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September 2020
  • Karma (online)

    Teacher: Ken Holmes
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 26 September 2020 - Saturday 03 October 2020 09:30am - 10:30am

    ken holmes2020Karma: What Is It?

    This first talk explores the Buddhist understanding of why life happens to each person in the way it does and how the way we deal with our karma is all-important, for both the present moment and the long-term future. Ken will concentrate on the overview and a deeper understanding of being embodied in this world rather than lists and details of karma that can be found in books.

    26 September | 9.30-10.30am
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    Karma: What Can We Do About It?
    The karma we inherit from our past forms the raw material of each moment, from which we can make either treasures or disasters. Words such as ‘acceptance’, ‘purification’ and ‘transformation’ are readily said but often misunderstood or poorly understood.  It is joyful to be able to live well-equipped to face whatever karma life brings. Dharma gives us the tools.

    3 October | 9.30-10.30am
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    Kindly register for each session. You will receive a registration confirmation email per session that you register for. The email will contain the link to join the session.

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    Ken Holmes is an internationally-respected dharma teacher and translator of ancient Tibetan texts. Former Director of Studies of the Samye Ling group of centres, he shares his fifty years of experience studying under many of the most famous Tibetan masters of the 20th century. The way Ken presents the teachings is deeply-informed yet very accessible and often with a light and humorous touch.

October 2020
  • A Weekend of Hatha Yoga: Rekindle Your Life Energy

    Teacher: Kugan Naidoo
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 October 2020 - Sunday 04 October 2020

    kugan naidoo lotusAfter these dormant months of lockdown, join Kugan for a weekend of gentle yoga to restore and rejuvenate the body and mind and for holistic health and well-being. There will be time for walking in the tranquil grounds of the Centre, for rest and meditation.

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    Kugan Naidoo has studied Yoga and more especially Hatha yoga (asana) informally since 1988. He has taught in Ashrams and temples on a very basic level, free of charge. His formal training began in 2014 and culminated in his 300 hr Yoga Teacher Training qualification. He holds a diploma in Yoga and certification from Yoga Alliance and co-organizes the International Day Of Yoga in Durban. He presents Yoga for the Wellness Series on a National Television channel and has been featured on radio programmes to share his knowledge.

     
  • Transition Online: Would you like to transition beyond current challenges into a better place than you were before?

    Teacher: Monique Beekman
    Cost: Donation to the BRC
    Dates: Sunday 04 October 2020 - Sunday 18 October 2020 09:30am - 11:30am

    October 4;11;18 | 9:30-11:30am Register

    “If you bring forth that which is within you, what you bring forth, will save you....If you do not bring forth that which is within you....What you do not bring forth, will destroy you.”

    Are you feeling lost, blocked or stuck? For many people, this period has been a roller coaster of emotions and for some this has included unexpected changes in circumstance. Perhaps you sometimes feel that you are coping well, but at other times not so much. You may be feeling a bit shell-shocked, lost or in need of finding a new meaning in life? Maybe it's just an urge to re-centre and align with your core, or a need for a different perspective, or even a desire for an entirely new direction?

    Transition Online is designed to support you in a way that resolves even age-old trauma and transforms not only your present, but your future. To have what you want but do not yet have, you have to go where you haven’t yet been. There is no other way!

    With this in mind, Monique is offering Part 1 of her 3 Part Transition Online Programme.

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    Like all Monique's work, this entire workshop is founded on her purpose where she provides a Space for Being, in an Atmosphere of Warmth, Passion and Commitment to Change, to Manifest the Vision through Inner Reconciliation, Enabling Love, Appreciation and Respect for All of Life. Her love of facilitating groups to a place of inner well-being, began with teaching Reiki over 20 years ago. She trained Reiki Masters in JHB, KZN, the Cape, Gauteng and the Netherlands. Aside from her studies since then and her experience and evolution over 27 years as an Ethno-psychologist, continuous self-development also forms a very important part of the foundation of her skills and abilities. This combination enables her to relate to your journey in a very real way and as an Empath, to effectively  and empathetically support you on your own path.

  • Mid-Week Yoga and Meditation

    Teacher: Marc Kress
    Cost: Mid-Week - Monday to Friday
    Dates: Monday 05 October 2020 - Tuesday 20 October 2020

    marc kressExperience some serene “alone” time on a Self-Retreat in the beautiful, indigenous setting of the BRC with Marc who will lead daily sessions of hatha yoga and meditation. Enjoy the silence, communing with nature and relishing the delicious vegetarian food for which the BRC is justly renowned.

