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Detailed List of Retreats

"Doing Your Own Thing" Self Retreats are available throughout the year between the Conducted Retreats (and occasionally on weekends).

This symbol indicates that the retreat is held in Noble Silence throughout, except for periods of instruction, discussion or interviews.

Online events

You need to register for our online events.
For multi-day events, please register for each session where indicated.

You will receive a registration confirmation email.
This will contain the link to join the session.

To make a donation for online events, please use:

EFT: Buddhist Institute of S.A. | FNB Ixopo (No: 220223) | Acc: 52555029829
International payments: Swift Code FIRNZAJJ or FIRNZAJJ824
PayPal & card payments: louis@vanloon.co.za
Please use your NAME and SESSION DATE as the payment reference

Retreat
06 July 2020
  • Dharma Circle - Mid-Week Meditation: How to remain calm and clear in everything we say and do: The practice of Sati

    Teacher: June Atkinson
    Cost: 2 days accommodation
    Dates: Monday 06 July 2020 - Wednesday 08 July 2020

    Visitors to the BRC often like to experience the practice of Mindfulness Meditation (Sati), which is the kernel of the entire spectrum of the teachings of the Buddha. Sati equips us with the capacity to deal calmly and effectively with the many challenging circumstances that inevitably come our way in life. As we all know - often to our cost - when the mind is unsettled and distraught, we tend to make decisions and say and do things we often regret later, when the mind has calmed down and when we are able to reflect on them. Sati, therefore, corrects this tendency for the mind to become overwhelmed by negative emotions and enables us to find a space of mental stillness and clarity. Meditation and qigong (chi kung) will be offered, and a chance to simply be present from one moment to the next in the tranquil surroundings of the BRC.

    View teacher details
    June Atkinson has been a resident member of staff for thirty-eight years at the BRC.  An ardent meditator, she has offered meditation instruction and Vipassana support at the Centre for many years.

     

08 July 2020
  • Healing And Restorative Hatha Yoga (online)

    Teacher: Katherine Fillmore
    Cost: Donation to support BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Wednesday 08 July 2020 05:00pm - 06:00pm

    katherine fillmore Join Katherine for a deep healing and restorative hatha yoga class, embracing asana, pranayama and yoga nidra

    Time: 5:00-6:00 pm

    Register

    View teacher details
    Katherine Fillmore is a director of  NPO  Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing the Hennops River. She is a qualified Hatha yoga teacher and trains students to become yoga teachers. She has been teaching yoga for ten years and has a yoga studio in Pretoria. She conducts Reiki and meditation courses and works as a Reiki healer from home and in hospitals. Before working as a yoga teacher, she was a professional photographer. Currently, she channels her creative energy into painting.

     
09 July 2020
  • Yin Yoga (online)

    Teacher: Chrisitine Withiel
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Thursday 09 July 2020 05:30pm - 07:00pm

    christine withieleYin yoga is a practice for quietening the mind, the body and the breath. A time to sense what is held in the body, and to let go. Stress creates patterns in the body which become habits which set into posture. Yin yoga is a gentle way of easing the tissues back to their original patterns. In a yin yoga class, we move into a posture as far as your body goes comfortably, we call this the edge, we hold the posture for a few minutes in stillness. You will need a yoga mat, a block and a folded blanket.

    2; 9 July | 5:30-7:00pm

    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87308227449?pwd=SlBTT2NJTEthWjNNT1Zqc3RKT0Q4QT09

    Meeting ID: 873 0822 7449
    Password: breathe

    View teacher details
    Christine Withiel is passionate about yoga and sharing the teachings. She runs 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Courses at the Jivananda Centre in Durban North. She is a member of the 500-hour teacher training team at Anand Prakash ashram in Rishikesh, India. She is a member of the Township Yogi project which trains yoga teachers in the townships and supports the teachers in the community.

11 July 2020
  • Chi Whizz: Finding Your Feet Again - Qigong (online)

    Teacher: Colin Kemery
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 11 July 2020 09:00am - 09:40am

    colin kemerySo many of you have loved Colin’s sunrise qigong at the BRC. For an energising session join him for some gentle movements to move the chi.
    Chi kung is an art that combines aerobic conditioning, meditation and relaxation without the extremes of physical exertion, making it the ideal practice for people of every age and of all levels of fitness. Learn the gentle rhythmic dance of the shamans, increase your healing life force by dissolving blockages in your body and restoring the natural flow of Chi. Chi kung movements, practised on a regular basis, will prove to be invigorating and life-changing.

    Time: 9:00-9:40am | 4;11;18 July
    Register

    View teacher details
    Colin Kemery has conducted his popular sunrise chi kung sessions at the BRC for 8 years. He is a resident member of the BRC and the Estate Manager, and has been a Buddhist and yoga practitioner for 41 years. He lived and worked in the UK, France, Denmark and the USA, and is a musician and song-writer, with a passion for cooking and nutrition. He and Shadow, the BRC kitty, are inseparable.

  • Speak Your Truth, Listen Deeply: a Mindful Communication Retreat (online)

    Teacher: Lucy Draper-Clarke and Felicity Hart
    Cost: R450
    Dates: Saturday 11 July 2020 03:00pm - 05:30pm

    lucy draper clarke phd 2019felicity hartWhen interacting with others, we often find ourselves triggered and then communicate in ways that hurt or harm - ourselves, the other, or the relationship between us. We have not learnt how to use mindful and authentic communication.

    “When you are busy judging people, you have no time to love them.” Marshall Rosenberg

    We will practice both intra-personal and inter-personal mindfulness in order to cultivate skills of empathy, compassion and a better understanding of self and other. Contemplative dyads are a way to promote social connectedness, something that we are often lacking in daily life where our time is dominated by digital devices. We will practice deep listening in this safe online setting, in order to learn skills that can increase feelings of closeness and strengthen relationships with our friends and partners.

    Together, these practices will help us communicate more consciously so that we learn to be aware of our feelings and needs, make requests and stay open to the feelings and needs of others.  

    Time: 3:00-5:30 pm

    More details: Payment and Zoom registration

    View teacher details

    Lucy Draper-Clarke has a doctorate in Mindfulness and Teacher Education. She has practised yoga for 20 years and taught yoga and Mindfulness in Botswana and South Africa since 2006. She has been fortunate to have studied with inspiring Buddhist Mindfulness and Vinyāsa yoga teachers, and offers a combined practice known as Mindfulness Yoga. Her light-hearted approach to teaching allows yoga students to learn through a joyful, yet transformative practice.

    Felicity Hart has practised meditation, mindfulness and yoga for over 30 years and now teaches within these modalities. Her formal qualifications include an Honours Degree in Psychology, an international coaching qualification, and a PGC in Mindfulness-Based Interventions from the University of Stellenbosch. She is a gifted Bach Flower practitioner, using flower remedies to heal and support her clients.

