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  • Iyengar Yoga: Deepening your practice

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 4 days’ accommodation + R. 250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 25 June 2017 - Thursday 29 June 2017

    judy_farahThe upsurge of interest in the ancient practice of yoga attests to its proven physiological and psychological benefits. But our sedentary, western lifestyle has stiffened our limbs and spine to such an extent that many people find the yoga asanas (poses) difficult to perform. Iyengar yoga evolved to deal with this problem - safely, without forcing the body into harmful contortions. Iyengar uses simple, but carefully calibrated props and other supports to achieve postures that would otherwise be unattainable except after years of practice.  This retreat is suitable for beginners and for those who may have practised other forms of yoga.

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    Judy Farah has taught the Iyengar method of yoga for 13 years. She attended a number of intensive teaching workshops at the Ramamani Institute in Puna, India, under the direct tutelage of the living exponent of this method, Guru Yogacharya BKS Iyengar and his daughter Geetaji.

  • Walking The Sacred Way: Poise, grace and presence in walking

    Teacher: Marguerite van der Merwe
    Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R. 350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 June 2017 - Saturday 01 July 2017

    marguerite-van-der-merweThe essential art of walking - this most ordinary activity of daily life - has been degraded into mindless, extreme exercise. As we change this conditioned mindset, we can restore the poise and elegance of body-mind. In this retreat, we will learn the basics of good body management in daily life as we sit, stand, bend, walk and do what we do. These basic activities are hugely compromised by the stresses and challenges of our lives and times, including sedentariness and techno-speed, resulting in strain, injury (back pain being the norm), diminished attention-focus and performance. Current research reveals the all-round benefits in walking and walking well. We will re-learn walking as nature designed it - effortlessly, gracefully, consciously - in an atmosphere of quiet attentiveness, thereby restoring our inherent poise, grace and kindness. Natural conscious walking then becomes an art, a therapeutic life skill which leads to health and well-being. This is meditation-in-action: a mindful body and embodied mind.

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    Marguerite van der Merwe has been teaching The Alexander Technique for twenty eight years, as well as tai chi/chi kung. She is author of "The Art of Walking and Eve-olution" (under her birth-name Marguerite Osler), with more than thirty years' experience in the mind-body-spirit domain. Concerned with development and enrichment of the whole individual, she weaves together principles and practices of scientific, psychological and spiritual understanding into the realm of the body, and into the rich art of living consciously, and constructively.  In 2016, she was awarded the Chancellor's Medal of the University of Free State for exceptional service to the country. She is the sister of Antony Osler.

  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A family retreat with children in mind

    Teacher: Sheila Berry, Lihle Mbokazi and Sipho Msiya
    Cost: 4 days’ accommodation + R. 350 surcharge children: (up to the age of independence) 50% discount
    Dates: Sunday 02 July 2017 - Thursday 06 July 2017

    sheila-berrylihle-zulusipho-msiyaCome and join us for some serious fun and adventure this winter!  Spend 4 days filled with games and stories, nature walks, making art and toasting marshmallows under the stars in the beautiful environment of the BRC. This is a family retreat aimed at children of school-going age (10 and up) and offers a basic introduction to Buddhist thought and practice as well as guidance for parents and children to explore spirituality through connecting with nature and creative expression. Children must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent.

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    Sheila Berry is an ecotherapist and wilderness psychologist who reconnects people to the Earth as the source of physical, mental, psychological and spiritual well-being and health. For the past two years, she has headed the Save Our iMfolozi Wilderness campaign and worked closely with the Fuleni communities to prevent Ibutho Coal's proposed open cast mine on the boundary of the iMfolozi Wilderness Area, a rhino sanctuary. Her work with indigenous people in Africa, particularly hunter-gatherer communities and rural Zulu Communities, has been a vital source of inspiration for her.