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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”. He has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Astanga, Iyengar and Sivananda.

     
  • 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 09 October 2020 - Sunday 11 October 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.

  • At Ease In Mind And Body: An introduction to qigong (chi kung)

    Teacher: Roger O’Neil
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 16 October 2020 - Sunday 18 October 2020

    roger o neilQigong (chi 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. Qigong (chi kung) 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 also uses sounds to cleanse and heal our major organs, and which is a lot of fun to practise. He will also teach the ancient Taoist qigong meditation for inner tranquility.

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    Roger O’Neill is a video producer working with corporate, health and educational groups and headed up the Audio Visual Centre at UKZN in Pietermaritzburg. His journey after recovering from two cancers brought him to qigong and tai chi as a channel for healing energy. He has been a pupil of Paul Dorrian for ten years and deputises for him when required at the Lin Li School of Tai Chi Chuan in Pietermaritzburg which teaches tai chi chuan in the Yang style and qigong (chi kung) in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles. The Grandmaster of the school is Dr Lin Feng-Chao.

  • Qigong Retreat

    Teacher: Di Franklin
    Cost: 2 days' accomodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 October 2020 - Sunday 25 October 2020

    di franklinQigong can be loosely translated as the movement of energy. Qi is the energy derived from nature that is always around us. Using 6,000 year old movements, we can tap into this energy and thereby energise ourselves. Qigong exercises are slower than aerobics, but faster than tai chi. There will also be free time to relax and rest, and to take in the beauty of the BRC.

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    Dianne Franklin is an Advocate in private practice. She has been studying Buddhism and Qigong for twenty years. She is a student of Max Weier, the Qigong Master from Switzerland. Her teachers include Rob Nairn, Geshe Pende and Ken Holmes.

     
  • Yinsight Yoga: Yin Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation (online)

    Teacher: Despina Forbes
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 24 October 2020 08:00am - 09:30am

    despina forbesYin yoga and meditation can be experienced as a practice of cultivating well-being. Combining the practices of Yin yoga and mindfulness meditation creates powerful possibilities for insight, transformation and healing on all layers of being - body, mind, and heart. Yin yoga combines aspects of Hatha yoga, the concept of the modern meridian theory in Chinese medicine, Taoism and mindfulness meditation practice. It is designed to improve the flow of chi/prana (the vital energy of the body) through the energetic channels (or meridians) to improve overall emotional well-being, joint mobility, immunity and organ health. Yin yoga supports a quiet, slow, nourishing and grounded practice. When we cultivate the skill of awareness during meditation with an attitude of kind curiosity and notice the experience for what it is, we can pause, acknowledge and respond in an appropriate way. Cultivating the skill of awareness opens us to possibility, conscious choice and space to create paths for growth, insight and joy.

    24 October | 8:00-9:30am Register

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    Despina Forbes has been guided by the principles of karuna (compassion), maitri (friendship), ahimsa  (non-harm) and satya (truthfulness) to name a few. In facilitating well-being, she draws from nature, mindfulness or heartfulness, psychology, yoga, neuroscience and soundwork as modalities for cultivating healthy change. She is a psychologist, mindfulness and yoga practitioner in Durban North and KwaZulu Natal, and is interested in cultivating sustainable well-being in youth and adults,  embracing the wonder and mystery of this human experience. She is a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programme practitioner and has trained and practised internationally, attended mindfulness trainings and programmes with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, the Centre for Mindfulness and Research in Bangor and The Mindfulness In Schools project, UK.  She teaches mindfulness based programmes to children and teens in school as well as adults. She undertook the 200-hour Yoga teacher training under the guidance of Christine Withiel at Jivananda Centre For Well-Being  in 2016 and furthered her 300-hour training with Yogrishi Vishvekthu, Akhanda Yoga in Rishikesh, India, in 2019.

  • Unleash Your Potential Within – You Are More Powerful Than You Know

    Teacher: Storm Porteous and Lisa Armstrong
    Cost: 3 days' accomodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 26 October 2020 - Thursday 29 October 2020

    storm porteouslisa armstrongIn this retreat we will learn simple techniques validated by neuroscience, micro-biology and quantum physics to shift the perception of your reality. We will explore different ways to redesign your future and quantum-jump onto your highest available timeline. By using different modalities such as yoga, meditation, breath work, Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique, Body Talk, Psych-K , Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, Life Coaching, Group Regression and Fractal Psychology, we have put together a workshop - to dive into and play - to help release limiting beliefs and blockages.

