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Detailed List of Retreats

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

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

Online events

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

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

To make a donation for online events, please use:

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

Retreat
08 August 2020
  • Stoep Zen (online)

    Teacher: Antony Osler and Margie Osler
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 08 August 2020 - Monday 10 August 2020 09:00am - 12:30pm

    anthony and margie oslerTo celebrate the BRC’s 40th birthday, we will do nothing special and we will do it together.’

    This was the beginning of the pre-lockdown write-up for the BRC August 2020 Stoep Zen retreat.

    Since then our world has changed and our practice is to change with it. We will still do nothing special together but now we will do so in our kitchens, lounges, and bedrooms, in our robes, pyjamas, long-johns and slippers.

    This is still Zen as the practice of friendship, but now we can broaden our idea of what this means to us. So, we will explore the intimacy of being geographically remote, the intimacy of meeting on screen, the intimacy of just listening, and the intimacy of turning off our screens and finding our seat. We will look at how to sit upright in an upside-down world.

    All of the talks will take place via Zoom – some of this will be audio-visual while some may be audio only. The talks may also include chanting and guided meditation instruction.

    Meditations outside the Zoom sessions are done by yourself individually, should you choose to participate, but they still form part of the group’s shared activity (and Antony and Margie will be sitting in the Poplar Grove zendo at those times).

    Saturday 8 August 2020Register

    09:00 – 10:30 Zoom talk and meditation
    11:00 – 11:30 Meditation (offline)
    12:00 – 12:30 Meditation (offline)

    Sunday 9 August 2020Register

    08:00 – 08:30 Meditation (offline)
    09:00 – 09:45 Zoom Talk
    10:00 – 10:30 Meditation (offline)
    11:00 – 11:30 Meditation (offline)
    12:00 – 12:30 Meditation (offline)

    Monday 10 August 2020 Register

    08:00 – 08:30 Meditation (offline)
    09:00 – 09:45 Zoom Talk
    10:00 – 10:30 Meditation (offline)
    11:00 – 11:30 Meditation (offline)
    12:00 – 12:30 Meditation (offline)

    View teacher details
    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.

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

    Teacher: Lucy Draper-Clarke and Felicity Hart
    Cost: R450
    Dates: Saturday 08 August 2020 03:00pm - 05:30pm

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

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

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

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

    Time: 3:00-5:30 pm

    More details: Payment and Zoom registration

    View teacher details

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

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

14 August 2020
  • A Weekend Of Kindness At The BRC

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 14 August 2020 - Sunday 16 August 2020

    elizabeth gaywoodJoin Elizabeth for a weekend of kindness, not only for ourselves, but also for the wonderful staff at the BRC who are keen to have friends ‘return’ to Ixopo after months of lockdown and isolation. Help to kindle the spirit of generosity and friendship which the BRC has demonstrated for 40 years since it opened.

    The weekend will be adjusted to suit everyone; if you want to go hiking - that is an option - if you want to be silent, catch up with your reading and breathe in the restorative air - that’s OK too. Meditation sessions will be available (either guided or silent). We are sure many of you need a break and this is an ideal opportunity to be kind to yourself, for friends to reconnect and enjoy the peace and healing energy that the BRC offers…. It will be lovely to see you (in person)

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

15 August 2020
  • Transition Online: Would you like to transition beyond current challenges into a better place than you were before?

    Teacher: Monique Beekman
    Cost: Donation to the BRC
    Dates: Saturday 15 August 2020 - Saturday 29 August 2020 09:30am - 11:30am

    August 15;22;29 | 9:30-11:30am Register

    “If you bring forth, that which is within you, what you bring forth, will save you....If you do not bring forth that which is within you....What you do not bring forth, will destroy you”

    Are you feeling lost, blocked or stuck? We are thrilled to bring you Transition Online to resolve these and related issues,

     

    For many people, this period has been a roller coaster of emotions and for some this has included unexpected changes in circumstance. Perhaps you sometimes feel that you are coping well, but at other times not so much. You may be feeling a bit shell-shocked, lost or in need of finding a new meaning in life? Maybe it's just an urge to re-centre and align with your core, or a need for a different perspective, or even a desire for an entirely new direction?

    To have what you want but do not yet have, you have to go where you haven’t yet been. There is no other way!

    Monique will guide you beyond what is and has been, to a place of divine peace, joy and direction as you reconnect with your own all powerful inner compass. Transition Online is designed to support you through the effects of the emotional and mental challenges you have experienced during the past few months in a way that resolves even age-old trauma and transforms your present and future. By liberating the current of your inner being and thus allowing it a clear path to lead and guide you into your present and future, you will find a new openness and ease to follow the powerful calling of your all-knowing guide within.

    Within this intimate group: We will find ourselves moving through inner obstacles together, by using an approach that resolves their origins. We heal and integrate parts of ourselves that have been isolated in pain for far too long and heal our recently troubled selves. We experience a new peace as they reunite in wholeness.

