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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.

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
PayPal & card payments: louis@vanloon.co.za
Please use your NAME and SESSION DATE as the payment reference

Retreat
23 May 2020
  • Going With The Flow (online)

    Teacher: Bruce van Dongen
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 23 May 2020 - Saturday 13 June 2020 06:00pm - 07:30pm

    bruce van dongenJoin a 4 week (23 May; 30 May; 7 June; 13 June) beginner’s meditation course with Bruce with breathing practice to restore your balance, vitality and to develop mindful awareness.

    Time: 6:00 - 7:30 pm
    Register: Session 1 | Session 2 | Session 3 | Session 4

    View teacher details
    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.

     
27 May 2020
  • Vipassana Meditation: Introduction and Basic Instructions for Vipassana (online)

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Wednesday 27 May 2020 - Sunday 31 May 2020

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg 2020Vipassana (Insight) meditation is based on mindfulness, which is always available, everywhere, without limit or cost. The challenge is how to realise it. The answer was provided by the Buddha. He taught ways to cultivate mindfulness that lead to insight and awakening.

    Experienced students of Vipassana can contact us for meditation support (Whats App 00420722008067). We will offer Zoom talks on daily practice later.

    View teacher details
    Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg trained in Vipassana meditation under the great Thai Vipassana master Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo. Jonathan worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Durban and Anna holds a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies. They have taught meditation together at Wat Chom Tong Meditation Centre in Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Spain and South Africa (the BRC, Dharmagiri and Emoyeni) and currently manage and teach at the Tisarana Vipassananusorn Meditation Centre in Prague.

    27 May | 90 mins | 7:00-8:30 p.m | Register

    or

    31 May | 90 mins | 2:00-3:30 p.m | Register

30 May 2020
  • Vinyasa Yoga: Stilling The Mind (online)

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: Donation to support BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 30 May 2020 09:00am - 10:30am

    hannelize robinsonYour body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga they come together in the present ~ BKS Iyengar.

    A gentle 90 min Yoga class with the emphasis on creating stability and calmness in both body and mind. Standing poses and floor-work, coupled with a focus on conscious and extended exhalations will guide awareness inwards to that space of stillness that exists beyond the thinking mind. The class will include pranayama and will culminate in a seated meditation. Open to all levels.

    Time: 9:00 - 10:30 am
    Register

    View teacher details
    Hannelize Robinson iis 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.


31 May 2020
  • Tapping Into Your Buddha Nature To Manifest Your Goals And Desires (online)

    Teacher: Tronél Hellberg
    Cost: R100
    Dates: Sunday 31 May 2020 09:00am - 09:40am

    tronel hellbergWe are powerful beings! We know this… and we don’t... We know it when life is calm and effortless, but when we are in the midst of a dark storm like the one right now, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the raising level of uncertainty – losing sight of possibilities and hope. It is in times like these that we need to remember who we are and access our unlimited Source of power, inspiration and creation – our Buddha nature!

    Time: 9:00 - 9:40am
    Register

    View teacher details
    Tronel Hellberg is a Master Transformation Life Coach, author and speaker. She specialises in empowering people through inner transformation with mindfulness as cornerstone. She is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves.

04 June 2020
  • Meeting Adversity Head-On (online)

    Teacher: John Homewood
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Thursday 04 June 2020 07:00pm - 08:00pm

    john homewood nov2019Finding purpose in times of challenge and change.

    View teacher details
    John Homewood is an international inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, personal growth facilitator and spiritual life coach. He has a passion for expanding people’s awareness and understanding their potential. He has the ability to impart deep truths in an easy and understandable way.

    Time: 7:00 - 8:00 pm
    Register

     
05 June 2020
  • An Introduction To Mindfulness Based Living: "Knowing the present"

    Teacher: Carey Would and Kerri Martinaglia
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 05 June 2020 - Sunday 07 June 2020

    carey wouldkerri martinagliaMindfulness is defined as knowing what is happening, while it is happening, with an attitude of kindness and curiosity. In the beginning, we notice how our attention is like a butterfly flitting from one thought to the next. So we start by slowing down and settling our mind. We then introduce practices that ground us, allowing our attention to drop out of our heads and into the sensory awareness of the body. We learn to rest in the present moment getting used to disengaging from our habits of compulsive doing. During the retreat we will be “coming home” to our body, heart and mind; applying curiosity and compassion to whatever we notice. This attitude of openness, kindness and acceptance to whatever is there helps us to live with greater clarity and resilience. The weekend will be experiential and is designed as a helpful first step in developing your own personal Mindfulness practice or as a way of refreshing your existing practice.