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    Storm Porteous helps people reach their full potential - which may have become inhibited by having to deal with the many stresses and challenges life throws at us. She uses a variety of healing modalities such as yoga and art, life coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy.

    Lisa Armstrong abandoned her career in finance to follow her love of nature. The magnetic call of the ocean led her to scuba diving and a deep desire to share a different perspective of life with others. After establishing and operating an Eco Lodge in Mozambique, her passion for exploring and understanding the frontiers of human consciousness drew her on a path of self-discovery, studying yoga, kinesiology, Psych-k, Quantum Healing Hypnosis, Fractal Psychology, breathwork, quantum physics, neuroscience and microbiology. She has an intuitive understanding that we are each gifted with the potential to be anything and to do anything without exception.

  • Unleash The Potential Within: You are more powerful than you know

    Teacher: Lisa Armstrong and Storm Porteous
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 26 October 2020 - Thursday 29 October 2020 08:00am - 05:00pm

    In this retreat we will learn simple techniques validated by neuroscience, micro-biology and quantum physics to shift the perception of your reality. We will explore different ways to redesign your future and quantum-jump onto your highest available timeline. By using different modalities such as yoga, meditation, breath work, Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique, Body Talk, Psych-K , Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, Life Coaching, Group Regression and Fractal Psychology, we have put together a workshop - to dive into and play - to help release limiting beliefs and blockages.

    Storm Porteous helps people reach their full potential - which may have become inhibited by having to deal with the many stresses and challenges life throws at us. She uses a variety of healing modalities such as yoga and art, life coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy.

    Lisa Armstrong abandoned her career in finance to follow her love of nature. The magnetic call of the ocean led her to scuba diving and a deep desire to share a different perspective of life with others. After establishing and operating an Eco Lodge in Mozambique, her passion for exploring and understanding the frontiers of human consciousness drew her on a path of self-discovery, studying yoga, kinesiology, Psych-k, Quantum Healing Hypnosis, Fractal Psychology, breathwork, quantum physics, neuroscience and microbiology. She has an intuitive understanding that we are each gifted with the potential to be anything and to do anything without exception.

     

  • Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence Through Mindfulness: Gaining insights into your emotional intelligence for resonant relationships

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 October 2020 - Sunday 01 November 2020

    shanil haricharan oct2019Research on emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) suggests that a person’s ability to perceive, identify and manage their emotions is essential to making good decisions, taking optimal action to solve problems and coping with change. According to Daniel Goleman, emotionally intelligent people are aware of their own emotions (self-awareness) and they effectively manage their emotions (self-management). In addition, they are aware of the emotions of others (social awareness) and are adept at managing the emotions of others (relationship management). Each one of us can acquire and improve our EI - an essential part of our personal development. Self-awareness - an EI competence - cultivates our empathy, and nurtures our compassion and caring. The subject of mindfulness has received huge interest from practitioners and researchers alike, with a growing body of research linking mindfulness to cognitive, physiological, and psychological benefits. Interestingly, current research shows a positive relationship between mindfulness and the development of emotional intelligence competencies. This interactive retreat supports participants in their personal development journey through gaining insights into their emotional intelligence and mindfulness, and identifying and developing behaviour that positively impacts their well-being and relationships - in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

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    Shanil Haricharan is an academic, activist, advisor, writer, and coach. He has a diverse professional and academic career in the public and NGO sector, having served as a senior advisor on public management, leadership and organisational culture at the National Treasury for 13 years. Currently he teaches emotional intelligence and leadership and convenes the public leadership course on the MPhil programme in development policy at UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. He received a BSc (Medical/Life Sciences, Wits), an Advanced University Diploma in Adult Education (Natal), a MBA (UCT), and a PhD (Stellenbosch). His doctoral research focused on emotional intelligence, public leadership and organisational culture. He also completed the Gestalt International Organisation and Human Systems Development Programme at the Gestalt International Study Centre, Cleaveland, USA.

