Tributes From Friends

without light BRC a brown

It is said to be magical! But that description ignores the human and very real work and effort that went into, and continues to make the BRC what it is.

It was a person - not a sprite or a djinn - who had an idea, a vision and a plan to create a refuge for those in pain, lost, or those knowing the necessity to maintain contact with the spiritual self.

A plot of beautiful land on the edge of a green Ixopo hill giving onto a valley of more hills; trees, shrubs, foliage and flowers which in their green-ness, their extravagant abundance, create a protective armour that gives one the indisputable knowledge that one is supported, protected, nurtured whoever and whatever we may be.

Franchesca Balladon: 01.01.2021

Read more 

Thanks for your support

brcixopo protea buddha campher 009

Many thanks to all our BRC friends for supporting our Silent Auction fund-raiser. 
A magnificent total of R101,000.00 was raised as a result of all your generous bidding. We cannot thank you enough! Additional thanks must go to our wonderful Committee members: Rene and Neil Stephenson, Pam Evans and Rosemary Turner and loyal friend Rob Havemann for all their hard work in making the auction happen. Grateful thanks too must go to all the donors who contributed the beautiful items so willingly for the auction and also the friends who made cash donations.

37th Annual General Meeting

003 42
The 37th Annual General Meeting 

of The Buddhist Institute of South Africa 
Wednesday 26 July, 2017 @ 19h30 
to be held at the home of Chrisi & Louis van Loon 
24 Bemersyde Road, off Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Road, Durban
RSVP for catering: 0824668306 or 031-2095995

Mossy Buddhas

mossy buddhaThe Buddha statue at the BRC has an interesting story. The idea of constructing it occurred to me when I travelled widely in the East during the 1950’s and 60’s where I came across the majestic ruined remains of the ancient Buddhist monastic cities, built centuries before the Christian era - such as you find in India, Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka. They had been vandalised by hordes of antagonistic invaders who used the sculptures to vent their hatred of religions other than their own - much as Napolean’s soldiers did to the sphinxes guarding Egyptian pyramids when they used them as targets in rifle shooting practice. It happened again during the Crusades and the Reformation and, recently, when the Taliban went berserk in the Middle East.

Read more ...


outside meditation hall buddhaIn one of his teachings, the Buddha enumerated what he considered to be the most noble sentiments we should endeavour to develop.  The first and foremost amongst them is Dana or Generosity: from that springs forth all other beautiful characteristics we are capable of, such as kindness, forgiveness and virtue.  We should therefore be alert to situations that arouse these qualities in us and provide us with an opportunity to express them towards others. They then become habitual; effortless; spontaneous. Dictionaries offer a range of meanings for this word - from thankfulness and a warm feeling towards a benefactor, to an acknowledgement of indebtedness.  Indeed, these emotions arise continuously in us every time we receive gifts and donations from our supporters and visitors to the Centre. These feelings are rooted in the early traditions of all religions: that one is inclined to be grateful to religious institutions that offer a different, wider perspective on what is important in life - the meaningfulness of one's existence along with the need to simply survive.

Read more ...

"Plentiful - The Big Book Of Buddha Food" launched in December

"Quiet Food" became more vocal in the "Cake The Buddha Ate", which was eaten to the last crumb. The Ixopo food story continues with the BRC's third recipe book, "Plentiful -  The Big Book Of Buddha Food" launched in Durban on Thursday 8 December at Adams Musgrave bookstore.


International Zen teacher: David Loy at the BRC

david-loyBook early for “Awakening from the illusion of separateness: a Zen retreat” led by international Zen teacher, David Loy, from December 20-27. “To study the Buddha Way is to study yourself. To study yourself is to forget yourself. To forget yourself is to realise your intimacy with all things.” Read more about the retreat here.

We are here to overcome the illusion of our separateness” Thich Nhat Hanh

 Friends, this is an invitation to a public talk or retreat over the Christmas and New-Year Season with leading edge philosopher David Loy. Do listen to a short interview here with David where he talks about the interface of inner transformation through spiritual practice and a world in crisis.

David is an esteemed American Buddhist author, philosopher, activist and teacher. He trained in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism and a professor of Buddhist Studies. His articles appear regularly in journals such as Tricycle and Buddhadharma, and his latest book is A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution and Ethics in the Modern World. David’s other books include, Money, Sex, War, Karma and The World is Made of Stories.

Read more ...

“Sumie: Make the brush dance and the ink sing” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 29, 30 October.

bambooIn the wake of his successful courses, Louis is offering another weekend of Japanese brushpainting.

Louis has conducted traditional Japanese brush painting courses in Ixopo and Cape Town for many years.  Following many requests, he has just started a four-weekend course in Durban with an appreciative group of students.  He has now been asked to offer an introductory 3-day course in this fascinating ancient Eastern art, using the traditional tools: deer hair brushes and ink made of pine soot.  You will learn the basic strokes the brush is capable of making and the shades of grey the ink can produce to depict the character of our natural environment – in landscape, plants, flowers and trees.

Dates: 29, 30 October 2016.
Cost: R800 - includes a set of sample paintings and the hire of a set of brushes, ink and rubbing slate.  A set of brushes, ink and slate can be purchased at a cost of R700 


“Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 11-13 November.

venpiyadassimahatharaIf you can hand-write a letter, you can sketch – it is as simple as that. “Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 11-13 November.
Pen and ink sketching is a very rewarding skill to acquire. Yet, no special talent is required. Louis will take you from the stage where you claim that you “can’t draw a straight line”,  through some elementary exercises in “Seeing-Drawing”,   such as still-lives and interiors,  to figure studies and portraits. You will be encouraged to simply  notice what something looks like from where you are viewing it - and draw it like that. You will then be able to take your sketch pad and pen anywhere and draw anything that takes your fancy. You will be truly present in where you are.  For enquiries for his Durban course:

The accidental Buddhist scholar

During the 1960’s, the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at South African universities arranged a series of public lectures on ethical subjects, such as euthanasia, professional secrecy, suicide and so on.  I was then practicing as an architect and civil engineer, but was also an enthusiastic student of eastern philosophy - in particular, Buddhism.   I noticed that the lecturers were largely ignorant of the teachings of the Buddha.  I therefore made contributions to the debates from a Buddhist perspective, from the floor, as a member of the audience.  I felt that it could add a vital element to our understanding of how religions and philosophies can throw a useful perspective on contemporary social problems.

Read more ...