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 brush painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.
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 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 is now its Executive Director. She spent a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s “Work That Connects”, which she has offered in Cape Town. 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.