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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.

Retreat
13 December 2019
  • Grounded In Space: A weekend of tai chi and qigong (chi kung)

    Teacher: Jeremy and Alex Lister-James
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 December 2019 - Sunday 15 December 2019

    jeremy lister jamesalex 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 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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    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-chi kung.

    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating 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.

17 December 2019
  • Shibuie: When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Seeing with deep-seeing eyes - Sumie and Raku: Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Fay Keit, Ingrid Adams and Louis van Loon
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 17 December 2019 - Saturday 21 December 2019

    fay keitingrid adamslouis van loon smlShibuie 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. We will admire the pots as they emerge triumphantly from the scorching heat, after which they will be used in a traditional Chinese Tea Ceremony on the final evening.

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    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 MA 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.

    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 Sumi-e and ink painting in China, Japan and Korea, she embarked on a Sumi-e 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 Sumi-e. She now paints and teaches Sumi-e part-time.

    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 in private practice in Durban. He teaches Sumie, Japanese brush painting, and sketching in Durban, Cape Town and Ixopo.

24 December 2019
  • Stalking The Moment: Being at home 24/7: Christmas at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 24 December 2019 - Friday 27 December 2019

    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 by Penny Urquhart.

28 December 2019
  • Welcoming The New Year With Compassion And Joy: New year at the BRC

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Saturday 28 December 2019 - Wednesday 01 January 2020

    sue cooper 2017 9In this 4-night Open the Heart and Still the Mind silent retreat we will reflect with kindness and compassion on the year which is ending, creating a space of possibility for new beginnings and joyful discovery, as we welcome the new year with an open and generous heart and mind at the beautiful BRC.  In a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence, we will transform the self-critical, judgmental inner voices which keep us stuck in the past, so that we can discover that each breath offers the possibility of a new beginning and greater freedom. As we enter the new year with compassionate simplicity, inspired by Buddhist wisdom teachings and embodied and calming meditation practices which open the heart, we will remember what really matters on this wondrous path of awakening. This retreat includes guided sitting and walking meditations, short individual sessions with Sue and daily sessions of chi kung movement meditation to enhance the healing and integration of body, heart and mind. We will welcome the New Year with a ceremony which includes chanting and a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha rupa, and we will usher out the old year with an ancient Chinese temple gong. Please kindly be aware that as there is no teacher's fee for this retreat, your dana replaces the teacher's fee. CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: 24 General CEUs are applicable and R175 admin fee is requested to receive the CPD certificate. sue.stillmind@gmail.com

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    Sue Cooper is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice in Cape Town 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 Gaia House in the UK. Sue has been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest tradition as well as the late Godwin Samararatne, Kittisaro and Thanissara, Ajahn Sucitto and Stephen and Martine Batchelor. In 2010, she created and launched her own "Open the Heart and Still the Mind" courses and retreats, which integrate Buddhist meditation and psychotherapy. 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, as well as "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.

03 January 2020
  • Time To Reminisce, Reflect and Refocus: Gently kickstart the new year with an ashram-style retreat offering sunrise chi kung, yoga, walks, chanting, meditation and healing therapies

    Teacher: Colin Kemery, Bruce van Dongen, Deborah Don and Kerri Martinaglia
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 January 2020 - Sunday 05 January 2020

    colin kemerybruce van dongendeborah donkerri martinagliaIt 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 like you need a gentle, uncluttered space to tune into what lies ahead in 2020, this largely unstructured weekend will prove useful. Experience sunrise chi kung, yoga and evening chanting as well as a gong session for healing relaxation. The centre is yours to enjoy, walking or birdwatching 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 stalking the light or listening to the windchimes and gazing at clouds. The BRC provides an ideal opportunity to be in a sympathetic space to reflect on the things that crowd one’s life: to just be. Deborah Don, a qualified Self-esteem Coach, and massage therapist, will be offering healing treatments by appointment, and Adamas Incendia , author of Buddha Brats: A Modern Tale Of Enlightenment,  and a Dzogchen  Buddhist Practitioner of 20 years, will give a talk on the first evening: Healing Negative Behavioural Patterns.