12 July 2020
  • Nia Technique: Explore The Movement Art That Conditions The Body, Focuses The Mind, Fine Tunes The Emotions And Allows Our Unique Spirit To Shine Through

    Teacher: Susan Sloan
    Cost: R250 donation to the BRC
    Dates: Sunday 12 July 2020 09:00am - 10:30am

    susan sloane colorWhen we drop into the sensation of being present in our body, we are naturally aligned to the state of Joy! We become body-centered by moving the 13 main Joints of the body - we engage all parts of our body in The Body’s Way and every cell begins to vibrate in Joy. When we are in a state of Joy, we become aligned to our Inner Being and feel connected to everything that is around us - we are part of nature - our own true NATURE.
    Join an interactive online session with Susan Sloan, Nia Somatic Educator and Trainer, Nia Black Belt Instructor & Founder of Studio Kairos, Johannesburg. www.niagp.co.za

    Time: 9:00-10:30am
    Register

    View teacher details
    Susan Sloan is a Nia Black Belt Instructor, and is the resident White Belt Trainer for Africa. She has been involved in health and healing modalities for more than 13 years. She runs a Nia community-based centre in Johannesburg which offers classes, workshops and intensive training in Nia and yoga for people with a variety of fitness levels.

15 July 2020
  • Healing, Transformation, Inner-Peace And Self-Love (online)

    Teacher: Dominique Garnett
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Wednesday 15 July 2020 08:00am - 09:00am

    dominique garnettHo'oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian prayer used for healing, transformation, inner-peace and self-love.

    It's a simple yet powerful way to bring healing and forgiveness into your life stream. The intention is not about saying, "I forgive you because what you did was okay." Rather, it's saying, "I forgive you because by holding onto these feelings, I'm holding onto something that's already over. I love myself enough to stop reliving what was hurtful enough the first time."

    Time: 8:00-9:00 a.m.

    Register

     

    View teacher details
    Dominique Garnett is a Counselling Psychologist, Narrative Therapist, writer, artist and foodie enthusiast. She has a practice on the North Coast of KwaZulu Natal where she connects with people in therapeutic conversations as they explore meaning-making in a holistic way. She offers workshops and weekend retreats exploring health and wellness.

17 July 2020
  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 2 days' accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 July 2020 - Sunday 19 July 2020

    georgie carterYin yoga provides the balance to our hectic Yang lifestyle. In today’s busy world we are inundated with the pressure to do more, take on yet more and push ourselves even further. This retreat provides a balance to our often frenetic, stressful lives and will restore harmony, health and calmness. In relaxing our muscles and surrendering into our yoga postures, we are able to work deeply into the joints, ligaments, fascia and bones of the body - releasing tension and detoxifying normally inaccessible parts of our bodies. The weekend is centred around releasing, relaxing and restoring our bodies, our minds and our energy and is suitable for everyone. Please bring your own yoga mats.

    View teacher details
    Georgie Carter has been practising Hatha Yoga for 8 years. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with The Jivananda Centre for Well-Being in 2010 followed by an intensive Iyengar yoga course in Rishikesh, India with Usha Devi in 2015. Her passion is to apply yoga to everyday life in order to find a balanced and better way to manage daily challenges, to enable us to live  a more loving, compassionate and purposeful life. She has travelled to India many times to deepen her practice. She currently lives in the Natal midlands, where she teaches yoga.

     
20 July 2020
  • Iyengar Yoga: Get Moving Again

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Monday 20 July 2020 09:00am - 10:30am

    judy farah2019The upsurge of interest in the ancient practice of yoga attests to its proven physiological and psychological benefits. Weeks of lockdown have stiffened our limbs. Join Judy for a session of stretching and invigoration.

    Time: 9:00-10:30am

    Register

    View teacher details
    Judy Farah began her yoga practice at the age of 18 and has been teaching Iyengar Yoga for the past 18 years. She has travelled to Puna many times to study and practise under the guidance of Gurus, Geetaji and Prashantji. She has attended many seminars of visiting Senior Iyengar teachers and travelled extensively to study under various other Iyengar teachers. This included doing a 6-year Medical/Remedial Course with Stephanie Quirk. It is her ongoing devotion to yoga practice that is her driving force in life. Everyone is welcome - from beginners to advanced.

24 July 2020
  • Vinyāsa Yoga: Stilling the mind

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 24 July 2020 - Sunday 26 July 2020

    hannelize robinsonYoga is the settling of the mind into silence because only when the mind is silent can we realize our true nature. The practice of Vinyāsa yoga unites our mind and body and through conscious movement aligned to the breath constituting a dynamic flow. It stills the mind and allows us to become more internally focused and mindful in everything we do. It supports a healthy lifestyle and results in long-term health and well-being. Yoga is accessible to everyone and it is not about how flexible or strong you are or about mastering a 'difficult' pose - though even that will follow with regular practice. It is rather about how mindful and present you are - on and off the mat. It is a practical discipline; a way of looking at the world from a new perspective, allowing one to release old and limiting beliefs and habits in order to experience the truth of who we really are. Some previous yoga practice is recommended; however, beginners are welcome. Please bring your own yoga mat.

    View teacher details
    Hannelize Robinson is a Vinyāsa yoga teacher and Event Producer based in Johannesburg and is a dedicated student of Yoga Philosophy and Buddhism and founder of Conscious-Collab. Her personal journey of discovery has led her towards conscious and mindful living with yoga and meditation which have become an integral part of her life. Her intention is to inspire and assist her students on their own journey of growth and transformation by teaching a mindful asana practice which integrates the other seven limbs of Pantanjali’s eight-limb path.

28 July 2020
  • Introduction To Heartfulness Meditation (online)

    Teacher: Lynne Marion
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Tuesday 28 July 2020 - Thursday 30 July 2020 07:00pm - 08:00pm

    lynne marion

    The unprecedented COVID-19 crisis has caused many of us to experience significant surges in stress, fear, anxiety and burnout. Join Lynne on a journey towards well-being and connection to the heart with an “Introduction To Heartfulness Meditation”. Her aim is to help you navigate these turbulent times.

    These practical sessions on meditation, rejuvenation and relaxation will help you cultivate self-awareness and develop inner harmony.

    Time: 7:00-8:00p.m.

    Register

    View teacher details
    Lynne Marion is a Heartfulness Meditation Trainer, an Intuitive Life Coach and an Akashic Records Teacher. She believes that love, peace and joy are innate. She discovered Heartfulness Meditation eight years ago, and found that this practice gave her inner transformation, soul connection and peace. Currently, she teaches people to meditate and to journey within to enable them to connect with their essential nature and to live a heartful life. Visit: www.lynnemarion.com.