    View teacher details
    Carey Would is a qualified Mindfulness Africa and yoga facilitator. She advocates the importance of being grounded in the body as an anchor in the present. Only by becoming aware of each moment are we able to connect with an authentic truth.

    Kerri Martinaglia directs The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre in KwaZulu Natal where she facilitates Mindfulness Africa courses. Her special interests are how the practices of Yoga, Mindfulness and Compassion can help restore our balance and enable us to live more meaningful lives.

  • Befriending Fear And Anxiety (online)

    Teacher: John Homewood
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Friday 05 June 2020 07:00pm - 08:00pm

    john homewood nov2019Taming fear and anxiety in times of challenge and change.

    View teacher details
    John Homewood is an international inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, personal growth facilitator and spiritual life coach. He has a passion for expanding people’s awareness and understanding their potential. He has the ability to impart deep truths in an easy and understandable way.

    Time: 7:00-8:00 pm

    Register

     
06 June 2020
  • Retreating At Home: Stillness And Resilience

    Teacher: Katrin Auf Der Heyde
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 06 June 2020 - Sunday 07 June 2020 07:00pm - 05:30pm

    katrin auf de heyde oct2019“In order to move the world, we must be able to stand still in it”. - Yongey Mingyur Rimpoche

    This retreat will explore the cultivation of stillness and resilience as integral aspects of an embodied practice and will include periods of sitting meditation and movement.

    June 6 - Introduction

    7 – 9pm: meet and greet, how to retreat at home, meditation

    Register: Session 1

    June 7 - Full day

    7.00–8.15 am: movement + meditation
    10:00–12:00 pm: instructions, meditation, practice, question and answer
    3.00–5.30 pm: movement, meditation plus sharing

    Register: Session 2

    View teacher details
    Katrin Auf der Heyde has participated in various long term dharma programs. Trained by Martine Batchelor, she was accepted at the beginning of 2019 by the Gaia House Teacher’s Council as a Dharma teacher. She currently lives and works in Switzerland.

08 June 2020
  • Get On The Write Track: Memoir and mindfulness: Your path to freedom, enlightenment and perhaps $$

    Teacher: Wanda Hennig
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + Course Fee
    Contact Wanda: wanda@wandahennig.com or +27-726643170
    Dates: Monday 08 June 2020 - Thursday 11 June 2020

     

    wanda hennig smWe all have stories to tell, but many of us don't know where to start. In this workshop we will Stop. Listen. Connect. Write. The focus will be two interconnected, transformative practices: mindfulness (awareness, presence, “listening”) and memoir writing (story). You will get to meet, name and kick-start a relationship with your personal muse; mine the richness of your life for "story"; explore focused journaling practice (self-expression, self-coaching, self-growth, liberation); start a memoir. You will get to take away tools, strategies, and a "how-to" plan to move forward. And lots more. For course fee: Contact Wanda.

    View teacher details
    Wanda Hennig is an award-winning food and travel writer, a long-time journalist, a life coach (Co-active Training Institute, California) with a post-grad psychology degree (UKZN), a memoirist - and a Zen student going back for more than 30 years. She lived and practiced at the San Francisco Zen Centre for three-and-a-half years in the 1990's; and has run her popular writing workshops in California, South Africa (including the BRC) and Europe. She is the author of Cravings: A Zen-inspired memoir about sensual pleasures, freedom from dark places, and living and eating with abandon (Say Yes Press, 2017). Mindful eating, mindful sex, no-diet weight loss and death and dying are some of the themes explored in her book. Visit: www.wandahennig.com.

12 June 2020
  • The Roots Of Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms

    Teacher: Richard Ellis and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 June 2020 - Sunday 14 June 2020

    richard ellismarc kressDrumming and music-making are ancient ways of transcending our routine lifestyle, opening ourselves to spiritual realms of healing and creativity, which is experienced as liberating and rejuvenating. This is because the universe is a flux of pulsating rhythms and drumming connects us to these rhythms, thus facilitating a change in consciousness and a sense of belonging and well-being, which, in turn, promotes deep relaxation and healing. In this retreat we will learn basic drumming techniques and explore rhythmic creativity which will be combined with meditation practice and contemplation. A Sound Journey meditation using exotic instruments will also be included. The objective of this retreat is to find a balance between the hands-on experience of drumming and its more profound spiritual effects on the human psyche.

