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August 2021
  • 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 06 August 2021 - Sunday 08 August 2021

    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.

  • "Written In The Stars": The Basics Of The Ancient Art Of Astrology

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas and Sonja Dyason
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 09 August 2021 - Thursday 12 August 2021

    corinna botoulas2020sonja dyasonDiscover your intrinsic Nature and Nurture through the planets and stars in this informative Astrological workshop. Learn how the cycles of the celestial world affect you personally, and how your unique blueprint – your Astrological birth chart - can help you live to your fullest potential. Find your strengths, challenges and which areas of life to empower and enable us and live with greater equanimity and awareness. Astrology is an ancient, powerful, well-tested and insightful tool to foster emotional and mental growth and transformation. The retreat will focus on the planets in their signs and houses, experiential astrology, the aspects they make to each other, the elements and modalities they represent and the importance of the position of the sun and moon in conjunction with the cycles of life. In addition, enjoy a variety of holistic, intuitive and nurturing massages on offer by Sonja, who with her healing touch can assist in restoring and maintaining your body's natural equilibrium as you integrate your new insights. There will be stargazing sessions, meandering in the labyrinth and sunrise qigong.

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    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and owned a landscaping business for 26 years. She still runs her garden maintenance business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

    Sonja Dyason has always been interested in the healing arts that Eastern medicine offers for a holistic health approach to wellness. She has been practising Therapeutic Reflexology as well as Deep Tissue Massage for 24 years, locally as well as abroad and  has qualifications in Aromatherapy, Hypnotherapy and Journey Therapy.

  • A Weekend of Hatha Yoga: Rekindle Your Life Energy

    Teacher: Kugan Naidoo
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 August 2021 - Sunday 15 August 2021

    kugan naidoo lotusJoin 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.

     
  • SoulCollage® : "Know Yourself - And You Will Conquer The Universe..."

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas and Sonja Dyason
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 16 August 2021 - Thursday 19 August 2021

    corinna botoulas2020sonja dyasonSoulCollage® is an easy, and creative way to express your inner world. Using intuition, imagination, and your willingness to explore, you will learn to create a deeply personal deck of wisdom cards. These collaged cards represent the varied and uniquely personalised aspects of who you are. They will lead you on a journey of self-discovery. By re-connecting to your innate creativity and accessing and enhancing your intuition, you open up the channel to your soul’s wisdom and access the potential which resides within you. SoulCollage® taps into the transformative power of images, intuition and synchronicity where you gravitate to images that have meaning for you - even though you may not know why. SoulCollage® works directly with the language of symbols, images and archetypes. The weekend workshop is about resting your left brain and using your right brain to connect with your soul as you play with images, shapes and colours. No previous experience is required. In addition, enjoy a variety of holistic, intuitive and nurturing massages on offer by Sonja, who with her healing touch can assist in restoring and maintaining your body's natural equilibrium as you integrate your new insights.

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    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and owned a landscaping business for 26 years. She still runs her garden maintenance business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

    Sonja Dyason has always been interested in the healing arts that Eastern medicine offers for a holistic health approach to wellness. She has been practising Therapeutic Reflexology as well as Deep Tissue Massage for 24 years, locally as well as abroad and  has qualifications in Aromatherapy, Hypnotherapy and Journey Therapy.

  • Mindfulness Skills For Challenging Times

    Teacher: Choden
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 August 2021 - Sunday 22 August 2021

    chodenChoden, a South African born Buddhist monk, will offer some mindfulness skills to help us navigate these times of insecurity, turbulence and uncertainty. He will draw on the Tibetan Mahamudra teachings as a context for his teachings.
    There will be a three-fold focus:
    Embodiment: learning to drop our centre of gravity from the ‘butterfly mind’ in our head to the wisdom awareness of our body.
    Acceptance: learning to accept and allow what arises in our embodied experience rather than resisting it and pushing it away.
    Self-kindness: learning to step out of toxic self-criticism and befriend ourselves by bringing kindness and warmth to our unfolding experience.
    This weekend retreat will be strongly experiential. Choden will introduce some simple yet profound methods; we will practice them together and share any insights. He will strike a balance between teaching, guided practice, sharing and inquiry, along with some periods of silent sitting and walking meditation.