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    Colin Kemery has conducted his popular sunrise chi kung sessions at the BRC for 7 years. He is currently the Estate Manager at the BRC, and has been a Buddhist and yoga practitioner for 40 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.

    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.

    Deborah Don, a qualified Self-esteem Coach, and massage therapist, has been involved in the Health and the Easter and New Year retreats offered at the BRC over the last three years.

    Kerri Martinaglia Kerri Martinaglia runs The Waterfall Retreat and Environmental Centre. In 2009 she began facilitating Mindfulness Africa courses in KwaZulu Natal. 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.

06 January 2020
  • Awakening The Writer In You: The art of writing from the heart

    Teacher: Elana Bregin
    Cost: 3 day's accommodation + Course fee.
    Contact Elana Bregin: 0714930791 / elana.bregin@gmail.com
    Dates: Monday 06 January 2020 - Thursday 09 January 2020

    elana breginThe words Listen and Silent have the same letters
    - Michelle McClunan, Creative Therapist, Astrologer and NLP Practitioner

    The creative act of writing involves much more than plotting a good storyline and putting the right words together. It is a process of reflection, mindful observation - an engagement with yourself and the world around you at the deepest and most satisfying levels of awareness. It is also a potent healing tool that can give you the objective distance to detach yourself from your over-familiar internal script and see your life in different and wider perspective. This writing workshop will suit anyone with a creative itch to scratch, even if you don't have an actual story in mind. Whether your intention is to write a personal memoir, fictionalised novel or simply to renew your creative fire, the retreat is designed to offer support and give you the tools and insights to accomplish your writing goal. It will explore both the practical strategies of getting your story written and the inspirational aspects that fuel it. In the beautiful setting of BRC hills, sky, birds, trees, wind chimes and stars, overseen by the untroubled serenity of the Buddha statue, we will open our senses - and heart chakras - and start the conversation with our deeper selves that silent attention enables. We will begin the process of finding, clarifying and shaping the story we really want to tell and learn how to use the different stages of the writing process to our advantage. There will be periods of silent reflection, group sharing, active writing, and individual consultation slots for those who are feeling stuck as well as meditative walks and sensory sitting. For more information and cost of the course contact Elana Bregin: 0714930791 or elana.bregin@gmail.com

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    Elana Bregin is a seasoned author, editor and creative-workshop facilitator whose creative output includes both fiction and non-fiction novels, short stories, radio drama and more. She has been dancing with words since she first learnt how to write. In her 11 years of working as a publishing-house editor she accompanied many authors, both novice and experienced, on her own journey to published success and gained valuable coaching expertise. Her writing journey through the years has given her insight into the intimate processes of story-writing and its ability to reconnect us with both our personal meaning and the wider currents of life in which we are embedded. She has been a BRC attendee for many years and has been privileged to be part of a number of enlightening and enriching retreats.

10 January 2020
  • Getting To Know The Birds And Trees At The BRC: 160 Birds of a feather

    Teacher: Chris Dalzell, Steve Davis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 10 January 2020 - Sunday 12 January 2020

    chris dalzell psteve davisJoin Chris and Steve for an enjoyable weekend of identifying some of the BRC’s 160 species of birds (including the summer residents, the rare Blue Swallow, Knysna Turaco and Emerald Cuckoo) and getting to know the indigenous trees, wild flowers and butterflies. You will also have a chance to expand the indigenous forests by planting your own tree. The weekend includes learning how to identify the most common trees in KwaZulu Natal, how to plant a tree, how to maintain it, and what butterflies and birds are attracted to these trees for nectar or fruit. Walk the verdant hills and meadows close to where the Blue Swallows nest,  enjoy the rare orchids, tree ferns and yellowwoods and admire the pink watsonias (Watsonia Borbonica) and the orange Christmas bells (Sandersonia Aurantiatica) in their summer bloom. Included will be talks, slide shows, chi kung, meditation and some quiet time communing with nature. Bring your binoculars and a sunhat.