    View teacher details
    Richard Ellis has been a drummer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist for the past forty years. He was a founding member of The Usuals with Kenny Henson. He formed the first all-percussion group Interitmo with Mike Mazzoni in 1997, and in 1999 started the first Drum Circle in Durban at the Bat Centre. Over the past twenty years he has conducted corporate team building, sound relaxation therapy and healing workshops with Marc Kress. He facilitates sound journey meditation/rhythm workshops on drums and percussion for all ages and levels of expertise. His mission is to connect people with their inner rhythm and sound, thereby helping to create a stress-free community.

    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.

14 June 2020
  • Metaphysical Causes Of Illnesses (online)

    Teacher: Heike Sym
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Sunday 14 June 2020 02:00pm - 03:30pm

    heike sym“If we listen to our body when it whispers , we won’t have to hear it scream."

    This will be an introduction into deciphering the spiritual, emotional and emotional roots that manifest in illnesses. The body is always in reaction to how we perceive and process on those levels. When we understand the root cause we can shift it and the body can regain balance.

    Time: 2:30-3:30p.m
    Register

    View teacher details
    Heike Sym was born in Bavaria, Germany, and fell in love with South Africa when she arrived in 1993 to volunteer as a Child Care Worker. She specialised in behaviour and learning difficulties and as a Montessori therapist, trainer and counsellor. She is now embracing her calling as a medium, energy healer, numerologist, metaphysical profiler and teacher. She gives regular talks, courses and interviews on radio, and offers individual sessions.

15 June 2020
  • Finding A Sense Of Contentment (online)

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Monday 15 June 2020 - Thursday 18 June 2020 07:00pm - 08:00pm

    elizabeth gaywoodFinding a sense of contentment with who we are and how we can live a purposeful life quite often eludes us. Happiness and satisfaction should be part of our daily life but we find ourselves constantly looking for methods  and means whereby we can find some peace of mind. Meditation techniques have proved to be particularly helpful to balance emotions and to find a new and more meaningful approach to living, especially with kindness to ourselves and others. We will explore various techniques to assist with this process. Experiencing these methods will enable the retreatant to incorporate them into their daily-life activity, whilst at the same time creating space to allow the mind to settle and to become more peaceful and focused. Beginners are welcome to attend as we will touch on the basics that are necessary for a well-grounded practice. In-between the sessions participants will be able to practice on their own and come back to the second session with any queries for clarification.

    Dates: 15 & 18 June | Time: 7:00pm - 8:00pm

    Register: Session 1 | Session 2

    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.

20 June 2020
  • Your Precious Life. Discovering Avenues To Meaning And Purpose Based On The Principles Of Logotherapy: How it is possible to live life powerfully despite adversity (online)

    Teacher: Klasie Wessels and Samantha Sparkes
    Cost: Donation: R500 per day, or as it suits your wallet
    Dates: Saturday 20 June 2020 - Sunday 21 June 2020 07:30am - 07:30pm

    klasie wesselssamantha sparkles sOur search for meaning is the most prominent quest of our time. The journey to meaning and purpose is one that many of us will embark upon with the aim of enjoying a more fulfilled life.

    2 days | Time: 7:30am - 7:30pm 

    Register: Session 1 | Session 2

    View teacher details
    Klasie Wessels is a leadership coach and internationally qualified Logotherapy Educator. His company Streetschool specializes in personal development with a strong emphasis on experiential learning. He works with groups and individuals on themes such as mindfulness, personal growth and finding a deeper sense of meaning and purpose in life. Since 2011, he has taken more than 350 people on 31 personal development journeys to India and Nepal. Klasie spent 25 years with the Advertising Group FCB - and for the last 10 years - as Chairman of the Johannesburg office.

    Samantha Sparkes has an M.A. in Industrial Psychology from Wits University. She is a qualified life coach and Logotherapy Educator. Most of her 20-year career in the corporate world has been in organizational and team development, change management and training. Currently she is the head of Supply Chain Training and Stakeholder Engagement at Sasol.

    Saturday and Sunday:

    7:30 – 8:30am: Introduction and meditation
    10:00 – 11:30am: Learning and experiential session: Meaning and Mindfulness through Logotherapy
    1:00 – 1:30pm: Meditation
    2:30 – 4:00pm: Learning and experiential session: Meaning and Mindfulness through Logotherapy
    6:00 – 7:30pm: Discussion and evening meditation
    There will be defined activities and readings for the times between the Zoom sessions.

