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The Buddhist Retreat Centre
|SANGHA SUPPORT: Letters from lockdown - 26 June 2020
Dear BRC Friends,
Thank you again to all those supporters who are helping to ensure the continuity of the BRC with your donations, PUY contributions, your monthly Sangha donations, for accepting rollovers in lieu of refunds, for supporting our online programme, purchasing our books and booking for retreats ahead. Without your help and generosity, the BRC would not survive. Thank you too to those teachers who have offered to teach online. It has been wonderful to see familiar faces and friends in the Zoom Room as our online Sangha grows.
We are happy to announce that we will be open from 1 July for Conducted and Self retreats. We will have all the necessary protocols in place to ensure your safety and that of the staff. Our July retreat programme in Ixopo will offer you the opportunity to meditate and invigorate on all levels. Trudy Boyle from “Drops of Wisdom” writes: “This is a time to rush slowly (if you must rush at all)…Keep your eyes peeled for moments of beauty, joy, insight and wonder.” The retreat Centre is the place where you can to do just that.
Image: Angela Shaw
Shawn Comrie has been a friend for many years and runs the “Eclectic Buddhist Group”.
A grasshopper munches at a stalk centimetres from my head, ants scrabble through the "grassy jungle" and a beetle stumbles between the shoots. Butterflies of all sizes are everywhere and a myriad of insects feed on the flowery weeds that we so quickly and thoughtlessly cut down. I am eye level to a swirling pattern of life and colour. "A world within a world." We also have access to the lower reaches of our neighbours large garden. Freeing the gate from decades of vines, Peter and I explore the never before entered, overgrown, "secret garden." We get lost in time.
That was Lockdown level 5 and for the first time in years we enjoyed and appreciated our garden. Our daily 1km circumnavigation increasingly revealed delights long overlooked. Paw-Paws about to ripen, a nest of spiders, ground cover planted 30 years ago revealing itself, the sharp "Vitamin-C" tang of clover and spekboom leaves, overlooked flowers now in late summer fade, a previously unnoticed blue headed lizard.
Two months later now in level 3, we move more freely but have found that times of crisis have brought out the worst in people. The endless often unsubstantiated, vitriol on social media, the accusations and counter accusations, the horrible race riots in America and beyond. The 'cracks' are showing in a 'noisy ego,' which, fuelled by fear and frustration, is currently "a runaway train in full steam!"
However, "cracks let the light in," as the Leonard Cohen song goes, and times of crisis also show the very best in people. This can be seen by the entire world's amazing effort to protect the vulnerable, people reaching out in whatever way possible to ease each others anxiety, burden and loneliness. The image of a group of blacks, protecting an isolated white policeman from the mob, brings hope.
Closer to home, with my lovely lockdown companions, I see it in Lorraine's 'work of love' making masks for Peter's workshop, her weekly bread and delicious meals for her family. How, with his limited understanding, Peter bravely tries to come to terms with a situation that even we cannot fully understand. How my concerned daughter insists on grocery shopping for us. Calming newsletters from Retreat centres and much webinar interconnection. My lovely Dharma practice to sustain and nourish. The warm winter sun. Yes all around, there is so much to be grateful for!
'Grasshopper green'' has now sprung away, replaced by a jumping spider inspecting my outstretched hand. A 'blob of hairy stripes' that looks at me with bright curious eyes...
|Image: Lisa de Venter
Psychoneuroimmunology With Dr Ian Weinberg - In Your Home
Ian Weinberg, a neurosurgeon and pioneer in PNI, has led his renowned retreat “A neurosurgeon probes wellness and performance: Psychoneuroimmunology: PNI” for 12 years, twice a year, at the BRC. His retreats are hugely popular and always fully subscribed to.
In these uncomfortable times in which we are challenged at every level of our being - physical, psychological and emotional - Ian’s expertise and insights will provide one with practical tools to explore optimal, integrated wellness, and to understand how our thoughts inform our immune system - and how by reframing the way we react to the world around us, we can completely alter our health and quality of life.
Ian is offering to assist the BRC to raise funds to ensure its continuity. He has uploaded his full, comprehensive, PNI weekend retreat onto his website in 5 edited modules: See www.neuronostic.com under COURSES – ONLINE MENTORING COURSES. The programme includes slides in PDF format, an online diagnostic and workbook.
If you would like to support this fund-raising venture, please consider purchasing his online programme through the BRC at a significantly discounted price (R1,500) relative to the online listed price (R5,500). Proceeds will go to the BRC.
|Image: Katherine Fillmore
This unique artwork has been created by illustrator and nature book author Duncan Butchart whose 'African Journey Collection' of poster-prints are in the style of the popular vintage travel posters of the 40’s and 50’s.
Butchart has travelled widely and carried out ecotourism assignments in eleven African countries. His poster-prints including Kruger, Cape Town, Okavango and Drakensberg can be seen here: dbnatureworks.com
As a boy, Duncan was entranced by the ‘Adventures of Tintin’ picture books created by the legendary Belgian cartoonist Hergé, and has used that distinctive ‘ligné clair’ style as the inspiration for his minimalist poster art.
The prints are available in three sizes and printed digitally on deluxe matt art paper with archival pigment inks, and each one is signed by the artist. Print and post for R600.00. Proceeds to go to the BRC. Please contact the BRC office:
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