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    Choden: A monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three-year, three-month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2013, entitled Mindful Compassion that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. He is also the co-author of two other books: Mindfulness Based Living Course (2018) and From Mindfulness to Insight (2019). In 2016 he completed a one-year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

  • Finding And Keeping Your Centre: Taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others

    Teacher: Tessa Pretorius
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 23 August 2021 - Wednesday 25 August 2021

    tessa pretoriusWhy is it so difficult for us to be kind or gentle or good to with ourselves? Perhaps it is because we have grown up within the paradigm that ‘good people put the needs of others first’. In other words, we believe that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to show we care. Or, it could just be that finding time for self-care just means one more thing on the already unobtainable to-do-list.

    But what if caring for ourselves wasn’t that difficult? What if, by a few simple adjustments or re-tuning of your emotions, thoughts or attitude patterns, we could find that calm place on the merry-go-round where we were at our best and could deal with and handle what life throws at us with style. The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. The wisdom of this teaching tells us that when we are kind and good to ourselves, we are automatically much more so to others.

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    Tessa Pretorius is an ex-trauma counsellor, activist, philosopher and writer, and has been facilitating workshops on self-care and mindfulness for over sixteen 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, the corporate sector and at various retreat centres. She believes self-care is essential for personal well-being and, as in Buddhist practice, essential to be of service to others. Tessa and her dog, Maggie, live at Emoyeni Retreat in the Magaliesberg.

  • A Yin Yoga Retreat

    Teacher: Jennifer Chapman
    Cost: 2 days accommodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 27 August 2021 - Sunday 29 August 2021

    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 twelve, 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.

     
September 2021
  • The Roots Of Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms

    Teacher: Richard Ellis and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 September 2021 - Sunday 05 September 2021

    richard ellismarc kressDrumming and music-making are ancient ways of transcending our routine lifestyle, opening ourselves to spiritual realms of healing and creativity, which is experienced as liberating and rejuvenating. This is because the universe is a flux of pulsating rhythms and drumming connects us to these rhythms, thus facilitating a change in consciousness and a sense of belonging and well-being, which, in turn, promotes deep relaxation and healing. In this retreat we will learn basic drumming techniques and explore rhythmic creativity which will be combined with meditation practice and contemplation. A Sound Journey meditation using exotic instruments will also be included. The objective of this retreat is to find a balance between the hands-on experience of drumming and its more profound spiritual effects on the human psyche.

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    Richard Ellis has been a drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the past forty years. He was a founding member of The Usuals with Kenny Henson. He formed the first all-percussion group Interitmo with Mike Mazzoni in 1997, and in 1999 started the first Drum Circle in Durban at the Bat Centre. Over the past twenty years he has conducted corporate team building, sound relaxation therapy and healing workshops with Marc Kress. He facilitates sound journey meditation/rhythm workshops on drums and percussion for all ages and levels of expertise. His mission is to connect people with their inner rhythm and sound, thereby helping to create a stress-free community.

    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.

  • “You Can’t Fill The Hole In Your Heart With Food”…And Other Things - Jan Chozen Bays Mindful Eating: The hidden gifts of our compulsions

    Teacher: Xenia Ayiotis, Deborah Don
    Cost: 2 days Accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 10 September 2021 - Sunday 12 September 2021

    xenia ayiotisdeborah donFood and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of great suffering and struggle. This retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating. The intention of this retreat is to examine our relationship with food and to start the process to create a healthy relationship with food. Using a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat, also examining our rules around food. We will look at how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. Through a process of enquiry, we will explore the emotional triggers that often lead us to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be understood and effectively dealt with. Using mindfulness and examining our conditioning around food, we will gain an awareness of our habitual behaviour and begin a process towards a joyful and peaceful relationship with food and our body.

    Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach and massage therapist, will be offering healing therapies by appointment.

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    Xenia Ayiotis is a Certified Mindful Eating Coach, Intuitive Eating Counsellor and Life Coach. Xenia has a Masters degree in languages from Wits University. She is currently training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach as a Mindfulness and Meditation teacher. She helps people let go of the struggle around eating and find peace in their relationship with food and their bodies. She is in private practice and offers workshops and retreats. www.theartofmindfuleating.com

    Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach, and massage therapist, has been involved in the Health, the Easter and New Year retreats offered at the BRC over the last five years. She offers aromatherapy, energy balance and sound therapy, self-esteem coaching and foot, back and neck healing therapies.