     

22 June 2020
  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A family retreat with children in mind

    Teacher: Anisha Maharaj
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 22 June 2020 - Friday 26 June 2020

    anisha maharajParents and children are invited to join us for some serious fun on a four-day retreat in the beautiful, natural environment and the rolling hills of the BRC. This retreat will instill an appreciation of simple pleasures, joy and gratitude. The days will be filled with games, drumming, making art, mandalas and wind-chimes, nature walks, ubuntu story-telling and toasting marshmellows under the stars and lantern-lit trees. The retreat is aimed at children of school-going age (10 years and up) and offers a basic, playful introduction to Buddhism. Children must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent.

    View teacher details
    Anisha Maharaj worked for several years in corporate and global business roles tapping creativity and inspiring entrepreneurship. It is her playful, sociable nature and an unwavering belief in ethics, morality and kindness that have shaped her Hygge (contented) lifestyle. She is artistic, a yoga lover, a tree-hugger, a dance enthusiast, and widely travelled - with a knack for unleashing the inner child and finding beauty in simple pleasures.

26 June 2020
  • Iyengar Yoga: Nudging the body into shape and health

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 26 June 2020 - Sunday 28 June 2020

    judy farah2019The upsurge of interest in the ancient practice of yoga attests to its proven physiological and psychological benefits. Our sedentary, western lifestyle has stiffened our limbs and spine to such an extent that many people find the yoga asanas (poses) difficult to perform. Iyengar yoga evolved to deal with this problem - safely, without forcing the body into harmful contortions. Iyengar yoga uses simple, but carefully calibrated props and other supports to achieve postures that would otherwise be unattainable except after years of practice. This retreat is suitable for beginners and for those who may have practised other forms of yoga. It is an introduction to the Iyengar method. For those who wish to consolidate their practice to a deeper level, the additional 4-day retreat is strongly recommended (28 June to 2 July).

    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.

28 June 2020
  • Iyengar Yoga: Deepening your practice

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 28 June 2020 - Thursday 02 July 2020

    judy farah2019For those who wish to consolidate and deepen their yoga practice, this 4-day intensive retreat is highly recommended. Apart from increased levels of fitness and vitality, you will reap the benefits of being in the tranquil, natural environment of Ixopo. You will leave feeling stretched, relaxed and fit for life.

    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.

     
     
03 July 2020
  • Radiant Grace - A Yogic Journey To Self-Acceptance: Taking kundalini yoga off the mat into your life

    Teacher: Denise (Sohandev Kaur)
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 July 2020 - Sunday 05 July 2020

    denise There is nothing outside of us, it is all within us - Yogi Bhajan

    Do you constantly have the feeling that you are not good enough and that you need to be more, accomplish more, see more, own more? Do you find yourself looking 'outside' for solutions? You are not alone. Many of us spend our lives feeling that we are not good enough and are in a constant cycle of self-doubt, guilt and - often - loathing. Through the practice of kundalini yoga, meditation and other processes, we can take the first steps on this journey towards self-acceptance. Join us on this journey with kundalini yoga, the yoga of awareness, guiding you towards the path of your inner healing - the key to your happiness and well-being.

    View teacher details
    Denise (Sohandev Kaur) teaches people who face challenges in life and love, to better understand their limiting beliefs and instead embrace their full potential. In 2006, she explored more deeply the tools, habits and mindfulness rituals she had used in her own healing, when she trained to become a yoga teacher in Kerala, India. Having studied extensively over the past decade, she is now a qualified kundalini and Sivananda yoga teacher and has completed the Kundalini Beyond Action Addiction programme. She teaches classes, workshops and retreats to a diverse range of students from corporate executives to artists and homemakers. Her passion is to share the powerful tools of yoga, meditation and mindfulness.

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: Louis van Loon and Rudene Gerber
    Cost: 2 days accommodation
    Dates: Monday 06 July 2020 - Wednesday 08 July 2020

    louis van loon smlrudene gerberVisitors 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
    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.

    Rudene Gerber worked for 18 years as the Radiation Protection Officer of the University of Pretoria before ‘semi-retiring’ at age 40. She moved to Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape where she wrote two books and opened a small business. She volunteered at the National Sea Rescue Institute for 6 years and qualified as a deep-sea skipper and as a Ship Captain’s Medical Officer. She is a Level III First Aid instructor. She was invited to become the Chairperson of the local SPCA and managed this organisation for 4 years, qualifying as a SPCA Inspector. In 2012 she returned to Johannesburg where she studied and completed her BA and Honours Degree in Psychology specialising in Psychological Counselling. A resident member at the BRC and an avid student of Buddhism, she offers meditation practice mid-week at the BRC.

