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The Buddhist Retreat Centre
|SANGHA SUPPORT : LETTERS FROM LOCKDOWN IN IXOPO
|Image: Lisa de Venter
Dear Friends and Supporters
We want to thank you for your generous and heartfelt response to our appeal for assistance over this dire time. We have been deeply touched by your PUY contributions, donations, offers of help and letters of encouragement. We are indebted to you. Your caring gestures invigorate us to maintain the Centre in readiness for your return. We are missing you all in Ixopo and holding you in our hearts.
On the 26th day of lockdown, we are all appreciating the things in life that we have always taken for granted...being able to walk on the grass, freedom, being healthy, being able to hug someone, feeling safe.
Recently, I was moved by a story from ‘Wisdom Shots’.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.
Gratitude is an empowering emotion. Gratitude supports our immune system, it makes you strong. Fear makes you weak. Practising gratitude during times of heightened fear and anxiety helps us to cope and lifts our mood. When you are grateful, you can’t be fearful.
Take good care.
With gratitude and affection,
|Image: Angela Shaw
On The Road Less Travelled In These Uncertain Times
As the sun sets on the BRC on day 26 of lockdown, we watch in awe as the light plays games with the evening sky. As the sky darkens and the birds' singing fades, the crickets start their evening chorus – oh the African evenings are always so unique even in lockdown well, at least for us at the BRC. Gently today’s curtain drops and tomorrow as the African sun rises it’s the dawning of a new day.
07h30…nothing has changed. Silent breakfast, and then gathering together to discuss what needs our attention just for today … today is our priority, tomorrow the future and yesterday the past. So we focus on the now.
The maintenance team shifts into gear over a cup of coffee while eagerly awaiting their plate of food. When the food is laid in front of us we give thanks remembering how blessed we are to have a bowl or plate of food when so many out there have nothing but a sunrise or a sunset.
It’s time to get the weed eater and the rakes out and moving in single file we all make our way to our designated part of the vast lawns and gardens to remove the autumn foliage from the damp grounds. Together we make light work of this early chore and then retreat to daily work in our respective departments - kitchen, laundry, shopping or office - it all has to be taken care of.
At lunch we briefly discuss what is happening out there because in reality it has had an impact on the BRC and our loved ones that are not with us. We can’t control what’s going on around us but we can control what is happening inside of us. Yes, we have open spaces to wander and take in the breath-taking beauty of nature - something that many have never had the opportunity to experience … we have a sacred place to meditate and all this together with our amazingly thoughtful, generous, loving BRC followers and friends gives us hope that tomorrow will bring love, peace and joy to all.
As we say our goodnights to each other we end our day with gratitude and appreciation as we lay our souls to rest tonight.
|Image: Lisa de Venter
John Homewood has taught his ‘Shift’ retreats at the BRC for many years, and is a loved and admired teacher.
The Third Virus - The One You Want To Get
The topic most on people’s lips at the moment is the Corona Virus. I guess this absorbs more of people’s attention than anything else, and for good reason. Do a Google search for Corona Virus and 5 340 000 000 search results appear!
Now the way I see it is that there is not one, but three viruses doing the rounds at the moment – all three capable of infecting us and altering our future.
While virus 1 it seems is spread by air and contact, virus 2 is spread verbally and electronically person to person, and most infections can be traced back to the media, both mainstream and social media. Transmission and infection rate are high, and increases the body’s susceptibility to virus 1 by lowering the body’s immune and energetic systems.
The Energy Vampire
But What Is Love?
Now is the time to be mindful of which world we want ourselves and our children and grandchildren to live in: A world infested and controlled by disconnection and fear, or a world awash with the loving embrace of connection. The choice is ours in that whatever we feed, grows.
A New Earth
To end, I’d like to leave you with a quote from the book A New Earth, written by Eckhart Tolle, the very last sentence: “A new species is arising on the planet. It is arising now, and you are it!”
Up-coming Retreats At The BRC
Book now to avoid disappointment:
The Real Gift Of The BRC
In truth, we can, right now, in this time of lockdown, reconnect to that place of peace and presence within us, provided that is, we are not infected with a virus more dangerous than the Corona virus!
Integral Life Coach and Consciousness Teacher
There Is So Much Wisdom Out There For The Taking
Links To Talks By Western Teachers
The links below are examples of talks available on YouTube, teachers' and other websites compiled for the ”Eclectic Buddhist Group” compiled by Shawn Comrie. The list is not conclusive and is subject to corrections.
Tara Brach: (Theravadin/ Psych)
Antony Osler: (Zen/Monastic)
Rodney Smith: (Theravadin Monastic/Psych/Phil)
Roshi Ohara: (Zen/Monastic)
Noah Rasheta: (Secular)
Alan Watts: (Zen/Phil/Mysticism. R.I.P. 1975)
Stephen Batchelor: (Secular)
Ayya Khema: (R.I.P. 1997) (Theravadin/Monastic)
Pema Chodron: (Tibetan/Monastics/Psych)
Joanna Macy: (Tibetan/Psych/Environmental activist))
Jack Kornfield: (Theravadin/Psych)
Robina Courtin: (Tibetan/Monastic)
Stephen & Ondrea Levine: (Theravadin/Psych/Death & Dying: R.I.P. 2016)
Anushka Fernandopulle: (Theravadin/Monastic)
Amita Schmidt: (Theravadin-Western Sectarian)
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