November 2020
  • Cultivating Mindful Leadership For The 21 st Century Through Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence: Leading with compassion, hope and mindfulness in the 21st century

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation
    Dates: Sunday 01 November 2020 - Tuesday 03 November 2020

    shanil haricharan oct2019This retreat recognizes the challenges in leading effectively in the 21st century VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The goal of this interactive retreat is to support retreatants’ personal development journey through gaining insights into their emotional intelligence and cultivating leadership competence that positively impact their relationships, organisations, and society. The retreat focuses on two components: firstly, personal and interpersonal change that equips managers/leaders with the skills, practices and concepts needed to be authentic, adaptive and transformational leaders; secondly, explores organisational change and renewal. The retreat introduces participants to a range of theories, conceptual frameworks, case studies, practices, and tools in emotional intelligence, mindfulness, coaching, social neuroscience and leadership models and styles to understand their leadership behaviours and gain insights into their organisation’s culture and climate. The interactive practices are designed to support managers/leaders’ ongoing development in improving self-awareness, communication and listening skills, enabling them to understand - through direct personal experience - the impact of leadership and management behaviours on organisational culture and climate. For more information and the course fee, please contact Shanil Haricharan: shanil@icon.co.za or 0823773459.

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    Shanil Haricharan is an academic, activist, advisor, writer, and coach. He has a diverse professional and academic career in the public and NGO sector, having served as a senior advisor on public management, leadership and organisational culture at the National Treasury for 13 years. Currently he teaches emotional intelligence and leadership and convenes the public leadership course on the MPhil programme in development policy at UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. He received a BSc (Medical/Life Sciences, Wits), an Advanced University Diploma in Adult Education (Natal), a MBA (UCT), and a PhD (Stellenbosch). His doctoral research focused on emotional intelligence, public leadership and organisational culture. He also completed the Gestalt International Organisation and Human Systems Development Programme at the Gestalt International Study Centre, Cleaveland, USA.

  • A Yin Yoga Retreat

    Teacher: Jennifer Chapman
    Cost: 2 days accomodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 November 2020 - Sunday 08 November 2020

    jen chapmanJoin Jennifer in taking it slowly, and aligning your body with your mind and emotions. During this restorative Yin yoga retreat, we will rest and stretch, and flow calmly from one posture into another.

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    Jennifer Chapman is the founder of the Astanga Studio, in Kloof, Natal. From the  age of 12, she  was encouraged by her ballet teacher to take up yoga.  Dance has always been her heart song and yoga became intertwined in the dance of her heart. She has taught yoga in Mauritius, the Caribbean, Cozumel, New York and in  South Africa and trained in Mysore, India. She has done  various teacher trainings in Astanga in  South Africa and Mexico, and in Children’  Yoga,  AcroVinyasa Bali and Budokon. Her passion is to share the yoga path with others to find their joy and strength.

     
  • Fully Human Activism: The way of gentle activists who make a difference

    Teacher: Graham Williams
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 11 November 2020 - Friday 13 November 2020

    graham williamsWe are urgently called to action in two distinct capacities; to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture, and to serve as midwives to an emerging culture - Will Keepin

    Environmental degradation, economic suffering and social conflict are rampant. Despair, anger and fear abound. Scientists maintain that “humans are eating away their own life support systems at a rate unseen in the last 10, 000 years”. Many want to act, to get involved but don’t know what to do, or where to start - at home or in their social lives and workplace. They feel powerless and unable to make a difference. On this retreat we will learn the way of the gentle, contemplative and effective activist: a model of connecting to a higher source, to others and ourselves. We will leave with a framework for being and doing - the ‘must’, ‘should’ and ‘could’ do’s that we can work with. For more information, contact: centserv@iafrica.com.

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    Graham Williams is an old friend of the BRC who is passionate about personal healing, growth and being relevant in a strident, divisive, combative, fragile and threatened world. He is the author of a number of business books on values, service, resilience, and the use of story as a contributor to better business.

  • Buddhism, Existential Philosophy And Psychology: Can Buddhism effectively treat the struggles we face in life?

    Teacher: Jason Ross
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 November 2020 - Sunday 15 November 2020

    jason ross oct2019It is often our personal struggles that bring us to a retreat setting. But, is Buddhism meant to be a form of psychotherapy? This retreat will explore the potential of traditional Buddhist practices such as Vipassana as a means of better understanding and effectively addressing our personal struggles. We will look at how we can combine ideas from secular Buddhism, existential philosophy and psychotherapy in order to go beyond ourselves and “embrace the totality of experience”. The retreat will include qigong (chi kung), meditation and short periods of silence.

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    Jason Ross is a psychologist practising in KwaZulu Natal. He specialises in relationships, sexual health and addiction. His interest in Buddhism, however, preceded his career in psychology when Rob Nairn first introduced him to the relationship between Buddhism and psychology in 1997. He fondly recalls his first retreat with Louis van Loon 20 years ago. He was trained in Discursive Psychology and, therefore, has an interest in how we construct our realities through language. He is particularly interested in a language-based approach to mindfulness. He does not believe in reducing people's experiences to diagnostic labels and is very interested in finding more empowering ways for us to describe and understand our problems. He believes that we cannot live effectively without a sense of purpose and, along with his life partner, he has founded the secular Buddhist retreat centre, The Centre For Purposeful Living, in La Mercy.