31 July 2020
  • Yoga Mind, Body And Breath: A journey of self-discovery

    Teacher: Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 31 July 2020 - Sunday 02 August 2020

    marc kressThe practice of yoga brings the mind and body together, grounding us in the present, connecting us with where we are and what our body tells us about ourselves. Yoga is a process of re-connecting to our body and breath, coming back into the present moment. The ancient yogis realized that in order to be able to meditate effectively requires a healthy, strong body, so they developed yoga postures (asanas), cleansing techniques and breathing exercises (pranayama). Through regular practise of asanas, pranayama and meditation, yoga unlocks the deeper levels of our being. It is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who we are. This retreat is open to beginners and experienced students. Please bring a yoga mat.

    View teacher details
    Marc Kress is a yoga teacher and percussionist living in Durban. He was attracted to the yoga path while travelling through India in 2003: “I discovered a path of self-practice and discipline that fulfils my desire to grow on a spiritual level by working with the body and mind”. Marc has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Iyengar, Sivananda, Tantra and Astanga. He has a Hatha yoga teaching qualification from the Yoga Alliance and is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher.

07 August 2020
  • Stoep Zen: When did Buddha come to Africa?

    Teacher: Antony Osler and Margie Osler
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R450 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 August 2020 - Monday 10 August 2020

    anthony and margie oslerTo celebrate the BRC's 40th birthday, we will do nothing special and we will do it together - on cushions in the meditation hall, on chairs in the studio, on our feet out in the mountainside. There will be silence, birdsong, meetings with the teacher and, if we are lucky, cake. Zen - as the practice of friendship. In this informal 3-day Zen retreat we will ask questions about our life and not mind if there is no answer.

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    Antony Osler was the first meditation teacher at the BRC in the early 1980’s. He spent some years as a Zen monk with Joshu Sasaki Roshi and later received inka from Zen master Dae Gak of Furnace Mountain. A legal arbitrator in his professional life, he has published three popular books on living a Zen life in South Africa: Stoep Zen, Zen Dust and Mzansi Zen (Jacana Media). In 2016, he was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal of the University of Free State for exceptional services to the country. He lives with his family on a farm in the Karoo where he sits on the stoep, meditates in an old shearing shed and holds Zen retreats with his wife, Margie.

    Margie Osler is a teacher in the lineage of Furnace Mountain. She leads Zen retreats jointly with her husband, Antony, and runs regular workshops for abused and traumatized children.

     
14 August 2020
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 14 August 2020 - Sunday 16 August 2020

    ian weinbergIn a series of talks and Mindfulness meditation sessions, we will explore the chemistry which mediates the effects of mind states on the body: psychoneuroimmunology or PNI. The talks and demonstrations will show that we can attain optimal wellness and performance by getting to know our temperament and personality traits; by being more present-minded; and through sensible, informed ways of living and behaving. 

    View teacher details
    Ian Weinberg is a consultant neurosurgeon by profession and a pioneer in the science of applied psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). His Triangles Model© became the cornerstone for PNI instruction and intervention. A significant proportion of these interventions reflect traditional Buddhist principles. He is consulted widely both by private and corporate individuals in the implementation of wellness and performance-enhancing strategies. His book Leading with Conscious Awareness: A narrative of personal insights published by Conscious Companies/South Africa was launched in 2018. See: www.neuronostic.com.

     
17 August 2020
  • Dharma Circle - Mid-Week Meditation: How to remain calm and clear in everything we do and say: The practice of Sati

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 17 August 2020 - Wednesday 19 August 2020

    elizabeth gaywoodVisitors to the BRC often like to experience the practice of Mindfulness Meditation (Sati), which is the kernel of the entire spectrum of the teachings of the Buddha. Sati equips us with the capacity to deal calmly and effectively with the many challenging circumstances that inevitably come our way in life. As we all know - often to our cost - when the mind is unsettled and distraught, we tend to make decisions and say and do things we often regret later, when the mind has calmed down and when we are able to reflect on them. Sati, therefore, corrects this tendency for the mind to become overwhelmed by negative emotions and enables us to find a space of mental stillness and clarity. Meditation and qigong (chi kung) will be offered, and a chance to simply be present from one moment to the next in the tranquil surroundings of the BRC.

    View teacher details
    Elizabeth Gaywood has been involved in Buddhism since the 1970’s, and co-founded the Tibet Society of South Africa in 1995. She is the current chairperson and co-ordinator of the TSSA and, over the years, has been involved in the visits of his Holiness the Dalai Lama, and other Tibetan teachers to SA. She has travelled to India many times, mainly to receive Teachings and visit monasteries, and to attend Tibet Support Group meetings. She has conducted courses on Meditation for Beginners in Durban for the past 9 years and has completed training in Transformative Mindfulness Methods, which has accreditation from the University of Toronto, Canada.

21 August 2020
  • Life Writing: A workshop on memoir

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 August 2020 - Wednesday 26 August 2020

    dawn garischHere I am once again, disguised as myself - from About Death and Other Things - Alexander Ristovic

    Life writing is not only about developing technical skills. It is also a way to reflect and grow awareness. The tools we need to write about what we know best are tools we need to live more creatively, less anxiously. Whether you are writing fiction or poetry, life writing skills can help to deepen observation. We each have life motifs or themes that are more or less unconscious. Yet an evolving pattern binds our journey from birth to death into a whole coherent piece. Getting to know more about the story we are living helps us to ride our stories, rather than our stories riding us. We will reclaim memory and imagination as a means to release ourselves into awe and creativity, connectedness and purpose, awareness and pleasure. Through identifying and engaging with the images that shape our time on earth, we will find refreshing approaches to put our personal stories down on the page. Bring a notebook and pen, two objects from the period you want to write about - one that represents something you loved about it, and one that represents something you disliked about that time. Beginners are welcome.

    View teacher details
    Dawn Garisch has had five novels, a collection of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky won the NAF-funded Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptation of her novel Trespass was staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

28 August 2020
  • Life Tides And Word Links: A weekend course in poetry

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 August 2020 - Sunday 30 August 2020

    dawn garischI want to share an approach to poetry
    that’s taught me how to play
    with rhythm and meaning, following words
    and traces of feeling to make new tracks.
    Acts of poetry link the tides of my body
    and the world with new ways of thinking, moving
    across from life to the page, and back

    This course will help you to connect with themes and images that need expression and exploration. Learning to condense or distil your inquiry can help with insight and clarity. Working with rhythm and rhyme, off-and-half-rhymes, and with antonyms and synonyms, can break open meaning in new and unexpected ways. Please bring a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary if you have one. I will bring mine to share.

