• Firm Centre, Open Heart

    Teacher: Ajahn Sucitto
    Cost: 6 days’ accommodation + surcharge R500
    Dates: Wednesday 12 February 2020 - Tuesday 18 February 2020

    sucittoOne of the principle aims of meditation is to experience greater warm-heartedness - towards others and oneself.  The absence of this is a major source of suffering, linked to anxiety, depression and mistrust. On this retreat, we will be cultivating the inner strength that supports and protects the heart so that its natural kindness and compassion can illuminate our lives. The retreat will include guided meditation, teachings, chanting and devotional practice, qi gong, sharing presence with fellow retreatants, questions and answers. As this is a semi-monastic retreat, all Internet connections should be disabled and phones switched off. Out of respect for the environment, please do not bring or use plastic bottles of water; your portable flask can be filled frequently from the pure local water supply. This retreat will be held in an atmosphere of contemplative silence.

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    Ajahn Sucitto is a British-born Buddhist monk. He has been a monk since 1976 and is based in Cittaviveka Monastery in West Sussex, England. He teaches all over the world and has taught in South Africa on several occasions. He is also the author of many books; these are published for free distribution and can be downloaded from his website www.ajahnsucitto.org.

  • Reclaim Your Power: A journey to inner balance

    Teacher: Heike Sym
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 February 2020 - Sunday 23 February 2020

    heike symWe all have inner guidance and knowledge, but we don't always know how to access it and use it as the incredible gift it is. We are constantly trying to keep up with the ever-increasing pace and demands of our lives which leaves us with high stress levels and exhausted. On this retreat we will fortify our spirit, embrace our personal power, and allow our light to shine brightly again, the way the universe intended. Through talks, meditation, group work, transformational exercises, relaxation and conversation, we will journey back to our centre - to our most natural and balanced state of being. Deepening our connection with our inner self allows us to stand strong in our own personal power in the here and now. We will learn to listen less to the limiting, fear-based voices of our mind, and start aligning with our intuition, to our core that already knows that we are born as an unstoppable and magnificent force.

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    Heike Sym was born in Bavaria, Germany, and fell in love with South Africa when she arrived in 1993 to volunteer as a Child Care Worker. She specialised in behaviour and learning difficulties and as a Montessori therapist, trainer and counsellor. She taught at St Philomena's Children's home in Durban for over 16 years and was involved in social outreach projects associated with it. She has also taught and counselled at primary schools and has continued to develop her spiritual interests over the years. She is now embracing her calling as a medium, energy healer, numerologist, metaphysical profiler and teacher. She gives regular talks, courses and interviews on radio, and offers individual sessions.

  • Freedom Through Somatic Practices: A 5-day transformational retreat of somasensing™, intuitive yoga, nature and wholefoods

    Teacher: Yasmin Lambat and Nicholas Luqmaan McLean
    Cost: 5 days accommodation
    Dates: Sunday 23 February 2020 - Friday 28 February 2020

    yasmin lambetnicolas mcleanThis will be an immersion into holistic practices that help to awaken more of your potential. You are born with a self-regulating blueprint - an ability to heal ourselves. SomaSensing movement therapies tap into that blueprint in order to restore well-being. Come and explore the wisdom that is innate in your nervous system and why we get inflammation, and learn about interoception as your 'sixthsense'. Psychoneuroimmunology reveals that disease and who we are depends on our experiences and habitual conditioning. Somatic practices help to shift embodied patterns and habits. This is especially good for anyone with pain or inflammation who is ready to take healing into their own hands. You will get to move the way nature intended, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, and maybe even feel a profound sense of oneness. Contact Nicholas for the cost of the course: 0824379776 or email: nicholas@guthealthyogi.com. www.somasensing.org / www.guthealthyogi.com

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    Yasmin Lambat is the founder of SomaSensing™ and a somatic trauma-informed therapist. She is a registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME), based in the UK. Placing the body at the heart of healing has become her calling. Her early experience with the body began with a “nuts and bolts” approach to her own chronic pain. She first explored a mechanical approach, focusing on postural alignment, core strengthening exercises and yoga for flexibility until she was introduced to Feldenkrais and other somatic practices. Since then she has spent the last 15 years in somatic exploration to find the missing link between pain and emotion: the body/mind connection - what makes us whole - using motion to heal motion.

