The Buddhist Retreat Centre
Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
For people of all religions
BRC Newsflash: October 2023
SOS: The BRC Needs Your Help
The BRC has embraced difficult and uncertain times before and we have found that with the help of the BRC family and friends we have always emerged with increased enthusiasm and confidence to continue to offer the Centre as a place for self-reflection and spiritual growth.
As has happened before, we are again facing challenging times and we need your help.
The BRC has not fully recovered from lockdown over Covid and the subsequent fallout from cancelled retreats, followed by the unrest in Natal two years ago. This - compounded by the low attendance of our retreats over the last 3 months - has resulted in the Centre being under serious financial constraint.
The Inauguration of the Buddha Rupa 38 years ago with Ajahn Sucitto leading the procession and a youthful Louis third in the row
|Buddha Rupa in the sunlight
|Image: Chantelle Flores
|Chi kung in the mist
There are still a few spaces left on the following September retreats:
Marc Kress and Kirsten-Mia Hickey | Weekend | 15-17 September
Dorian Haarhoff | Weekend | 22- 24 September
Dorian Haarhoff | 2 days | 24-26 September
Lisa Firer | Weekend | 29 September-1 October
|Purr-fect sunrise meditation
|Image: Nelson Alvares
Conducted Retreats October 2023
Dash Singh | Weekend | 6-8 October
Margarita Celeste and Sandra Hedges | Weekend | 13-15 October
Paul Dorrian | Weekend | 20-22 October
Natascha Prussen and Warren Shaw | Weekend | 27-29 October
Spring Fling: A Personal Retreat
Think peace over pressure and serenity over stress. Enjoy some time at the BRC mid-week, with nourishing vegetarian meals, sunrise meditation and nature's healing embrace to colour the mood of your day. There is no better place than the BRC to rejuvenate the body and mind to guide you into presence and stillness.
A 10% discount applies for midweek bookings in September and October.
| Pin-tailed whydah
|Image: Andrew Brown
About the BRC
Perched on a ridge at the head of a valley in the Umkomaas river system in KwaZulu-Natal, the Buddhist Retreat Centre looks out on a vista of indigenous valleys, forests and rolling hills receding like waves in the blue distance. Here, for forty two years, people of all religions and none have come to experience peace and tranquillity. It is a gentle, sympathetic space where one can be still and get in touch with oneself and reflect on the things that crowd one's life.
The BRC was voted by CNN as one of the ten best meditation centres in the world.
CNN Travel awarded another feather in the BRC’s cap by voting it as one of the ten best spiritual centres in South Africa, recently.
The BRC was awarded Natural Heritage status in 1995 under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Affairs and received a certificate to that effect signed by President Nelson Mandela for turning an eroded farm into the natural paradise it has become - thousands of indigenous trees were planted by retreatants under the supervision of Mervyn Croft - with 160 species of birds, including the Blue Swallow, otter, deer, antbear and indigenous forests. The Centre was also given the special status of “Custodian of the Blue Swallow” for its work in preserving the breeding areas of this endangered bird.
Recently, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife granted the BRC “Private Nature Reserve” for the conservation of the rare Blue Swallow and Mistbelt Grassland.
The BRC facilitated the founding of Woza Moya, the community-based NGO, located in Ufafa Valley, twenty-two years ago, on the estate. Their vision is for all people in the community to be healthy and.productive, to live in a safe and clean environment, with good access to services and social justice. The Centre continues to support the organisation by showcasing their crafts in the shop and sponsoring their trainers and consultants.
We have been very touched by your appreciative letters, emails and friendship towards the BRC - your spiritual home from home.
We are deeply grateful for your generous gifts to the Centre in the form of PUY and Monthly contributions, new beds and bases, office chairs and a desk, a new refrigerator, microwave oven, bathroom towels, indigenous trees and seedlings, books for our library, a generator, garden benches, pillows, towels and linen, geyser insulation blankets, clothing and Dana for our staff, an inverter and beautiful antique scrolls and Imari platters and ceramics, framed prints and Thankas, new tablecloths and serviettes, signage for our forest paths - and so much more. Thank you to all of you who continue to support our work in Ixopo with monthly and Paid Up Yogi contributions and donations, with gifts, or with skills and time. And, of course, to everyone who comes to the Centre - you keep us open and viable - and to our teachers who keep the Dharma wheels turning. We are deeply grateful for your generosity towards us; it encourages us to continue Louis’ beautiful vision and legacy for the future.
Please continue to support the BRC by becoming a friend of the Buddhist Retreat Centre (a registered non-profit organisation) and find out more about the BRC's Paid-Up-Yogi and Sangha Friends’ projects.
Visit our website for further information, directions, image gallery etc.
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