  • A Taste of Somatics: Feeling and healing the body within

    Teacher: Lisa Firer
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 September 2021 - Sunday 19 September 2021

    lisa firer2021Join Lisa for a weekend of somatic movement in the tradition of Clinical Somatics. Learn gentle, nourishing, soothing movements for well-being and release chronic tensions that underlie pain and stress. The retreat will offer some theory of somatic movement in general and Clinical Somatics specifically. Exploring the communication between the brain, nervous system and muscular system, we will learn about pandiculation, nature's way of releasing tension from the body. Develop your inner awareness and bring comfort and ease to the body through this slow and mindful approach. Begin an inner dialogue with your body, reminding it of its intelligence. You will leave the retreat with some tools and practices to become your own body worker. This retreat is suitable for everyone and will meet you where you are.

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    Lisa Firer is an artist and facilitator. Focused on embodied learning, her approach is strongly rooted in mindfulness and movement. She trained to teach the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme in 2005 at the University of Massachusetts, USA, Centre for Mindfulness and has a certification in teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from Stellenbosch University. Lisa is also an internationally accredited Biodanza facilitator, a system of human development using music and movement. She is certified Level 1 facilitator of somatic movement exercises through the Somatic Movement Centre.

     
  • Zen Pen: A Writing, Being And Meditation Retreat

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 23 September 2021 - Sunday 26 September 2021

    dorian haarhof 2019Looking at your image in a clear stream,
    you answer the question by your very presence

    In this retreat we explore the connection between writing and meditation. We write and meditate on the many changes and transformations we experience as we journey along the river of our lives. We consider how creativity steadies the boat and how writing helps us dip the oars into dark water so we may navigate the river safely.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness, to grow the moment and bring healing. Dorian’s workshops are based on his text, The Writer’s Voice. He draws his inspiration from mythology, whole-brain theory, narrative therapy, Zen, creation spirituality, the new physics and eco-and Jungian psychology. He is a former Professor of English (Namibia) who has taught at the BRC for 25 years. His poems appear in the BRC cookbooks, Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate.

  • The Rough Writing Road: Keeping a journal

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 26 September 2021 - Tuesday 28 September 2021

    dorian haarhof 2019The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather - in many cases - offers an alternative to it - Susan Sontag

    Journals inform and support all genres - as a think book, as a non-think one, a plan book or an open-hearted one. Instants of inspiration. A home for the imagination, the cauldron of creativity. Moments of synchronicity. As William Blake says kissing the moment as it flies. So, come and kiss the moment.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness, to grow the moment and bring healing. Dorian’s workshops are based on his text, The Writer’s Voice. He draws his inspiration from mythology, whole-brain theory, narrative therapy, Zen, creation spirituality, the new physics and eco-and Jungian psychology. He is a former Professor of English (Namibia) who has taught at the BRC for 25 years. His poems appear in the BRC cookbooks, Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate.

October 2021
  • Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence Through Mindfulness: Gaining insights into your emotional intelligence for resonant relationship

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 01 October 2021 - Sunday 03 October 2021

    shanil haricharanA growing body of research links mindfulness to cognitive, physiological, and psychological benefits. There is a positive relationship between mindfulness and emotional intelligence. 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). Everyone is capable of growing their EI - an essential part of our personal development. This interactive retreat supports participants in their personal development journey, through gaining insights in concepts and practices in emotional intelligence and mindfulness, in navigating 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 thirteen years. Currently, he is the academic director of UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, where he teaches and research emotional intelligence and leadership. 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.

     
  • Yinsight Yoga: Yin Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation

    Teacher: Despina Forbes
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 October 2021 - Sunday 10 October 2021

    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.

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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.