    Nicholas Luqmaan McLean is a somatic movement therapist and holistic health coach based in Hermanus and Cape Town. With a yoga and science background and a meditator since the age of 18, he is dedicated to help people find inner freedom. Following a few life-changing breakthroughs, he came across SomaSensing and discovered how soma and a sense of self is the key practice to awaken our potential to self-regulate and shift us out of the habit of being on autopilot. His holistic gut healing programs involve eating wholefoods, somatic movement therapy and mindfulness in order to reduce stress, relieve pain and restore well-being.

  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 February 2020 - Sunday 01 March 2020

    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 or 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. His book Leading with Conscious Awareness: A narrative of personal insights published by Conscious Companies/South Africa was launched in 2018. See: www.neuronostic.com.

  • The Sacred Feminine: Empowering the feminine with yoga, meditation and your astrological moon

    Teacher: Margarita Celeste, Michelle Strybis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 March 2020 - Sunday 08 March 2020

    margarita celestemichelle strybisIn this empowering weekend for women, gentle Yin-style yoga will be offered as an invitation to expand, open and release tightly-held emotions and stress, focusing on the hips and heart. Evening "Moon" themed meditations will help participants to get in touch with this powerful Lunar Body to connect with your inner Feminine. Included will be talks on the Astrological Moon which will help women to navigate their emotional styles, and that of others. Body and Mind will be nourished over a weekend that promises to be nurturing for women - mothers and daughters, sisters and best friends - in a moment by moment openness to each other and to the beautiful, tranquil surroundings of the BRC.

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    Margarita Celeste was intuitively drawn to the starry skies from a young age. In 2013, she enrolled for Rod Suskin's three-year Diploma course, receiving a scholarship for her final year, after which she studied formally with the School of Intuition and Healing. Her passion is to help and guide others towards a more conscious state of being. She has a deep interest in alternative healing such as reiki, crystal therapy, kinesiology, chakra balance, tachyon healing and life alignment.

    Michelle Strybis danced from a very early age and has always been aware of the way movement affects our moods and mental states. Her journey with yoga started on a visit to an ashram in India many years ago where she completed her Yoga Teacher's Training in Bangalore. She has since visited India annually to further her yoga studies. In 2017 she completed a pre-and-post Natal Yoga Teacher's Training and in 2018 she qualified as a Meditation teacher in Dharmsala. She is passionate about sharing how yoga and meditation can help to keep us centered in our everyday lives.

  • The Healing Art Of Reiki (Level 1), Yoga And Meditation: Heal the body, relax the mind

    Teacher: Katherine Fillmore
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 March 2020 - Sunday 15 March 2020

    katherine fillmore In the beautiful surroundings of Ixopo, enjoy a revitalizing, relaxing weekend of gentle yoga, breath work, meditation and reiki. Reiki is the ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation which promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and uses the "life force energy" that flows through us. The word 'reiki' comprises of 'rei' which means 'God's higher power' and 'ki' which is 'life force energy'. It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing and has great beneficial effects. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to promote recovery. This practice reduces stress, awakens deep relaxation, peace and self-awareness, improves sleep, eliminates depression, enhances your immune system, prompting contentedness and balance in your life. Reiki healing can be extended to all areas of your life, including your children and animals.

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    Katherine Fillmore is a director of  NPO  Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing the Hennops River. She is a qualified Hatha yoga teacher and trains students to become yoga teachers. She has been teaching yoga for ten years and has a yoga studio in Pretoria. She conducts Reiki and meditation courses and works as a Reiki healer from home and in hospitals. Before working as a yoga teacher, she was a professional photographer. Currently, she channels her creative energy into painting.

  • Deepening The Healing Art Of Reiki: Reiki: (Levels 2 and 3), yoga and meditation

    Teacher: Katherine Fillmore
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 15 March 2020 - Thursday 19 March 2020

    katherine fillmore Reiki Level 2
    At this level of reiki practice, you will learn to apply the healing effects of reiki on others. Two more sacred symbols will be passed onto you: the Distance Healing Symbol and the Emotional Healing Symbol. You will learn how to use reiki as a means of empowering others. 

    Reiki Level 3
    At this level you will make a commitment to reiki in your life and progress to become a Reiki Master. You will receive the Master Symbol and the Tibetan Fire Serpent Symbol which are used during the Master attunement process. You will learn how to pass this attunement to others, and to take on students of your own. Some Reiki Masters never teach reiki, but they are able to use the Master energy on others and apply it in their own lives.