  • The Courage To Be With What Is? The practice of Buddhist Psychotherapy

    Teacher: Jason Ross
    Cost: 3 days' accommodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 15 November 2020 - Wednesday 18 November 2020

    jason ross oct2019After gaining some insight into the true nature of our problems, we are often left with the sense of “What can I do about it?” Buddhist Psychology encourages that it is through the ability to “be with what is” that true solace lies. As a follow-up from the weekend theory, meditation and discussions, Jason invites you to embark on a more in-depth therapy process of intensive sitting, writing and therapeutic conversations. This will include a move from a foundation of Vipassana practice to an exploration of Korean Zen methods.

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    Jason Ross is a psychologist practising in KwaZulu Natal. He specialises in relationships, sexual health and addiction. His interest in Buddhism, however, preceded his career in psychology when Rob Nairn first introduced him to the relationship between Buddhism and psychology in 1997. He fondly recalls his first retreat with Louis van Loon 20 years ago. He was trained in Discursive Psychology and, therefore, has an interest in how we construct our realities through language. He is particularly interested in a language-based approach to mindfulness. He does not believe in reducing people's experiences to diagnostic labels and is very interested in finding more empowering ways for us to describe and understand our problems. He believes that we cannot live effectively without a sense of purpose and, along with his life partner, he has founded the secular Buddhist retreat centre, The Centre For Purposeful Living, in La Mercy.

  • Zen, Light And Angles: A photographic workshop

    Teacher: Andrew Brown
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 November 2020 - Sunday 22 November 2020

    andrew brownAlthough aimed at mostly beginners and those with intermediate knowledge of photography, anybody interested in using beauty, variety and inspiration found at the Centre to improve their photographic skills, is welcome. The basic technical aspects will be briefly taught and explained, and participants will use this knowledge, along with a Zen type of mindfulness and awareness to endeavour to shed some of their inhibitions and improve the way they understand and look at photography. The emphasis will be on enjoyment and looking at the art of photography with a different mindset. Bring a camera, a tripod, flash unit and spare batteries - and a sense of humour.

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    Andrew Brown received his first camera when he was eight years old and has retained his love of photography since then. He thinks of himself primarily as a travel photographer which effectively covers many genres from food, architecture, street, portraiture, landscapes to wildlife. He has had articles published in Food And Home Entertaining magazine. A regular visitor to the BRC, he tries to apply Zen and Buddhist philosophy to his photography, and believes in getting the picture right the first time.

  • Going With The Flow: Integrating meditation and mindfulness into our daily life

    Teacher: Bruce van Dongen
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 27 November 2020 - Sunday 29 November 2020

    bruce van dongenThe aim of this workshop is to develop the tools that enable us to arrive gently and lucidly in the present moment, being aware of the ebb and flow of our moods and emotions and learning to be mindful instead of reactive in our interactions with others. Using the techniques presented, we will learn to train our minds to be centered on the present so that we can flow with the river of life instead of fighting against the current of our conditioning. There is great joy in being present, no matter what is happening. We will explore Kundalini yoga, which is a combination of stationary and dynamic poses and qigong (chi kung) techniques. These practices increase our energy level and give us the capacity to be fully present and integrated in our bodies and minds. This is a meditation-centered practice - not a physical yoga practice. The workshop will be varied to allow retreatants of all ages and levels of experience to derive great benefit from this very old tradition. Bring comfortable clothing and a sun hat.

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    Bruce van Dongen is a mechanical engineer. He has been practising yoga for many years and is a qualified  teacher in the Hatha and Kundalini disciplines. He is a Director of The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre and uses both nature and yoga as his soothing systems to balance the pressures of the corporate world.

December 2020
  • Grounded In Space: A weekend of tai chi and qigong (chi kung)

    Teacher: Alex Lister-James and Jeremy Lister-James
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 December 2020 - Sunday 06 December 2020

    alex lister jamesjeremy lister jamesBased on the Chinese philosophy of Taoism, tai chi is rooted in balance and flow, stillness within movement, and reflection during action. Just like the shape of the Taijitu - the symbol of yin and yang - every movement is based on circles. Al Huang, in Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain, suggests: “Stop the words and start the doing.” With gentle movements and focused mind, we will teach a short sequence of yang-style tai chi, complemented with simple qigong (chi kung) exercises and movement-within-stillness meditation. Tai chi has been described as “learning to move with the wind and water in the course of everyday life”.