    View teacher details
    Dawn Garisch has had five novels, a collection of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky& won the NAF-funded  Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptation of her novel Trespass was staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

     

31 August 2020
  • A Workshop On Astrology: Mapping out your inner blueprint

    Teacher: Margarita Celeste and Corinna Botoulas
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 31 August 2020 - Thursday 03 September 2020

    margarita celestecorinna botoulasDiscover your intrinsic nature and nurture through the planets and stars in this informative astrological workshop. Learn how the cycles of the celestial world affect you personally, and how your unique blueprint - your astrological birth chart - can help you live to your fullest potential. Find your strengths, challenges and which areas of your life you need to empower to live with greater equanimity and awareness. Astrology is an ancient, powerful, well-tested and insightful tool to foster emotional and mental growth - and transformation. The retreat will focus on the role of fate and free will, the planets in their signs and houses, the aspects they make to each other, the elements and modalities they represent and the importance of the position of the sun and moon in conjunction with the cycles of life. Participants will be working with their own natal birth charts during the workshop, allowing for deep self-discovery and an awakening of tolerance, compassion, inner peace and forgiveness for self and for others. There will be stargazing sessions and yoga practice.

    View teacher details
    Margarita Celeste was intuitively drawn to the starry skies from a young age. In 2013, she enrolled for Rod Suskin's three-year Diploma course, receiving a scholarship for her final year, after which she studied formally with the School of Intuition and Healing. Her passion is to help and guide others towards a more conscious state of being. She has a deep interest in alternative healing such as reiki, crystal therapy, kinesiology, chakra balance, tachyon healing and life alignment.

    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and has her own landscaping business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

04 September 2020
  • SoulCollage® : "Know yourself - and you will conquer the universe..."

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 September 2020 - Sunday 06 September 2020

    corinna botoulasSoulCollage® is an easy, and creative way to express your inner world. Using intuition, imagination, and your willingness to explore, you will learn to create a deeply personal deck of wisdom cards. These collaged cards represent the varied and uniquely personalised aspects of who you are. They will lead you on a journey of self-discovery. By re-connecting to your innate creativity and accessing and enhancing your intuition, you open up the channel to your soul’s wisdom and access the potential which resides within you. SoulCollage® taps into the transformative power of images, intuition and synchronicity where you gravitate to images that have meaning for you - even though you may not know why. SoulCollage® works directly with the language of symbols, images and archetypes. The weekend workshop is about resting your left brain and using your right brain to connect with your soul as you play with images, shapes and colours. No previous experience is required.

    View teacher details
    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and has her own landscaping business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

18 September 2020
  • A Taste Of Mindfulness: On being here - now

    Teacher: Lisa Firer and Craig Henen
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 September 2020 - Sunday 20 September 2020

    lisa firercraig henenOpen to newcomers and seasoned meditators alike, this retreat gives participants a taste of the practice of Mindfulness: developing moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. This powerful practice enables one to relate with equanimity to whatever is unfolding inside and before us and makes it possible to work more creatively with the stresses and demands of daily living. Based on the work of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, this retreat combines traditional eastern wisdom with modern science and psychology and aims to generate a greater sense of present-mindedness, body awareness and self-compassion through mindful exercises, gentle yoga, group discussion and reflection. This unique format enables one to integrate this practice into one’s daily life. The retreat will include short periods of noble silence.

    View teacher details
    Lisa Firer is an artist and facilitator with a background in education and psychology. She offers, in a variety of contexts, both mindfulness and Biodanza, a dance-movement system of human development. She studied the teaching of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction at the University of Massachusetts, USA, Centre for Mindfulness in 2005. She is an internationally accredited Biodanza facilitator and has a certification in offering Mindfulness-Based Interventions with Stellenbosch University.

    Craig Henen is an executive coach and facilitator, offering several mindfulness-based interventions to individuals and groups. He works with an integral framework of experiential learning, systems theory, emotional intelligence and mindfulness practices, providing a stimulating and safe environment for executives and their teams to examine, evaluate and improve their leadership styles, skills, and processes. He co-facilitates with Lisa Firer in a range of mindfulness applications.

25 September 2020
  • Between First In-Breath And Last Out-Breath: The art of story-telling

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 25 September 2020 - Sunday 27 September 2020

    dorian haarhof 2019Ever since I heard my first love story I have been looking for you - Rumi

    Who is the 'who' that Rumi alludes to? There is something deeply fictional about us human beings. We are the stories we tell about ourselves. Rediscover the lost art of story-telling. Experience the joy, presence, mindfulness and transformation that arrive when we engage with a tale, learn how to craft it and inhabit it. We begin to see our lives as a story, keeping pace with the rhythm of our hearts, balanced between the in and the out of our breathing. Be enchanted by Zen and other tales from many paths.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. For 25 years the BRC has enriched his life and practice. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness. To bring healing. To guide us into the here and now. To build our belonging. A former Professor of English in Namibia, Dorian’s retreats are based on his workbook, The Writer’s Voice. His poetry appears in Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate. When he grows up he’d like to be Poet Dorieate of his spiritual home - the BRC.

27 September 2020
  • The Poet Hiding Inside: How to live and write poetry

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 27 September 2020 - Tuesday 29 September 2020

    dorian haarhof 2019I believe that poetry is a primal impulse within us all. …we are all capable of it … a small, often ignored corner of us yearns to try it - Stephen Fry

    Do you love reading poetry? Do you yearn to write poems? Poetry is a way of paying attention, listening, being in the moment and observing the world. We enter the world of images, rhythm, sound and subtle rhyme. We open to our creativity and imagination. As we cultivate a sense of belonging, our words offer us relationship, presence and healing. We can all live poetically and find the words that balance voice and silence. Together we can shine light into ignored corners and engage with the craft that calls us.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. For 25 years the BRC has enriched his life and practice. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness. To bring healing. To guide us into the here and now. To build our belonging. A former Professor of English in Namibia, Dorian’s retreats are based on his workbook, The Writer’s Voice. His poetry appears in Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate. When he grows up he’d like to be Poet Dorieate of his spiritual home - the BRC.