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    Katherine Fillmore is a director of NPO Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing the Hennops River. She is a qualified Hatha yoga teacher and trains students to become yoga teachers. She has been teaching yoga for ten years and has a yoga studio in Pretoria. She conducts Reiki and meditation courses and works as a Reiki healer from home and in hospitals. Before working as a yoga teacher, she was a professional photographer. Currently, she channels her creative energy into painting.

  • The Wilderness Within: The subtle activism of engaged Buddhists

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 March 2020 - Sunday 22 March 2020

    tsunma tsondruAs we travel deeper into the 21st century we experience more and more acutely - if we are awake and aware - the unravelling of the interconnected cycles and systems which make up this miracle of life on this Earth which is our only home. Increasingly, we humans don't seem to care for anything other than ourselves. The chasm that is separating human beings from the natural world and from one another is widening, with society encouraging ever more alienation. Even the very words for wild and natural things - flowers and creatures and landscapes - are being erased from the great dictionaries, to be replaced by technology-speak. And yet the words we choose become the world we live in - so we are diligently engaged in making an un-natural and hyper-me world. It is our connection, our relationship, with something that moves us to take care of it. So the key to our future lies in re-connecting ourselves to the Earth, to one another, to our true nature. We cannot survive independently from the Earth and her natural cycles and systems. No matter which strand we try to isolate, we will always find it hitched to a myriad others. Indeed, we are made of the elements. We are made of the same stuff as the stars. We and they have come from the same singularity. Yet a long time ago, before physicists had ever even theorized about the Big Bang, Dogen, the great Zen master, already knew.  I came to realize that the mind is nothing but the sun and the moon and countless stars. Can we also come to this knowing, like Dogen? How can we come to know that the sun and moon and stars are within, that the wilderness is within, that we are the whole of it? The Buddha showed us how when he awoke to the Truth while sitting under the Bodhi tree. He had found through his practice of meditation that we are the sun and the moon and the stars, that the wilderness is within, and is home. He had seen the great interdependence of all things. Taking advantage of the wilderness around the BRC, we will explore the meeting place of the outer and inner worlds to uncover our connection with ourselves, all beings, the sun and moon and the stars. The retreat will combine meditation practice with silent contemplative walking in the wilderness, as well as some of the spiral practices from Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects.

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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. 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. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts by Penny Urquhart. Click here to see Work That Reconnects Network

  • Saying Yes To Life: How we can live wholeheartedly in the midst of a challenging world

    Teacher: Richard-John Chippindall
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 27 March 2020 - Sunday 29 March 2020

    rj chippindallWe have a choice in how we meet the difficulties that life presents us with: we can be defensive and erect barriers to pain, or we can choose to approach discomfort 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 our world and developing maitri - the unconditional self-acceptance - that is the basis of compassion and well-being. In this retreat we will have the opportunity to say yes to life in all its forms, delightful and painful. We will draw on the writings of Pema Chodron 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 tranquil, containing environment of the BRC. The weekend will include sessions of sitting and moving mindfulness practice, as well as walking the labyrinth and group discussions. Silence will be observed throughout the weekend.

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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.

  • Vinyāsa Yoga: Stilling the mind

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 April 2020 - Sunday 05 April 2020

    hannelize robinsonYoga is the settling of the mind into silence because only when the mind is silent can we realize our true nature. The practice of Vinyāsa yoga unites our mind and body and through conscious movement aligned to the breath constituting a dynamic flow. It stills the mind and allows us to become more internally focused and mindful in everything we do. It supports a healthy lifestyle and results in long-term health and well-being. Yoga is accessible to everyone and it is not about how flexible or strong you are or about mastering a 'difficult' pose - though even that will follow with regular practice. It is rather about how mindful and present you are - on and off the mat. It is a practical discipline; a way of looking at the world from a new perspective, allowing one to release old and limiting beliefs and habits in order to experience the truth of who we really are. Some previous yoga practice is recommended; however, beginners are welcome. Please bring your own yoga mat.

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    Hannelize Robinson is a Vinyāsa yoga teacher and Event Producer based in Johannesburg and is a dedicated student of Yoga Philosophy and Buddhism and founder of Conscious-Collab. Her personal journey of discovery has led her towards conscious and mindful living with yoga and meditation which have become an integral part of her life. Her intention is to inspire and assist her students on their own journey of growth and transformation by teaching a mindful asana practice which integrates the other seven limbs of Pantanjali’s eight-limb path.