    Lihle Mbokazi  passion and compassion for the Earth, all creatures and for people who are suffering, pushed her from her humble beginnings to becoming the first Zulu woman wilderness trail guide with the Wilderness Leadership School. Her enthusiasm for Wilderness has taken her to the UK and the World Wilderness Congress in Spain. She is currently working for "EarthLore" in KZN as a community animator, engaging with the elders and gleaning wisdom from them. She co-founded "FezaFunda", an environmental education centre at the beautiful Kei mouth in the Eastern Cape and is part of the Zulu Trail Team that exposes young students to the culture and traditions of rural Zulu families. She is currently studying psychology.

    Sipho Msiya His love for nature and plants started when he was at school. In the afternoons, over the weekends and holidays, he worked at the local nursery in Howick. When he left school, he was employed by the Dusi-uMngeni Conservation Trust in their alien clearing programme along the banks of streams and rivers. When Beacon Hill, a 40 ha gem of mist-belt grassland in Howick that supports many critically endangered plants, needed to be cleared of invasive aliens, Sipho was the obvious choice to direct this project. More recently, he has become a trail guide with the Zulu Trails.

  • Karma Or Fate? Why things happen the way they do

    Teacher: Louis van Loon
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + R. 100 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 July 2017 - Sunday 09 July 2017

    louis_van_loonEvolutionary Biology and Quantum Physics reveal a universe that is infinitely interconnected and where everything co-arises with a multitude of other things. It is a dimension of reality that is spaceless and timeless: an Implicate Order, or Singularity. Every single event that has ever happened or has the potential to happen is embedded in it. As living beings, we are woven into this unimaginably complex causal network where nothing escapes being recorded and is ready to act out whatever needs to be resolved. This is strikingly similar to the Buddha’s teachings on Dependent Origination (paticca samutpada}: karma.

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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 brushwork painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.

  • "Hell is other people" - The magic, misery and mystery of relationships

    Teacher: Louis van Loon
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + R.150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 14 July 2017 - Sunday 16 July 2017

    louis_van_loonHell is Other People: these words by the French existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre, often seem to be too true for comfort. But we can neither choose our parents nor our siblings. And that is only the beginning of a life that is dominated by interpersonal relationships - some of which will prove to be harmonious, others deeply problematic.  Relationships expose our expectations and projections; the psychological games we play with ourselves and others. We tend to stagnate and become rigid, unavailable, because we fear that opening up to another person leaves us vulnerable to manipulation, abuse and hurt.  But that is good news: relationships can become dynamic opportunities to move beyond narrow self-interests and fixations - enabling us to grow beyond our inhibitions and boundaries.  This retreat suggests ways of doing this.

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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 brushwork painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.

  • How To Draw What You See: A pen and ink sketching retreat

    Teacher: Louis van Loon
    Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R. 200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 July 2017 - Sunday 23 July 2017

    louis_van_loonYou don’t have to be or become an artist to be able to sketch what is in front of you.  Everybody can see that some things are shorter than others or to the left or right of something else.  So you simply draw it like that.  You don’t have to be - or become - an artist to do that.  All you need is one eye and two fingers.  Participants will be taken through a series of practice sessions in this type of “Seeing-Drawing” after which they will draw a variety of subjects, from still life through to landscape scenes and portraits - all in the space of a weekend. Sketching is one of the loveliest of skills anybody can acquire. You can take your pen and sketchbook anywhere and experience what it is like to be truly present in where you are.  All materials will be provided.

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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 brushwork painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.

  • Finding And Keeping Your Centre

    Teacher: Tessa Pretorius
    Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R. 200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 July 2017 - Sunday 30 July 2017

    tessa_pretoriusThe Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others.  Most of us, whether we are professional caregivers or people caring for family, colleagues or friends, miss this vital step.  When we are told to take better care of ourselves we either feel we don’t have the time or don’t know how to do that or where to begin.  The secret lies in finding your Centre – because when we are centred in our own wholeness we are able to deal with what life throws at us.  This retreat will teach you practical tools to help you find, regain and retain your balance and centre so that you can ride life’s merry-go-round with equanimity.  This retreat is ideal for care workers and anyone wanting to be more effective in caring for themselves.