12 July 2020
  • Music And Mindfulness: Exploring sound and silence

    Teacher: Hilary Kromberg and John Roff
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 12 July 2020 - Tuesday 14 July 2020

    hillary krombergjohn roffMusic gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything - Plato

    Our busy lives are fragmented by noise. We struggle to hear the rhythms and resonances at the heart of life. Drawing on their musical, spiritual and academic journeys, Hilary and John will lead an exploration of sound and silence - listening, reflecting and creating, through music and mindfulness. The retreat will be an experiential and immersive journey through music and meditation, creating spaces for participants to discover their innate musicality. Moving meditations will include mindful walking and yoga, amidst the sounds of nature. A musical journey will be used to facilitate creative expression through visual art. Retreatants will also have opportunities for meditative music-making with an array of instruments such as the shakuhachi Zen flute, the mbira, djembe drums, the uhadi bow and Tibetan singing bowls. Join us in the tranquil environment of the BRC to connect to the universal rhythms at the heart of life. No previous music training is necessary.

    View teacher details
    Hilary Kromberg believes in the power of music to transform and to heal - whether it be hip hop, Mozart, the beating of a djembe drum or the sound of a bird singing in a tree. She has a Bachelor’s degree in social anthropology and an MMus in musicology. She is a specialist in music communications and is the creative director of Jive Media Africa, as well as founder of the youth development programme, Hip Hop U. She is a pianist, married to Robert (a tenor) and together they have raised three musical human beings. She believes in the restorative power of both sound and silence and spends her spare time practising yoga and walking in wild gardens. Her dream is to be fit enough to climb a few steep mountain paths in Nepal.

    John Roff is a multi-instrumentalist musician, with a leaning towards bamboo flutes, kalimbas and the didgeridoo. He has witnessed the restorative power of music many times. For the past 30 years, he has been a nature guide and environmental educator - sharing the beauty and wonder of the natural world with many people in diverse locations. His meditative musicianship and deep appreciation for, and understanding of, the natural world promise to make his contribution to this retreat an especially meaningful one. John is married to Jo, with whom he runs Strong Heart Retreats.

17 July 2020
  • Finding And Keeping Your Centre: Taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others

    Teacher: Tessa Pretorius
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 July 2020 - Sunday 19 July 2020

    tessa pretoriusWhy is it so difficult for us to be kind or gentle or good to ourselves? Perhaps it is because we have grown up within the paradigm that ‘good people put the needs of others first’. In other words, we believe that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to show we care. Or, it could just be that finding time for self-care just means one more thing on the already unobtainable to-do-list. But what if caring for ourselves wasn’t that difficult? What if, by a few simple adjustments or re-tuning of your emotions, thoughts or attitude patterns, we could find that calm place on the merry-go-round where we were at our best and could deal with and handle what life throws at us with style. The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. The wisdom of this teaching tells us that when we are kind and good to ourselves, we are automatically much more so to others.

    View teacher details
    Tessa Pretorius is an ex-trauma counselor, activist, philosopher and writer, and has been facilitating workshops on self-care and mindfulness for over sixteen years. She was trained by Patricia Cane (founder and creator of Capacitar International) whose work she has incorporated into training programmes for NGO's, hospitals, members of the justice system, the SAPS, the corporate sector and at various retreat centres. She believes self-care is essential for personal well-being and, as in Buddhist practice, essential to be of service to others. Tessa and her dog, Maggie, live at Emoyeni Retreat in the Magaliesberg.

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.

29 July 2020
  • Open The Heart And Still The Mind: Cultivating kindness and compassion

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 29 July 2020 - Sunday 02 August 2020

    sue cooper oct2019This 4-day, silent Easter long-weekend Open the Heart and Still the Mind Compassion Retreat will draw on the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and the inspiring teachings and practices of Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of Compassion, who "Listens to the cries of the world at ease." After establishing a calm and grounded body, heart and mind, we will focus on the practice of loving-kindness (metta) meditation and the deepening of compassionate wisdom. These practices connect us with our authentic presence, strengthen our boundaries and provide us with a secure foundation of courage and trust. In a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence, we will learn how to transform the viciousness of the inner critic, so that we can end the habitual cycle of self-abandonment. As we discover how to internalise the archetypal good-enough mother, represented by Kuan Yin, we will develop the courage and trust which allow us to honour our vulnerability without fear or shame. When we can embrace our humanness with kindness and compassion, we can live more authentically, so that healing and awakening can occur. This retreat includes guided sitting and walking meditations, short individual sessions with Sue and daily sessions of qigong (chi kung) movement meditation to enhance the integration of body, heart and mind. There will be time for silent, mindful walks in nature when you can explore the beauty of the Centre. https://www.suecooper.co.za/event/retreat-cultivating-kindness-and-compassion/