  • Stand Like A Tree To Power Up Your Chi

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 12 October 2021 - Friday 15 October 2021

     paul dorrianZhan Zhuang (‘Standing like a Tree’) qigong is unlike most other qigong styles, in that with the exception of changing from one static posture to the next, the practitioner remains absolutely still. Regarded by many contemporary Masters as the most powerful of all qigong practices, it opens all of the nine energy portals in the body, and encourages one’s chi (life force) to flow powerfully throughout one’s entire being. In this retreat Paul will teach the Four Posture Zhan Zhuang Form, which assists in developing a strong physical structure as well as creating a greater supply of healing chi to promote health and vitality. To complement Zhan Zhuang, he will also teach a bouquet of ancient Taoist qigong healing meditations, designed to cleanse and heal the key organs of the body, promote inner peace and tranquillity, expand one’s spiritual awareness, and develop a glowing aura of protection and health.

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    Paul Dorrian is a former international management consultant, author and speaker. His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach qigong and tai chi Chuan. Paul has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. He currently teaches tai chi Chuan in the Yang style and qigong in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of tai chi chuan, and with private students in Pietermaritzburg.

  • The Myth Of Writer’s Block: Exploring the relationship between negative thought patterns and creative flow

    Teacher: Natasha Freeman
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 October 2021 - Sunday 17 October 2021

    natasha freemanUtilising the tenets of Vipassana meditation, Natasha will explore the concept that writer’s block does not actually exist. The retreat will utilise complimentary aspects of meditation and discourse, focussing on self-reflection and exploring, discovering and shifting restrictive internal barriers which contribute to the perception of writer’s block.

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    Natasha Freeman is an author and communications specialist. She was nominated for the Ashton Wylie Book Award which honours works that contribute to the growth and enlightenment of humanity. Her primary interest is in relating the human story in its layers and depths to the greater human experience. She is the author of four books including recently for Penguin: #I’m staying: The unspoken impact of the #I’m staying movement.

  • Under The Rose-Apple Tree: A weekend of meditation practice

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 October 2021 - Sunday 24 October 2021

    stephen coan oct2019The teachings of the Buddha sprang from his enlightenment experience under the bodhi tree. The key to this final awakening, according to the Buddha, was his recollection of a childhood experience that occurred when, on a hot day, “I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree” and, quite naturally, he entered a meditative state. “Following on that memory came the realization that: ‘This is indeed the path to enlightenment’.” While the Buddha’s enlightenment can be difficult to comprehend, this earlier experience is more accessible, possibly even familiar to us. Re-connect with and renew that experience in a Zen-style retreat supported by a programme of sitting and walking meditation. There will also be time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the centre - and to sit under trees. Please note: apart from an introductory talk and a discussion period the retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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    Stephen Coan has been involved with Buddhism for over three decades. Inspired and informed by the Theravada and Zen Buddhist traditions his retreats place an emphasis on the centrality of practice in living a skilful and enlightened life, and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously. He draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet.

  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 26 October 2021 - Friday 29 October 2021

    georgie carterYin yoga provides the balance to our hectic Yang lifestyle. In today’s busy world we are inundated with the pressure to do more, take on yet more and push ourselves even further. This This 3-day mid-week retreat provides a balance to our often frenetic, stressful lives and will restore harmony, health and calmness. In relaxing our muscles and surrendering into our yoga postures, we are able to work deeply into the joints, ligaments, fascia and bones of the body - releasing tension and detoxifying normally inaccessible parts of our bodies. The retreat is centred around releasing, relaxing and restoring our bodies, our minds and our energy and is suitable for everyone. Please bring your own yoga mats.

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    Georgie Carter has been practising Hatha Yoga for 8 years. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with The Jivananda Centre for Well-Being in 2010 followed by an intensive Iyengar yoga course in Rishikesh, India with Usha Devi in 2015. Her passion is to apply yoga to everyday life in order to find a balanced and better way to manage daily challenges, to enable us to live  a more loving, compassionate and purposeful life. She has travelled to India many times to deepen her practice. She currently lives in the Natal midlands, where she teaches yoga.

     
  • Life Tides And Word Links: A weekend course in poetry

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 October 2021 - Sunday 31 October 2021

    dawn garischI want to share an approach to poetry
    that’s taught me how to play
    with rhythm and meaning, following words
    and traces of feeling to make new tracks.
    Acts of poetry link the tides of my body
    and the world with new ways of thinking, moving
    across from life to the page, and back

    This course will help you to connect with themes and images that need expression and exploration. Learning to condense or distil your inquiry can help with insight and clarity. Working with rhythm and rhyme, off-and-half-rhymes, and with antonyms and synonyms, can break open meaning in new and unexpected ways. Please bring a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary if you have one. I will bring mine to share.