02 October 2020
  • Seeing The Light: A Photography Workshop: Explore your inner light through your camera

    Teacher: Marlene Neumann
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 October 2020 - Sunday 04 October 2020

    marlene neumannTune in and allow nature to flow through your heart and lens. The lens of your camera is an extension of your eye, your eyes are an extension of your heart. This 3-day workshop is guided by Master Fine Art photographer, Marlene Neumann. She will take you on a journey deep into the forest where you can explore the light through your camera lens as you listen to the ancient wisdom whispered by the trees. This is not a technical workshop on how to use your camera, but rather an opportunity to learn to follow the light and allow the spirit of nature to shine through you. Marlene’s contemplative approach will teach you new insights and a new way of seeing. See: www.marleneneumann.com

     

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    Marlene Neumann is an award-winning Master Fine Art Photographer who has excelled as a leader in her field. She broke the boundaries of Fine Art Photography in South Africa with her intuitive approach and her unique black and white darkroom process. She was head of the Art Department of the Port Elizabeth Technikon satellite campus in East London. Her images and her life journey have been featured in many publications. Centre For Photography And Light is set in a tranquil art garden, creating a sacred space for her galleries as well as a creative hub for her workshops. Students from across Southern Africa attend her sought-after Creativity Through Photography workshops. Her visual journey is shared in her book: Sky Meets Land where over 100 photographs are showcased. She describes her book as a metaphor for 'mind meets heart'. As an “intuitive photographer” she also engages us with her inspiring DVD series called Capturing what people don’t talk about. Marlene celebrates life through the lens. See: www.marleneneumann.com.

04 October 2020
  • Beginner's Mind, Quiet Mind: Meditation instruction and practice for meaningful daily living

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 04 October 2020 - Friday 09 October 2020

    tsunma tsondruIt is important for us to take time out from the incessant demands and fast pace of daily life. The BRC gives us a space to step off the wheel and the time to come home to the quiet, strong refuge which lies at our centre. Cultivating the natural state of peace and ease that lies there reveals our true nature - which enables us not to just help ourselves, but to help the world of which we are a part. Then daily living becomes meaningful. This mid-week retreat will bring out our Beginner’s Mind through the practice of meditation. The time will be silent, quiet, and slow. There will be meditation instruction and guidance, formal sitting, and time for walking, writing, or staring into the distance.

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a molecular biologist, lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and as its Executive Director. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts done by Penny Urquhart.

09 October 2020
  • Saying Yes To Life: How we can live wholeheartedly in the midst of a challenging world

    Teacher: Richard-John Chippindall
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 09 October 2020 - Sunday 11 October 2020

    rj chippindallWe have a choice in how we meet the difficulties that life presents us with: we can be defensive and erect barriers to pain, or we can choose to approach discomfort with an attitude of friendliness and curiosity. Being open to what is challenging requires courage and practice as it is not in the nature of the human brain to remain calm in the face of difficulty. In relaxing into what is painful we are making friends with ourselves and our world and developing maitri - the unconditional self-acceptance - that is the basis of compassion and well-being. In this retreat we will have the opportunity to say yes to life in all its forms, delightful and painful. We will draw on the writings of Pema Chodron to inspire us to live fearlessly by giving up control and waking up to everything we experience in and around us. Loving-kindness meditations will support us in our journey, as will the tranquil, containing environment of the BRC. The weekend will include sessions of sitting and moving mindfulness practice, as well as walking the labyrinth and group discussions. Silence will be observed throughout the weekend.

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    Richard-John Chippindall had an academic career in Microbiology until attending Louis van Loon’s retreat in the 1990’s. This introduction to Buddhist philosophy inspired him to study clinical psychology. After qualifying, he spent eleven years working at St Bartholomew’s Hospital in London where he gained extensive experience in providing mindfulness-based interventions to patients with emotional and psychological difficulties, as well as chronic health problems. He is now in private practice in Johannesburg.

16 October 2020
  • At Ease In Mind And Body: An introduction to qigong (chi kung)

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 16 October 2020 - Sunday 18 October 2020

    paul dorrianQigong (chi kung) is an ancient Chinese practice that boosts one’s health and longevity. Through gentle, slow and flowing movements, it integrates and harmonises one’s bodily functions and states of mind by eliminating static and toxic energy patterns. Qigong (chi kung) strengthens the internal organs and skeletal structure and encourages good posture. In this retreat Paul will teach the Healing Sounds Short Form - a set of gentle exercises that also uses sounds to cleanse and heal our major organs, and which is a lot of fun to practise. He will also teach the ancient Taoist qigong meditation for inner tranquility. A Chinese tea ceremony will be held on the Saturday night.

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    Paul Dorrian is an international management consultant, author and speaker. His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach qigong (chi kung) and tai chi chuan. Paul has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. He teaches tai chi chuan in the Yang style and qigong (chi kung) in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of Tai Chi Chuan, in Pietermaritzburg.

23 October 2020
  • "You Can't Fill The Hole In Your Heart With Food".... And Other Things - Jan Chozen Bays: Mindful eating: The hidden gifts of our compulsions

    Teacher: Xenia Ayiotis
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 October 2020 - Sunday 25 October 2020

    xenia ayiotis 2019Food and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of great suffering and struggle. This retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating and also draws on techniques from Cognitive Behaviour Therapy that enable us to become aware of - and manage - the sometimes destructive patterns and habits around food, eating and our bodies. The focus is on creating a healthy relationship with food, using a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat, also examining our rules around food. We will look at how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. Through a process of enquiry, we will explore the emotional triggers that often lead us to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be understood and effectively dealt with. Using mindfulness and examining our conditioning around food, we will gain an awareness of our habitual behaviour and begin a process towards a joyful and peaceful relationship with food and our body. This retreat will also help us to explore the habits and thoughts we have developed - often mindlessly - around other areas in our lives.

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    Xenia Ayiotis is a certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, Life Coach and Mindful Eating Coach. She holds a Masters degree in languages from Wits University. Her passion lies in helping people to let go of the struggle around eating and to find peace in their relationship with food and their bodies. She is in private practice and offers workshops and 8-week programmes on Mindful And Intuitive Eating and Body Acceptance. See: www.theartofmindfuleating.com.

30 October 2020
  • Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence Through Mindfulness: Gaining insights into your emotional intelligence for resonant relationships

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 October 2020 - Sunday 01 November 2020

    shanil haricharan oct2019Research on emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) suggests that a person’s ability to perceive, identify and manage their emotions is essential to making good decisions, taking optimal action to solve problems and coping with change. According to Daniel Goleman, emotionally intelligent people are aware of their own emotions (self-awareness) and they effectively manage their emotions (self-management). In addition, they are aware of the emotions of others (social awareness) and are adept at managing the emotions of others (relationship management). Each one of us can acquire and improve our EI - an essential part of our personal development. Self-awareness - an EI competence - cultivates our empathy, and nurtures our compassion and caring. The subject of mindfulness has received huge interest from practitioners and researchers alike, with a growing body of research linking mindfulness to cognitive, physiological, and psychological benefits. Interestingly, current research shows a positive relationship between mindfulness and the development of emotional intelligence competencies. This interactive retreat supports participants in their personal development journey through gaining insights into their emotional intelligence and mindfulness, and identifying and developing behaviour that positively impacts their well-being and relationships - in our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

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    Shanil Haricharan is an academic, activist, advisor, writer, and coach. He has a diverse professional and academic career in the public and NGO sector, having served as a senior advisor on public management, leadership and organisational culture at the National Treasury for 13 years. Currently he teaches emotional intelligence and leadership and convenes the public leadership course on the MPhil programme in development policy at UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. He received a BSc (Medical/Life Sciences, Wits), an Advanced University Diploma in Adult Education (Natal), a MBA (UCT), and a PhD (Stellenbosch). His doctoral research focused on emotional intelligence, public leadership and organisational culture. He also completed the Gestalt International Organisation and Human Systems Development Programme at the Gestalt International Study Centre, Cleaveland, USA.