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    Sue Cooper is a Cape Town-based Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice since the early 1990's. She has a long-standing interest in the interface between psychological and spiritual approaches to self-discovery and inner healing, and has attended Buddhist meditation retreats, mainly in the Theravada tradition, for over 30 years, both in South Africa and at Gaia House in the UK. She has been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest tradition, and is deeply grateful to her primary teachers: the late Godwin Samararatne, Kittisaro and Thanissara, Ajahn Sucitto and Stephen and Martine Batchelor. She has a particular interest in exploring how our practice enables us to embrace our humanness, integrating love and loss in our lives, so that we can live and die with compassionate awareness. She offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Temenos, Mont Fleur, Blue Butterfly and Somerset Gift in the Western Cape; Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and the Buddhist Retreat Centre in KwaZulu Natal; and Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the North West Province, as well as 6-8 week "Open the Heart and Still the Mind" courses, on-going weekly groups and monthly half-day/day retreats in Cape Town See: www.suecooper.co.za and please contact sue.stillmind@gmail.com.

04 August 2020
  • Delicious Wellness: How to make your body your best friend

    Teacher: Patti Good
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 04 August 2020 - Thursday 06 August 2020

    patti goodAre you longing for a more loving relationship with your body? Every symptom, every emotion, every negative thought guides you back home - to the exquisite connection between you and your Body Wisdom. Real nourishment doesn’t start with food; it starts with how you communicate with your body, how you process your emotions and how you listen to and honour the messages you receive from your body. In this retreat you will learn to access your Body Wisdom through meditation and gentle, but powerful self-enquiry processes which will help you to shift years of baggage, trauma and pain so that you can create a foundation for true wellness.

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    Patti Good is a therapist, energy healer and spiritual teacher. Her passion is helping people to heal their past so they can love their future. She was born and raised in South Africa before moving to New York and London. She spent 14 years as part of the Inner Journey Clinic on Harley Street in London where she ran transformational healing programs to help her clients heal their wounds and find their deepest wholeness using The Journey, BodyTalk, Reiki and EFT. She is currently running both one-on-one healing programs and conducting workshops and retreats.

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. 

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

11 September 2020
  • Transformation With The Power Of Awareness: Developing awareness, compassion and insight

    Teacher: Nolitha Tsengiwe
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 September 2020 - Sunday 13 September 2020

    nolitha tsengiweThis silent weekend retreat will be an opportunity to explore Buddhist teachings and meditation practice to develop awareness, compassion and insight. With more calmness and clarity, we will be able to deal with the challenges of life with more acceptance, ease and wisdom.

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    Nolitha Tsengiwe has always been curious about “what truth is.” Her search for truth led her to become a practising Buddhist under the guidance of Kittisaro and Thanissara who are disciples of the Thai Forest Buddhist tradition master, Ajahn Chah. She is a graduate of CDL4 at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, USA, and is currently enrolled in a 4-year Buddhist teacher training course under Joseph Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is a psychologist in private practice and an executive coach. In both roles, her primary goal is to create a holding space for people who are seeking truth as a doorway to freedom and healing.

     
     
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.

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    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.

19 October 2020
  • Heartfulness Meditation: A silent meditation retreat

    Teacher: Lynne Marion
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 19 October 2020 - Thursday 22 October 2020

    lynne marionHeartfulness is a simple and subtle practice of meditation that connects us to the light and love in our hearts. Heartfulness Meditation helps us to live a heart-centered life; to manage our emotions, and to find inner peace and balance in our everyday life. What makes this meditation practice unique is the Yogic Transmission or Pranahuti (prana meaning life force; ahuti meaning offering) - which helps the practitioner to go deeper into meditation, creating that unity with his inner self. This retreat will be held in an atmosphere of silence and introspection. There will be daily meditation instruction, scheduled group meditations, and time for journaling, walking outdoors, or simply being with your Self.

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    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.

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
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