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    Tessa Pretorious is an ex-trauma counsellor, activist, philosopher and writer, and has been facilitating workshops on self-care and mindfulness for over fifteen 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, as well as in her own course "Softening Anger Mindfully". She believes self-care is essential for personal well-being and, as in Buddhist practice, essential to the service of others.

  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + R.250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 August 2017 - Sunday 06 August 2017

    ian_weinbergIn a series of talks and Mindfulness meditation sessions, we will explore the chemistry which mediates the effects of mind states on the body (psychoneuroimmunology - PNI). The talks and demonstrations will show that we can attain optimal wellness and performance by getting to know our temperament and personality traits; by being more present-minded; and through sensible, informed ways of living and behaving.

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    Ian Weinberg is a consultant neurosurgeon by profession and a pioneer in the science of applied psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). His Triangles Model© became the cornerstone for PNI instruction and intervention. A significant proportion of these interventions reflect traditional Buddhist principles. He is consulted widely both by private and corporate individuals in the implementation of wellness and performance enhancing strategies.  

     
  • Stoep Zen

    Teacher: Antony and Margie Osler
    Cost: 4 days’ accommodation + R. 450 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 09 August 2017 - Sunday 13 August 2017

    anthony-and-margie-oslerStoep Zen means to apply traditional Zen Buddhism to contemporary life in South Africa - to be able to meditate in a chair on a stoep as well as on a cushion in the meditation hall.  This is a Zen retreat that makes a bridge between formal Zen practice and daily life. It includes meditation, talks, exercise, interviews and fireside chats and is held in silence.

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    Antony Osler was the first meditation teacher at the BRC in the early 1980's. He spent some years as a Zen monk with Joshu Sasaki Roshi and later received "inka" from Zen master Dae Gak of Furnace Mountain. A legal arbitrator in his professional life, he has published three popular books on Zen life in South Africa: "Stoep Zen"," Zen Dust "and "Mzansi Zen" (Jacana Media). In 2016, he was awarded the Chancellor's Medal of the University of Free State for exceptional service to the country.  He lives with his family on a farm in the Karoo where he sits on the stoep, meditates in an old shearing shed and holds Zen retreats with his wife, Margie.

    Margie Osler is a senior student of Zen Master Dae Gak. She leads Zen retreats jointly with her husband, Antony, and runs regular workshops for abused and traumatized children.

     
  • Yogis Live Longer: Hatha yoga for health and resilience

    Teacher: Howard Lipschitz and Christine Withiel
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + R. 200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 August 2017 - Sunday 20 August 2017

    howard_lipschitzchristine_withieleYoga asanas (postures) massage the internal organs, nerves and glands, improving their performance. They enhance energy levels and stamina, flexibility and agility of the body and mind, enabling you to lead a more active and creative life. Sleep and digestion are improved.  Yoga’s focus on the body and correct breathing improve energy levels and the immune system.  As you let go of resistance and allow the muscles and tendons to release into the postures, you learn to let go of resistance in other areas of life, accepting what is and what cannot be changed, helping you to make better choices. Wear comfortable clothes. Bring a yoga mat.

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    Howard Lipschitz avoided spinal surgery for 35 years after he was introduced to Iyengar yoga in Israel. He works as a massage therapist and teaches yoga and chi kung at The Jivananda Centre for Well-being in Durban. He competed internationally in archery and practised karate and fencing for many years.  He brings aspects of these disciplines and chi kung to his yoga teaching which is based on his personal experiences and which have been reinforced by regular trips to ashrams in India.

    Christine Withiel travels to India regularly to further her knowledge of Hatha Yoga and the philosophy of yoga. Christine and Howard Lipschitz often invite others to join them on their trips to India so that they can also deepen their experience.  She runs a teacher training programme each year at The Jivananda Centre for Wellbeing which is a Registered Yoga School with Yoga Alliance. She is passionate about sharing the philosophy and physical benefits of yoga to help people to deal with the stresses of life. She is also qualified in Ayurvedic Primary Health Care, Massage Therapy and Reflexology, Reiki and Body Alignment.