The Buddhist Retreat Centre
Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
For people of all religions
BRC Newsflash: November 2023
Thank you to all those caring and supportive friends who opened their hearts and extended a hand of friendship to help the Centre over these challenging few months.
Your kindness, generosity and messages of encouragement have meant the world to us, and confirmed that the BRC has a special place in your hearts and lives. We are eternally grateful to you all.
|Image: Andrew Brown
As enshrined in the Buddhist tradition from the earliest of times, the continued existence of the Dharma is dependent on the goodwill of its Sangha. Our Sangha has followed in that wake with your Noble Giving.
The BRC can only flourish with your friendship, so please continue to support us by:
With a deep bow of gratitude,
|Two Bravehearts: Louis and Rob in friendship
|Image:Chrisi van Loon
Remembering Rob Nairn
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our beloved friend, Rob Nairn. He was the primary pioneer of the Dhamma in South Africa and triggered a whole succession of Dharma-aware students and teachers, myself included, a momentum that will continue for generations. Rob was my Dharma brother, a dear friend, an inspiring and magnetic teacher, prodigious author and considerable scholar of the Dharma.
Our Dharma paths crossed in the late 60’s when we were both teaching at the University of Cape Town. His path followed the Tibetan tradition and mine the Theravada tradition. Over the many years to follow our paths continued to intersect at many points and resulted in a mutually enriching and enduring friendship.
Rob’s life is one to be emulated by all of us - if we can - when something profound is set in motion and able to generate momentum to impact and enhance the quality of others’ lives. I am a fortunate beneficiary of Rob’s all-encompassing brilliance.
Go well precious friend,
|Red and green of spring
|Image: Andrew Brown
|Protea joy over ‘Raising your consciousness’ retreat
|Image: Avidh Devraj
There are still a few spaces left on the following October retreat:
Natascha Prussen and Warren Shaw | Weekend | 27-29 October
|Spring in the zen garden
|Image: Andrew Brown
Conducted Retreats November 2023
Carol Segal | Weekend | 3-5 November
Dianne Franklin | 5 days | 5-10 November
Ven Khenpo Jamyang Gompo | Weekend | 10-12 November
Paul Dorrian | Weekend | 17-19 November
Open The Heart And Still The Mind: Mist Rising, Dew Falling – Embracing Impermanence With Courage, Compassion And Joy
Teacher: Sue Cooper | 2 or 5 days | 24-26 November and 24-29 November ( 2 and 5 day options)
As we experience the unfolding of aging, sickness and death (dukkha), we are invited to be more fully present, so that we can live wholeheartedly and more joyfully, connecting with ourselves, each other and this world with greater kindness and care. The deep nourishment of the silence and the experience of our interconnectedness with the sangha (our silent retreat family) and with nature enhances our connection to what is life-affirming, compassionate and wise. We will discover that we can embrace impermanence with less fear and more appreciative joy (sukkha), inspired by the qualities of heart and mind found in the Brahma Viharas (the 4 divine abodes) of loving-kindness (metta), compassion (karuna), appreciative joy (mudita) and equanimity (upekkha).
Please note: There is a teacher's fee for this retreat, which is offered on a sliding scale, with reductions and payment plans on request.
A pre-retreat individual session via Zoom/Whatsapp is highly recommended for newcomers or if you have not attended one of Sue’s residential retreats before. The fee for this will be the 30-40/50 minute medical aid rate and will be reduced if you are not on medical aid. Please contact Sue on to arrange a time.
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.
| Sunset boulevard
|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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