    From this foundation of oneness, everything flows into place as we move beyond where we were, through where we are going, into where we have always wanted to be. This is a time of immense potential power and global momentum for those who know how to use it. As a group, we tap into this unprecedented surge of energy to transcend together into a life of greater abundance on all levels.

    Transition Online is a process designed for an intimate group of 10, who get together for Part 1: that is 3 consecutive Saturday mornings for 90-120 minutes. Thereafter, the group can choose to continue privately with Monique for Part 2 & 3, also 3 sessions each, and on a donation basis to Monique.

    View teacher details
    Like all Monique's work, this entire workshop is founded on her purpose where she provides a Space for Being, in an Atmosphere of Warmth, Passion and Commitment to Change, to Manifest the Vision through Inner Reconciliation, Enabling Love, Appreciation and Respect for All of Life. Her love of facilitating groups to a place of inner well-being, began with teaching Reiki over 20 years ago. She trained Reiki Masters in JHB, KZN, the Cape, Gauteng and the Netherlands. Aside from her studies since then and her experience and evolution over 27 years as an Ethno-psychologist, continuous self-development also forms a very important part of the foundation of her skills and abilities. This combination enables her to relate to your journey in a very real way and as an Empath, to effectively  and empathetically support you on your own path.

16 August 2020
  • A Morning Of Mindful Eating (online)

    Teacher: Xenia Ayiotis
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Sunday 16 August 2020 09:00am - 12:45pm

    xenia ayiotis 2019Food and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of suffering. Lockdown has brought up challenges and many people have been turning to food for comfort.

    This mini-retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating and Intuitive Eating.

    What exactly is Mindful Eating? How could you benefit from it?

    Mindful Eating increases our awareness around why, what, when and how we eat in a curious and non-judgemental way.

    The mini-retreat will combine Mindful Eating tools, Mindful Eating practices with foods and meditation. The intention is to use a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us with when, what and how much to eat, also examining our rules around food and whether they serve us creating a peaceful relationship with food.

    Join us on on Zoom for a mini introduction to Mindful Eating and gently explore your relationship with food and eating.

    16 August | 3 hours 45 minutes | 9:00-12:45pm Register

    View teacher details
    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

21 August 2020
  • Life Writing: A workshop on memoir

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

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

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

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

24 August 2020
  • "Written In The Stars": The Basics Of The Ancient Art Of Astrology (online)

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Monday 24 August 2020 - Tuesday 29 September 2020 05:30pm - 07:30pm

    corinna botoulas2020Join Astrologer Cor as she explores the Basics of the Ancient Art of Astrology, on the Buddhist Retreat Centre’s online platform from 24 August until 29 September 2020. We are part of the greater cycles of nature, bound to the ever-changing seasons of life. 

    As within, so without. As above, so below.

    This workshop will focus on celebrating and understanding the meaning of your birth chart. By learning the innate meaning and archetypal representation of the planets, you will explore your divine uniqueness and gain the gifts of self-compassion, self-tolerance, and inner equilibrium. Beginners are most welcome and encouraged.

    1) Monday 24 August 5.30-7.30pm - Welcome Introduction Circle, History of Astrology Introduction to chart layout
    2) Monday 31 August 5.30pm-7.30pm - 10 Planets and their astrological symbolism and meanings
    3) Monday 7 September 5.30-7.30pm - 12 Zodiac Signs and their astrological symbols and meanings
    4) Monday 14 September 5.30-7.30pm - 12 Houses and their astrological meanings
    5) Monday 21 September 5.30-7.30pm - Polarity, Elements, Modalities, Hemispheres
    6) Tuesday 29 September 5.30pm-7.30pm - Aspects

    Participants will be working with their own charts. To receive a copy of your own birth chart, along with a copy of the workshop workbook, please send me your birth details (date, time, place) no later than the 22nd of August 2020. Please do not leave this to the last minute, as we will start working with your own charts right from the get-go. Should you not know your exact birth-time, a rectification is required before your correct chart can be emailed to you. Please What’s app me on 0827757423 after you have mailed your details to cor@corastology.co.za. I will confirm receipt by sending you the above-mentioned chart and workbook. 

    24;31 August; 7;14;21;29 September | 5:30-7:30pm

    Register

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

04 September 2020
  • From Mindfulness To Insight (online)

    Teacher: Rob Nairn
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Friday 04 September 2020 - Sunday 06 September 2020

    rob nairnMindfulness is the fundamental component of all forms of mind-training, and can be mastered by anyone who is prepared to put in a little effort. The main aspect is learning to bring the mind knowingly into the moment, allowing thoughts to appear and pass without interference, and becoming the impartial witness of the tendency to engage, without compulsively following through on it.

    We learn to be present, respond with compassion and see deeply into our thoughts, feelings and behaviours. Because the training is quite demanding, beginners find it helpful to have guided sessions until they establish enough confidence to continue by themselves.

