• A Vipassana Retreat: The search for truth

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy, Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 19 January 2020 - Thursday 23 January 2020

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg

    You may find that the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings ... it gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you. Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying - Nelson Mandela - Mandela The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson

    Vipassana (Insight) meditation uses mindfulness to search for the mental and emotional patterns that cause suffering. The aim is not merely to overcome suffering but to learn how to wake up and be fully alive in the present moment. This four-day retreat is an opportunity to deepen meditation practice using the traditional Buddhist method of Ajahn Tong. Meditators are encouraged to stay for the entire course but may also stay for a shorter time and beginners are welcome to learn how to start Vipassana meditation. Mindfulness is developed by regular walking and sitting practice (both in the meditation hall and outside in the forest), by maintaining awareness during normal activities such as eating, showering, dressing and supported by daily interviews with a teacher. The retreat will be held in silence.

    What is looking is what you are looking for - St. Francis of Assisi

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    Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg trained in Vipassana meditation under the great Thai Vipassana master Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo. Jonathan worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Durban and Anna holds a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies. They have taught meditation together at Wat Chom Tong Meditation Centre in Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Spain and South Africa (the BRC, Dharmagiri and Emoyeni) and currently manage and teach at the Tisarana Vipassananusorn Meditation Centre in Prague.

  • Happy Healthy Yoga: Kickstart the new year with yoga for health and harmony

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 24 January 2020 - Sunday 26 January 2020

    margot mcmaster

    Join Margot for a yoga retreat where we explore our innate strength and vitality in order to deepen and develop serenity in our minds. We will connect them with the flow of breath and mindful awareness. Enjoy a progressive sequence of extended yoga classes, comprising dynamic vinyāsa, yin yoga, yoga nidra, mantra and more. Working in sequence to unlock and expand, we will explore arm balances, hip openers, backbends and twists to challenge your body to release, and then restore vitality, riding the wave of your breath as a way to surrender into postures and cultivating calmness of mind. We will work in Krama (progressive stages). The retreat is suitable for all levels of fitness, but be prepared to be challenged. Please bring a mat, water bottle, blanket and a strap. 

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    Margot McMaster holds both Vinyāsa Flow and Kundalini Yoga teacher certificates. She was guided by Mercedes Sieff, Shiva Rea, Guru Dharam and Darryl O’Kieffe, among others. She worked as the in-house yoga instructor at  BBC Worldwide in London for four years, where she taught in its studios, as well as in Costa Rica, India and Sri Lanka. She currently lives and teaches in Nottingham Road, KZN, where she integrates meditation, pranayama, mantra and Heart yoga into her practice.

  • The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

    Teacher: John Lockley
    Cost: 3 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 27 January 2020 - Thursday 30 January 2020

    john lockleyParticipants 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.

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    John Lockley is a traditionally trained sangoma from the Xhosa culture, with over 20 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 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.

  • Out To Lunch Where Green Is The New Colour For The Palate: Going vegan with wholesome food

    Teacher: Debbie Rich, Sascha Türk
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 31 January 2020 - Sunday 02 February 2020

    debbie rich 1sascha turkThis retreat is ideal for those who want to make the change-over to a plant-based, healthy lifestyle. Learn how to make nutritious superfood smoothie bowls bursting with fruit flavour, create your own "Buddha" bowls, sunshine salads and simple soups rich with flavour, as well as mouth-watering vegan burgers and vegan healthy-guilt-free chocolate. Included in this retreat will be sunrise yoga and meditation as well as pilates, the yin-yang of health, where "belly strengthening is a perfect balance to belly-nourishing". If you want to learn about wholefoods and veganism, this is an opportunity to find the 'creative foodie' in you.

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    Debbie Rich from Out To Lunch And Wholesome Cafe is not your average vegan. The energetic proponent for healthy living is passionate about plant- based food and living a wholesome life. Her purpose is to help those who want to make the change-over to a vegan lifestyle to do so wisely. She creates art on a plate with every meal and loves to share her recipes and ideas.

    Sascha Türk is a third generation classically trained Pilates teacher in the New York Method and has been teaching Pilates since 2005 from her studio in Durban North. Currently, she is in her final year of Iyengar Yoga Introductory Level Teacher Training. Her love for movement, health, and keen interest in the human body has taken her on a journey towards health and harmony.

  • Moving Meditation: Cultivating the four energies of tai chi

    Teacher: Brett Vallis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 February 2020 - Sunday 09 February 2020

    brett vallisTai chi is a practice embracing the mind, body and spirit. Originating in ancient China, it is one of the most effective exercises for the health and well-being of our body and mind. The essential principles include integrating the mind with the body; the control of movement and breath; generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening) and jing (serenity). The ultimate purpose of tai chi is to cultivate the chi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body like water flowing in a river: beneath the tranquil surface there is a current with immense power - the power for healing and wellness. This retreat is for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike - for many, it starts somewhere and continues as a lifetime journey.

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    Brett Vallis is a qualified tai chi, shaolin and chi kung instructor who has been teaching for 28 years. His interest in Eastern philosophy started at the age of 14 when he attended his first retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre. He studied Chinese Martial Arts at the age of 20 under the tutelage of Jacques Bois, To Dei. Thereafter he opened his own school and the late Leslie James Reed, Sifu became his teacher. After emigrating to the UK, he studied under Derek Frearson, Sigong. On returning to South Africa, he opened a school in Cape Town where he received his traditional Sifu title. He now resides and teaches in Margate in KwaZulu Natal.

  • 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.