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    Dawn Garisch has had seven novels, two collections of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky won the NAF-funded Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptations of her novels Accident and Trespass were staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

November 2021
  • Writing Our Ancestral Stories : Shifting the past into new futures

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 03 November 2021 - Sunday 07 November 2021

    dawn garischWhat story were you born into? What story will you pass on to future generations? We are all born into circumstances that are not of our choosing – historical, political, cultural, spiritual, geographical, mythological, genetic, epigenetic. This writing course is an invitation to explore what you have inherited from those who came before you, and how this affects your life, often in ways that are just below consciousness. We will investigate whether these attributes and attitudes are helpful or harmful to ourselves, others and the earth. We will also write our way into what attributes and attitudes we wish to pass down to future generations, and what we should rather examine and deal with ourselves in this life, so that we do not unwittingly pass old wounds and outmoded ideas on to those who come after us. Beginner writers are welcome.

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    Dawn Garisch has had seven novels, two collections of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky won the NAF-funded Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptations of her novels Accident and Trespass were staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

  • Mindfulness For Cultivation Of Compassion And Wisdom

    Teacher: Nolitha Tsengiwe and Phumla Shongwe
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 November 2021 - Wednesday 17 November 2021

    nolitha tsengiwe2021phumla shongweDuring this silent retreat we will deepen our understanding of Mindfulness, Compassion and Wisdom teachings of the Buddha to  connect with our hearts. We live in times of great instability and  stress, this is an opportunity to strengthen our capacity to calm the body, heart and mind to be responsive. Retreat sessions will include silent meditation, dharma talks, heart practices and community discussions. Phumla Shongwe will be offering Yin and Restorative yoga throughout this 7-day retreat.

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    Nolitha Tsengiwe has always been curious about “what truth is.” Her search for truth led her to become a practising Buddhist under the guidance of Kittisaro and Thanissara who are disciples of the Thai Forest Buddhist tradition master, Ajahn Chah. She is a graduate of CDL4 at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, USA, and is currently enrolled in a 4-year Buddhist teacher training course under Joseph Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is a psychologist in private practice and an executive coach. In both roles, her primary goal is to create a holding space for people who are seeking truth as a doorway to freedom and healing.

    Phumla Shongwe is a qualified yoga teacher and healer. She began her yoga journey in 2007 as a student and completed her first teacher training in 2011 qualifying as an Ashtanga yoga teacher. She also teaches Yin yoga, Restorative yoga and Children’s yoga. She is currently completing her Kundalini yoga teacher training level 1, while also embarking on a two year Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training with the Sounds True Foundation in the USA. She encourages her students to reach beyond their perceived limitations to achieve their full potential.

     
  • At Ease in in Mind and Body: An introduction to qigong

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 November 2021 - Sunday 21 November 2021

    paul dorrianQigong 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 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 peace and tranquillity.

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    Paul Dorrian is a former international management consultant, author and speaker. His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach qigong and tai chi Chuan. Paul has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. He currently teaches tai chi Chuan in the Yang style and qigong in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of tai chi chuan, and with private students in Pietermaritzburg.

     

  • Quiet Mountain, Clear Sky: Meditating with calmness and clarity

    Teacher: Mervyn Croft
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 26 November 2021 - Sunday 28 November 2021

    mervyn croftThis retreat will provide an opportunity to explore two aspects of Buddhist meditation practice - the gradual development of calmness and peacefulness in our mind; and the practise of awareness, in order to live with more clarity and more centredness in the present moment. This foundation of calmness helps us to meet our confused thoughts and emotions with more acceptance and kindness and leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of our minds. The retreat will create a gentle and relaxed space in which to explore the benefits of spending time quietly with ourselves, to allow the qualities of calmness and clarity to develop in a natural way and to enjoy the nurturing effect of being silent in a beautiful environment.

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    Mervyn Croft has been engaged in Buddhism for over forty years, including a period of thirteen years as a member of the resident community at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo. He has participated in retreats in the Theravada, Zen and Tibetan traditions, and for many years was a student of Godwin Samararatne from Sri Lanka. In 2000 he co-founded the Emoyeni Retreat Centre where he teaches and lives in a house of stone.