01 November 2020
  • Cultivating Mindful Leadership For The 21 st Century Through Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence: Leading with compassion, hope and mindfulness in the 21st century

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation
    Dates: Sunday 01 November 2020 - Tuesday 03 November 2020

    shanil haricharan oct2019This retreat recognizes the challenges in leading effectively in the 21st century VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. The goal of this interactive retreat is to support retreatants’ personal development journey through gaining insights into their emotional intelligence and cultivating leadership competence that positively impact their relationships, organisations, and society. The retreat focuses on two components: firstly, personal and interpersonal change that equips managers/leaders with the skills, practices and concepts needed to be authentic, adaptive and transformational leaders; secondly, explores organisational change and renewal. The retreat introduces participants to a range of theories, conceptual frameworks, case studies, practices, and tools in emotional intelligence, mindfulness, coaching, social neuroscience and leadership models and styles to understand their leadership behaviours and gain insights into their organisation’s culture and climate. The interactive practices are designed to support managers/leaders’ ongoing development in improving self-awareness, communication and listening skills, enabling them to understand - through direct personal experience - the impact of leadership and management behaviours on organisational culture and climate. For more information and the course fee, please contact Shanil Haricharan: shanil@icon.co.za or 0823773459.

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    Shanil Haricharan is an academic, activist, advisor, writer, and coach. He has a diverse professional and academic career in the public and NGO sector, having served as a senior advisor on public management, leadership and organisational culture at the National Treasury for 13 years. Currently he teaches emotional intelligence and leadership and convenes the public leadership course on the MPhil programme in development policy at UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance. He received a BSc (Medical/Life Sciences, Wits), an Advanced University Diploma in Adult Education (Natal), a MBA (UCT), and a PhD (Stellenbosch). His doctoral research focused on emotional intelligence, public leadership and organisational culture. He also completed the Gestalt International Organisation and Human Systems Development Programme at the Gestalt International Study Centre, Cleaveland, USA.

06 November 2020
  • The Moon At The Window: A silent retreat with Ryokan

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 November 2020 - Sunday 08 November 2020

    stephen coan oct2019The Zen hermit-monk Ryokan (1758-1831) remains one of Japan's favourite poets. An eccentric original, (he is also known as the “Great Fool”) his antics have endeared him to successive generations. After his initial Zen training, Ryokan spent several years of wandering before settling in a mountain hermitage. However, Ryokan was no world-hating recluse and was often to be seen playing with village children or sharing a drink with farmers. According to one authority Ryokan's life “was a living sermon”. In an atmosphere of contemplative silence, this retreat will use Ryokan’s life and his luminous poetry to reflect on our relationship with the world and all the beings who inhabit it. Please note: Apart from an introductory talk and discussion period this retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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    Stephen Coan has been involved with Buddhism for three decades. Inspired and informed by the Theravada and Zen Buddhist traditions, his retreats place an emphasis on the centrality of practice in living a skilful and enlightened life while also exploring the interface between poetry and silence and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously.  In addition he draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet. His collection of poems Chant of the Doves (2008), inspired by time spent at the Buddhist Retreat Centre over the years, is featured in A Literary Guide to Kwazulu-Natal (2017).

08 November 2020
  • Silent Music: A meditation retreat

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 08 November 2020 - Thursday 12 November 2020

    stephen coan oct2019My beloved is the mountains, /the solitary wooded valleys … the tranquil night /at the approaches of dawn, /the silent music, /the murmuring solitude…

    This will be a simple “bare-bones” Zen-style retreat consisting of sitting and walking meditation including a morning and evening dharma reading as well as time to experience the beautiful grounds and surroundings of the Centre and listen to silent music. The retreat presents an ideal opportunity to extend and deepen your meditation practice. Please note: The retreat will be held in Noble Silence apart from an introductory talk.

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    Stephen Coan  has been involved with Buddhism for three decades. Inspired and informed by the Theravada and Zen Buddhist traditions, his retreats place an emphasis on the centrality of practice in living a skilful and enlightened life while also exploring the interface between poetry and silence and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously.  In addition he draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet. His collection of poems Chant of the Doves (2008), inspired by time spent at the Buddhist Retreat Centre over the years, is featured in A Literary Guide to Kwazulu-Natal (2017).

13 November 2020
  • Buddhism, Existential Philosophy And Psychology: Can Buddhism effectively treat the struggles we face in life?

    Teacher: Jason Ross
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 November 2020 - Sunday 15 November 2020

    jason ross oct2019It is often our personal struggles that bring us to a retreat setting. But, is Buddhism meant to be a form of psychotherapy? This retreat will explore the potential of traditional Buddhist practices such as Vipassana as a means of better understanding and effectively addressing our personal struggles. We will look at how we can combine ideas from secular Buddhism, existential philosophy and psychotherapy in order to go beyond ourselves and “embrace the totality of experience”. The retreat will include qigong (chi kung), meditation and short periods of silence.

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    Jason Ross is a psychologist practising in KwaZulu Natal. He specialises in relationships, sexual health and addiction. His interest in Buddhism, however, preceded his career in psychology when Rob Nairn first introduced him to the relationship between Buddhism and psychology in 1997. He fondly recalls his first retreat with Louis van Loon 20 years ago. He was trained in Discursive Psychology and, therefore, has an interest in how we construct our realities through language. He is particularly interested in a language-based approach to mindfulness. He does not believe in reducing people's experiences to diagnostic labels and is very interested in finding more empowering ways for us to describe and understand our problems. He believes that we cannot live effectively without a sense of purpose and, along with his life partner, he has founded the secular Buddhist retreat centre, The Centre For Purposeful Living, in La Mercy.