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    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating qigong (chi kung) in her practice, together with sitting and walking meditation. She has attended retreats at the Buddhist Retreat Centre for 30 years. In her professional life, Alex is a Health Professional in private practice, focusing on the health of women and children.

    Jeremy Lister-James has been involved in the sustainability sphere for the last 15 years. His vision is the possibility of a world in which humans and other life will flourish on earth forever. He strives to do no harm, rather than less harm, starting with a range of reflective practices aimed at flourishing. These foster an individual awareness of connectedness and the need for caring - for self, others and the world. One such practice is tai chi-qigong (chi kung).

  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 December 2020 - Sunday 13 December 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.

     
  • Shibuie: When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Seeing with deep-seeing eyes - Sumie and Raku: Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Ingrid Adams and Georgina Calder
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 December 2020 - Tuesday 22 December 2020

    louis van loon smlingrid adamsgeorgina calderShibuie is the ancient Japanese concept of Accidental Beauty in which the artist is just one ingredient in a number of dynamic interacting natural processes, the outcome of which is delightfully unpredictable, but strangely beautiful - not ego-driven or deliberate. Louis will teach the classical Japanese brush painting techniques (Sumie) as these are applied to traditional subjects, such as landscape, bamboo and flower studies, while Ingrid will introduce contemporary subjects. We will use the genuine, traditional materials: solid pine-soot ink, a hollowed-out slate to liquefy it, a deer-hair bamboo-stemmed brush and absorbent mulberry paper. Tools will be provided, but sets can be purchased (R850) from the BRC. Each retreatant will receive a bisque-fired tea bowl to sumie-decorate and glaze. Fay will then fire up the kiln after which we will watch the magic as the pots emerge from their ordeal of having been subjected to 1000ºC heat, smothered in sawdust and immersed in cold water. The pots will emerge triumphantly from the scorching heat and will be used in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony on the final evening.

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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 and teaches Sumie, Japanese brush painting, and sketching.

    Ingrid Adams qualified as a fashion designer, an art teacher and completed a B.A. Fine Arts with Unisa. She travelled extensively whilst running a successful business in fashion and home textiles. Viewing Sumie and ink painting in China, Japan and Korea, she embarked on a Sumie course with Louis and was instantly smitten. Retiring from business, Ingrid completed a B.A. Fine Arts Honours, and recently a Masters, with UKZN Pietermaritzburg. Both the research and practical were focused on Sumie. She currently paints and teaches Sumie part-time.

    Georgina Calder has a Masters degree in fine art from the University of KwaZulu Natal and specialized in ceramics, glass and display/exhibition setup. She is currently Head of Design at Pinetown Boys' High School. She loves sharing the magic of ceramic alchemy and helping people to grow in their artistic endeavours. She practises yoga and  loves being in the outdoors with her  two dogs and two cats.

  • Stalking The Moment: Being at home 24/7: Christmas at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 23 December 2020 - Saturday 26 December 2020

    tsunma tsondruBe here now. Rest in the moment. Catch the ungraspable moment. How do we do that when life keeps tumbling us along like a sand grain in a river? When all is in dizzying motion, where is 'the moment’, where is ‘here’? Take time out at the BRC over Christmas to slow down into the moment. You can find your true home in the here-now. With sitting and walking meditation, we will stalk the elusive moment. We will discover how to recognise our 'home', and we will see that we are in fact at home always. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence, with time for journaling, reflection, and fireside talks.

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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 done by Penny Urquhart.

  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year: New year at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 30 December 2020 - Sunday 03 January 2021

    tsunma tsondru

    The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived - Thomas Merton

    New Year is a good time of the year to take stock and contemplate our moment-to-moment, here-and-now reality in all its fullness. It’s a traditional time for clarifying our motivations, and for starting afresh with new intention. A time, in other words, to reboot the system. Give yourself the gift of time over this traditional New Year period to collect the Three Medicines of gratitude, ahimsa and contentment, reflect on the past year, and uncover how you can best live your life in the coming year. During this time together we will let our body, speech, and mind fall silent through the practice of meditation and silence. In working with the Three Medicines, there will also be time for writing and contemplation, walking, and ceremony, especially outside in nature. We will welcome the New Year with a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha, chanting, ringing out the old year with an ancient Chinese temple gong and welcoming the New Year with a Tibetan bell.

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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.