December 2021
  • Grounded In Space: A weekend of tai chi and qigong

    Teacher: Alex and Jeremey Lister-James
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 December 2021 - Sunday 05 December 2021

    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  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 40 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 field 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 10 December 2021 - Sunday 12 December 2021

    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: Sumie and Raku – Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Ingrid Adams and Jess Merle
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 12 December 2021 - Thursday 16 December 2021

    ingrid adamsjess merleShibuie - When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Sumie and Raku - Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Shibuie 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. Ingrid will teach the classical Japanese brush painting techniques (Sumie) as these are applied to traditional subjects, such as landscape, bamboo and flower studies - as well as 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. Jess 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!

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    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.

    Jess Merle has been passionate about clay since her first ceramics class in 2010. Her journey with clay continued as she specialised in ceramics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and completed her Masters in 2016. Being able to share the joys and excitement of the ceramic process is something she is passionate about. As a practising ceramist, she is especially interested in hands-on, low-tech firing techniques such as saggar firing and pit firing.

  • Open The Heart And Still the Mind: Ending The Year With Kindness, Compassion And Joy

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 7 days accommodation plus Teacher’s fee/dana + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 16 December 2021 - Thursday 23 December 2021

    sue cooper 2021This annual “Open the Heart and Still the Mind” 7-day intensive silent retreat is an integration of Buddhist wisdom and practices with psychology.
    Through mindfulness and compassion practices we will establish a calm and grounded embodied presence, creating a reliable foundation from which to cultivate a brave, compassionate and joyful heart and mind. These qualities of consciousness allow our thoughts, speech and actions to move beyond habitual fear, self-doubt and anticipatory dread, so that our choices become informed by open-hearted, appreciative awareness and compassionate wisdom.
    The extended time in silence will provide an opportunity to process the year and to discover new perspectives and more courageous and joyful ways of being. This will equip us for this world which is characterised not only by change and uncertainty, but also by beauty, joy and wonder. In addition to the guided meditations in all postures, our embodied experience will be enhanced by daily sessions of qigong and mindful movement, as well as time to walk in nature and explore the stunning beauty of the Centre. Short, individual sessions with Sue are included and will provide additional emotional containment and healing.
    A pre-retreat 30-50 minute individual session with Sue, either in person in Cape Town or via Zoom/Whatsapp is required if you have not attended one of her residential retreats before and is fully covered by medical aid. The fee will be reduced if you are not on medical aid or have financial constraints.
    CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: to be confirmed and carrying an admin fee.
    Please contact Sue on sue.stillmind@gmail.com or see www.stillmindretreats.com for cost of course and further details.

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    Sue Cooper is a Cape Town-based Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice since the early 1990's. She has a long-standing interest in the interface between psychological and spiritual approaches to self-discovery and inner healing, and has attended Buddhist meditation retreats, mainly in the Theravada tradition, for over 30 years, both in South Africa and at Gaia House in the UK. She has been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest tradition, and is deeply grateful to her primary teachers: the late Godwin Samararatne, Kittisaro and Thanissara, Ajahn Sucitto and Stephen and Martine Batchelor. She has a particular interest in exploring how our practice enables us to embrace our humanness, integrating love and loss in our lives, so that we can live and die with compassionate awareness. She offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Temenos, Mont Fleur, Blue Butterfly and Somerset Gift in the Western Cape; Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and the Buddhist Retreat Centre in KwaZulu Natal; and Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the North West Province, as well as 6-8 week "Open the Heart and Still the Mind" courses, on-going weekly groups and monthly half-day/day retreats in Cape Town See: https://stillmindretreats.com and please contact sue.stillmind@gmail.com

  • Stalking The Moment: Being Home 24/7 - Christmas At The BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R450 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 23 December 2021 - Sunday 26 December 2021

    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 by Penny Urquhart.

  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R450 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 29 December 2021 - Sunday 02 January 2022

    tsunma tsondruThe 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 intentions. A time, in other words, to reboot the system. Give yourself the gift of time over this New Year period to collect the Three Wise Medicines of gratitude, ahimsa and contentment, to 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 Wise 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 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.