16 November 2020
  • Fully Human Activism: The way of gentle activists who make a difference

    Teacher: Graham Williams
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 16 November 2020 - Wednesday 18 November 2020

    graham williamsWe are urgently called to action in two distinct capacities; to serve as hospice workers to a dying culture, and to serve as midwives to an emerging culture - Will Keepin

    Environmental degradation, economic suffering and social conflict are rampant. Despair, anger and fear abound. Scientists maintain that “humans are eating away their own life support systems at a rate unseen in the last 10, 000 years”. Many want to act, to get involved but don’t know what to do, or where to start - at home or in their social lives and workplace. They feel powerless and unable to make a difference. On this retreat we will learn the way of the gentle, contemplative and effective activist: a model of connecting to a higher source, to others and ourselves. We will leave with a framework for being and doing - the ‘must’, ‘should’ and ‘could’ do’s that we can work with. For more information, contact: centserv@iafrica.com.

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    Graham Williams is an old friend of the BRC who is passionate about personal healing, growth and being relevant in a strident, divisive, combative, fragile and threatened world. He is the author of a number of business books on values, service, resilience, and the use of story as a contributor to better business.

20 November 2020
  • Zen, Light And Angles: A photographic workshop

    Teacher: Andrew Brown
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 November 2020 - Sunday 22 November 2020

    andrew brownAlthough aimed at mostly beginners and those with intermediate knowledge of photography, anybody interested in using beauty, variety and inspiration found at the Centre to improve their photographic skills, is welcome. The basic technical aspects will be briefly taught and explained, and participants will use this knowledge, along with a Zen type of mindfulness and awareness to endeavour to shed some of their inhibitions and improve the way they understand and look at photography. The emphasis will be on enjoyment and looking at the art of photography with a different mindset. Bring a camera, a tripod, flash unit and spare batteries - and a sense of humour.

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    Andrew Brown received his first camera when he was eight years old and has retained his love of photography since then. He thinks of himself primarily as a travel photographer which effectively covers many genres from food, architecture, street, portraiture, landscapes to wildlife. He has had articles published in Food And Home Entertaining magazine. A regular visitor to the BRC, he tries to apply Zen and Buddhist philosophy to his photography, and believes in getting the picture right the first time.

27 November 2020
  • Going With The Flow: Integrating meditation and mindfulness into our daily life

    Teacher: Bruce van Dongen
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 27 November 2020 - Sunday 29 November 2020

    bruce van dongenThe aim of this workshop is to develop the tools that enable us to arrive gently and lucidly in the present moment, being aware of the ebb and flow of our moods and emotions and learning to be mindful instead of reactive in our interactions with others. Using the techniques presented, we will learn to train our minds to be centered on the present so that we can flow with the river of life instead of fighting against the current of our conditioning. There is great joy in being present, no matter what is happening. We will explore Kundalini yoga, which is a combination of stationary and dynamic poses that include chanting, yogic breathing and qigong (chi kung) techniques. These practices increase our energy level and give us the capacity to be fully present and integrated in our bodies and minds. This is a meditation-centered practice - not a physical yoga practice. The workshop will be varied to allow retreatants of all ages and levels of experience to derive great benefit from this very old tradition. Bring comfortable clothing and a sun hat.

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    Bruce van Dongen is a mechanical engineer. He has been practising yoga for many years and is a qualified  teacher in the Hatha and Kundalini disciplines. He is a Director of The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre and uses both nature and yoga as his soothing systems to balance the pressures of the corporate world.

04 December 2020
  • Grounded In Space: A weekend of tai chi and qigong (chi kung)

    Teacher: Alex Lister-James and Jeremy Lister-James
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 December 2020 - Sunday 06 December 2020

    alex lister jamesjeremy lister jamesBased on the Chinese philosophy of Taoism, tai chi is rooted in balance and flow, stillness within movement, and reflection during action. Just like the shape of the Taijitu - the symbol of yin and yang - every movement is based on circles. Al Huang, in Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain, suggests: “Stop the words and start the doing.” With gentle movements and focused mind, we will teach a short sequence of yang-style tai chi, complemented with simple qigong (chi kung) exercises and movement-within-stillness meditation. Tai chi has been described as “learning to move with the wind and water in the course of everyday life”.

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    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating qigong (chi kung) in her practice, together with sitting and walking meditation. She has attended retreats at the Buddhist Retreat Centre for 30 years. In her professional life, Alex is a Health Professional in private practice, focusing on the health of women and children.

    Jeremy Lister-James has been involved in the sustainability sphere for the last 15 years. His vision is the possibility of a world in which humans and other life will flourish on earth forever. He strives to do no harm, rather than less harm, starting with a range of reflective practices aimed at flourishing. These foster an individual awareness of connectedness and the need for caring - for self, others and the world. One such practice is tai chi-qigong (chi kung).

11 December 2020
  • Making The Practice Ordinary And The Ordinary, Practice: A meditation retreat

    Teacher: Sister Candasiri
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 December 2020 - Wednesday 16 December 2020

    sister candasiriDuring this 5-day retreat, we will focus on ways to de-mystify Buddhist practice and to integrate it into the ordinariness of our daily lives. Having trained as a monastic for over forty years, Sister Candisiri will use the ceremonies of monastic life, adapted to suit the retreat context. Participants will be encouraged to join in to the extent they feel comfortable and to consider how the practice can be enhanced through simple rituals and integrated into every aspect of daily life. The retreat will be held in an atmosphere of introspection.

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    Sister Candasiri was born in Scotland in 1947 and after a full and interesting life she decided, in 1979, to enter the monastic community at Chithurst under the guidance of Ajahn Sumedho. She has lived in community since then, mostly at either Chithurst or at Amaravati Buddhist monasteries. Currently, she lives in Scotland in a small hermitage that has been established for nuns. The teachings on suffering and its ending and the Buddha's philosophy are what have inspired her along the trajectory of her life - and which continue to inspire her.

18 December 2020
  • Shibuie: When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Seeing with deep-seeing eyes - Sumie and Raku: Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Ingrid Adams and Fay Keit
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 December 2020 - Tuesday 22 December 2020

    louis van loon smlingrid adamsfay keitShibuie is the ancient Japanese concept of Accidental Beauty in which the artist is just one ingredient in a number of dynamic interacting natural processes, the outcome of which is delightfully unpredictable, but strangely beautiful - not ego-driven or deliberate. Louis will teach the classical Japanese brush painting techniques (Sumie) as these are applied to traditional subjects, such as landscape, bamboo and flower studies, while Ingrid will introduce contemporary subjects. We will use the genuine, traditional materials: solid pine-soot ink, a hollowed-out slate to liquefy it, a deer-hair bamboo-stemmed brush and absorbent mulberry paper. Tools will be provided, but sets can be purchased (R850) from the BRC. Each retreatant will receive a bisque-fired tea bowl to sumie-decorate and glaze. Fay will then fire up the kiln after which we will watch the magic as the pots emerge from their ordeal of having been subjected to 1000ºC heat, smothered in sawdust and immersed in cold water. The pots will emerge triumphantly from the scorching heat and will be used in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony on the final evening.