     

    4 Sept: 30 minutes | 6:00-6:30pm - Introduction Register
    5 and 6 Sept: 1 hour | 11:00-12:00pm Register

    View teacher details
    Rob Nairn is one of the pioneers in presenting meditation training in a way that is accessible to the Western mind. The Dalai Lama asked him to teach meditation over fifty years ago. Rob has developed a unique experiential and evidence-based training in mindfulness, and established masterclasses (MSc) at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland in association with the Mindfulness Association, UK, founded on his work. He is author of several books on meditation and Buddhism, the latest by Shambhala Publications USA titled From Mindfulness to Insight.

  • Release, Relax And Restore - With Yoga

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 September 2020 - Sunday 06 September 2020

    margot mcmasterGiven the current stresses and strains, we will turn to the ancient practice of yoga and use this as a base to journey through our subtle chakra system in the search for release, reassurance and vitality.

    Using yin yoga, kundalini yoga, trauma release and vinyasa flow, we will slowly unlock, unblock, re-energise and re-connect to each one of these energy centres in our body. The retreat will begin with a Chakra CheckTM so you can discover where you are currently blocked, locked or limited and you will learn techniques to help you shift back to strength, vitality and serenity.

    We will work in sequence to unlock and expand and we will explore postures with a focus on the vegus nerve and the parasympathetic nervous system to assist and support us from the inside-out in these trying times.

    This retreat is centred around releasing, relaxing and restoring our bodies, our minds and our energy, and is suitable for everyone.

    Please bring a mat, water bottle, long socks and two blankets (not duvets.) Also - if you have - please bring two blocks, bolsters, straps and two tennis balls

    View teacher details
    Margot McMaster holds both Vinyāsa Flow and Kundalini Yoga teacher certificates. She was guided by Mercedes Sieff, Shiva Rea, Guru Dharam and Darryl O’Kieffe, among others. She worked as the in-house yoga instructor at  BBC Worldwide in London for four years, where she taught in its studios, as well as in Costa Rica, India and Sri Lanka. She currently lives and teaches in Nottingham Road, KZN, where she integrates meditation, pranayama, mantra and Heart yoga into her practice.

11 September 2020
  • The Roots Of Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms

    Teacher: Richard Ellis and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 September 2020 - Sunday 13 September 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.

17 September 2020
  • A Taste of Mindfulness (online)

    Teacher: Craig Henen, Lisa Firer
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Thursday 17 September 2020 10:00am - 03:00pm

    craig henenlisa firerDuring this online retreat we will introduce you to Mindfulness: the development of moment-to-moment, non-judgmental awareness. We will taste different practices together and explore ways to bring this powerful way of being into our daily lives.
    Mindfulness practice enables us to relate with more centeredness to whatever is unfolding and makes it possible to work creatively with the stresses and demands of daily living, especially at this time we find ourselves in. This retreat will be based on the work of Dr Jon Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme.

    Thursday 17th September | 10am-3pm including 1 hour mindful lunch break Register

    View teacher details
    Craig Henen is an executive coach and facilitator offering several mindfulness-based interventions and transformational practices to individuals and groups. He trained with the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts in the work of Jon Kabat-Zinn. He is a partner in The Mindful Company, a board member at the Institute for Mindfulness South Africa and a member of faculty at a leading coach training school.

    Lisa Firer is a designer and facilitator. Focused on embodied learning, her approach is strongly rooted in mindfulness. She trained to teach the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programme in 2005 at the University of Massachusetts, USA, Centre for Mindfulness and has a certification in teaching Mindfulness-based Interventions from Stellenbosch University.
    Lisa is also internationally accredited Biodanza facilitator, system of human development using music and movement and is currently studying somatic movement education.

18 September 2020
  • Moving Meditation: Cultivating the four energies of tai chi

    Teacher: Brett Vallis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 September 2020 - Sunday 20 September 2020

    brett vallisTai chi is a practice embracing the mind, body and spirit. Originating in ancient China, it is one of the most effective exercises for the health and well-being of our body and mind. The essential principles include integrating the mind with the body; the control of movement and breath; generating internal energy, mindfulness, song (loosening) and jing (serenity). The ultimate purpose of tai chi is to cultivate the chi or life energy within us to flow smoothly and powerfully throughout the body like water flowing in a river: beneath the tranquil surface there is a current with immense power - the power for healing and wellness. This retreat is for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike - for many, it starts somewhere and continues as a lifetime journey.

    View teacher details
    Brett Vallis is a qualified tai chi, shaolin and chi kung instructor who has been teaching for 28 years. His interest in Eastern philosophy started at the age of 14 when he attended his first retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre. He studied Chinese Martial Arts at the age of 20 under the tutelage of Jacques Bois, To Dei. Thereafter he opened his own school and the late Leslie James Reed, Sifu became his teacher. After emigrating to the UK, he studied under Derek Frearson, Sigong. On returning to South Africa, he opened a school in Cape Town where he received his traditional Sifu title. He now resides and teaches in Margate in KwaZulu Natal.

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.

    View teacher details
    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.

    View teacher details
    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

     

    View teacher details
    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.

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.

    View teacher details
    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
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 December 2020 - Sunday 13 December 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.

     
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.

    View teacher details
    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.

    View teacher details
    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".

    View teacher details
    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

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Email: bookings@brcixopo.co.za
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