and suggest ways of how we can restore ourselves into a more natural state of ease and well-being. During the retreat, there will be periods of sitting and walking meditation, morning and evening talks, and opportunities for dialogue and discussion.

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    Chandasara spent her early adult life in political exile after which she worked as a political analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg. She trained as a Buddhist nun in the Forest School from 2003 to 2011, and, on leaving, completed an Honours degree in psychology while residing at Emoyeni Retreat Centre. Since childhood, she has been deeply interested in all forms of life and nature, intuitive sensitivity, spontaneity, play, creativity and freedom. She currently resides at Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre where she teaches meditation and mindfulness.