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    Louis van Loon lectured in Buddhist philosophy at the Universities of Cape Town and Durban-Westville for 22 years. He established the Buddhist Retreat Centre in 1980 and, along with his wife, Chrisi, directs its affairs. Both were involved in the compilation of the BRC’s popular recipe books Quiet Food, The Cake The Buddha Ate and Plentiful: The Big Book Of Buddha Food. His interest lies in the psychology of meditation and in the relationship between art, science, religion and philosophy. He is an architect and consulting civil and structural engineer and teaches Sumie, Japanese brush painting, and sketching.

    Ingrid Adams qualified as a fashion designer, an art teacher and completed a B.A. Fine Arts with Unisa. She travelled extensively whilst running a successful business in fashion and home textiles. Viewing Sumie and ink painting in China, Japan and Korea, she embarked on a Sumie course with Louis and was instantly smitten. Retiring from business, Ingrid completed a B.A. Fine Arts Honours, and recently a Masters, with UKZN Pietermaritzburg. Both the research and practical were focused on Sumie. She currently paints and teaches Sumie part-time.

    Fay Keit is a ceramist living in Howick. After finishing her Honours in Ceramics, she taught at primary schools in Madagascar, and then in South Africa. Wanting to pursue her dream to run a ceramics studio, she enrolled at the University of KwaZulu Natal and completed her Masters degree in ceramics. She currently teaches art at Cowan House and has her own studio, running workshops and selling her work. She makes utilitarian ware as well as sculptural porcelain pieces.

23 December 2020
  • Stalking The Moment: Being at home 24/7: Christmas at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 23 December 2020 - Saturday 26 December 2020

    tsunma tsondruBe here now. Rest in the moment. Catch the ungraspable moment. How do we do that when life keeps tumbling us along like a sand grain in a river? When all is in dizzying motion, where is 'the moment’, where is ‘here’? Take time out at the BRC over Christmas to slow down into the moment. You can find your true home in the here-now. With sitting and walking meditation, we will stalk the elusive moment. We will discover how to recognise our 'home', and we will see that we are in fact at home always. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence, with time for journaling, reflection, and fireside talks.

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a molecular biologist, lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and as its Executive Director. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts done by Penny Urquhart.

30 December 2020
  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year: New year at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 30 December 2020 - Sunday 03 January 2021

    tsunma tsondru

    The spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived - Thomas Merton

    New Year is a good time of the year to take stock and contemplate our moment-to-moment, here-and-now reality in all its fullness. It’s a traditional time for clarifying our motivations, and for starting afresh with new intention. A time, in other words, to reboot the system. Give yourself the gift of time over this traditional New Year period to collect the Three Medicines of gratitude, ahimsa and contentment, reflect on the past year, and uncover how you can best live your life in the coming year. During this time together we will let our body, speech, and mind fall silent through the practice of meditation and silence. In working with the Three Medicines, there will also be time for writing and contemplation, walking, and ceremony, especially outside in nature. We will welcome the New Year with a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha, chanting, ringing out the old year with an ancient Chinese temple gong and welcoming the New Year with a Tibetan bell.

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a molecular biologist, lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and as its Executive Director. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts by Penny Urquhart.

08 January 2021
  • Time To Focus And Tune Into 2021: Gently kickstart the new year with an ashram-style retreat offering qigong (chi kung), hatha yoga, chanting and meditation and healing therapies

    Teacher: Alex Lister-James and Colin Kemery and Deborah Don and Jeremy Lister-James and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 January 2021 - Sunday 10 January 2021

    alex lister jamescolin kemerydeborah donjeremy lister jamesmarc kressIt is difficult to make decisions about important issues in your life when you are immersed in them. You need some distance from them, physically and psychologically to see them clearly for what they are. Only then, can you gain a fresh perspective on them. So, if you feel you need a gentle, uncluttered space to tune into what lies ahead for you in 2021, this largely unstructured weekend will prove useful. Experience sunrise qigong (chi kung), gentle hatha yoga sessions and evening chanting and meditation. The Centre is yours to enjoy, walking or bird-watching in three hundred acres of rolling hills and indigenous forests. Circumambulate the labyrinth and stupa, meditate in the Zen garden or in the Buddha Boma, and spend solitary time in the deer park and at the dam or listen to the wind-chimes. Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach and massage therapist, will be offering healing therapies by appointment. The BRC provides an ideal opportunity to be in a sympathetic space to reflect on the things that crowd one’s life and to experience what it is like to "just be".

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    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating qigong (chi kung) in her practice, together with sitting and walking meditation. She has attended retreats at the Buddhist Retreat Centre for 30 years. In her professional life, Alex is a Health Professional in private practice, focusing on the health of women and children.

    Colin Kemery has conducted his popular sunrise chi kung sessions at the BRC for 8 years. He is a resident member of the BRC and the Estate Manager, and has been a Buddhist and yoga practitioner for 41 years. He lived and worked in the UK, France, Denmark and the USA, and is a musician and song-writer, with a passion for cooking and nutrition. He and Shadow, the BRC kitty, are inseparable.

    Deborah Don a qualified Self-Esteem Coach, and massage therapist, has been involved in the Health, the Easter and New Year retreats offered at the BRC over the last four years. She offers aromatherapy, energy balance and sound therapy, self-steem coaching and foot, back and neck healing therapies.

    Jeremy Lister-James has been involved in the sustainability sphere for the last 15 years. His vision is the possibility of a world in which humans and other life will flourish on earth forever. He strives to do no harm, rather than less harm, starting with a range of reflective practices aimed at flourishing. These foster an individual awareness of connectedness and the need for caring - for self, others and the world. One such practice is tai chi-qigong (chi kung).

    Marc Kress is a yoga teacher and percussionist living in Durban. He was attracted to the yoga path while travelling through India in 2003: “I discovered a path of self-practice and discipline that fulfils my desire to grow on a spiritual level by working with the body and mind”. He has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Astanga, Iyengar and Sivananda.




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Wishlist

If anyone would like to get involved with donating goods to the Centre, please see the much-needed list below, or email us:  

  • Linen and towels
  • Indigenous trees
  • Seedlings
  • Garden tools
  • Garden tables and chairs 
  • Brush cutters
  • Small generator

Contact Us

Email: bookings@brcixopo.co.za
Telephone: 087 809 1687
Mobile: 082 579 3037
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Emergencies: 082 741 7901 or 076 570 4022
Durban nos.:+27 [0]31 209 5995 or 082 466 8306 (Chrisi)

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