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    Chris Dalzell was Curator of the Durban Botanical Gardens where he was in charge of special collections. He has studied, lectured and travelled internationally, collecting plant specimens from USA, Canada, Brazil, S.E. Asia, Australia and New Zealand.  For many years he guided the South African exhibition at the international Chelsea Flower Show where his stall was consistently awarded Gold and Silver-Gilt Medals. He was appointed Assistant Director for the development of Gardens by the Bay in Singapore. He currently runs his own landscaping business Chris Dalzell Landscapes.

    Steve Davis has been watcing birds since moving to South Africa in 1975, and has travelled in most parts of southern Africa and many countries around the world. He has presented numerous talks and courses on birds, served on the BirdLife Port Natal Committee and is a member of the KwaZulu-Natal Rare Birds Committee. He has written two books with his late friend, Roy Cowgill - one on the birds of Durban reserves and one on shorebirds identification. He is a keen wildlife enthusiast, having expanded his interests to butterflies, dragonflies, trees and flowers. He is a Chemical Engineer by profession, having gained a M.Sc.Eng (Chem) at the University of Natal, Durban, and is currently Research and Development Manager at the Sugar Milling Research Institute in Durban.

17 January 2020
  • Vipassana Meditation: How to realise ever-present mindfulness

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy, Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 January 2020 - Sunday 19 January 2020

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenbergThoughts are about what is not happening - Paul Hedderman

    Vipassana (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. This retreat is an invitation for beginners and experienced meditators to practise Vipassana using the traditional Buddhist method of Ajahn Tong. For beginners it is a simple and direct technique to start meditating and for experienced meditators, it is a skilful method to deepen their insight. Mindfulness is developed by regular walking and sitting practice, by maintaining awareness during normal activities, such as eating, showering, dressing and supported by talks and daily interviews with a teacher. The weekend will be held in silence. Retreatants are welcome to join the subsequent 4-day meditation retreat.

    Sustain awareness at every moment in every posture, whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down. This is the way to establish mindfulness in the heart - Ajahn Chah

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    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.

19 January 2020
  • A Vipassana Retreat: The search for truth

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy, Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 19 January 2020 - Thursday 23 January 2020

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg

    You may find that the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings ... it gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you. Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying - Nelson Mandela - Mandela The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson

    Vipassana (Insight) meditation uses mindfulness to search for the mental and emotional patterns that cause suffering. The aim is not merely to overcome suffering but to learn how to wake up and be fully alive in the present moment. This four-day retreat is an opportunity to deepen meditation practice using the traditional Buddhist method of Ajahn Tong. Meditators are encouraged to stay for the entire course but may also stay for a shorter time and beginners are welcome to learn how to start Vipassana meditation. Mindfulness is developed by regular walking and sitting practice (both in the meditation hall and outside in the forest), by maintaining awareness during normal activities such as eating, showering, dressing and supported by daily interviews with a teacher. The retreat will be held in silence.

    What is looking is what you are looking for - St. Francis of Assisi

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    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.

24 January 2020
  • Happy Healthy Yoga: Kickstart the new year with yoga for health and harmony

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 days’ accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 24 January 2020 - Sunday 26 January 2020

    margot mcmaster

    Join Margot for a yoga retreat where we explore our innate strength and vitality in order to deepen and develop serenity in our minds. We will connect them with the flow of breath and mindful awareness. Enjoy a progressive sequence of extended yoga classes, comprising dynamic vinyāsa, yin yoga, yoga nidra, mantra and more. Working in sequence to unlock and expand, we will explore arm balances, hip openers, backbends and twists to challenge your body to release, and then restore vitality, riding the wave of your breath as a way to surrender into postures and cultivating calmness of mind. We will work in Krama (progressive stages). The retreat is suitable for all levels of fitness, but be prepared to be challenged. Please bring a mat, water bottle, blanket and a strap. 

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    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.

27 January 2020
  • The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

    Teacher: John Lockley
    Cost: 3 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 27 January 2020 - Thursday 30 January 2020

    john lockleyParticipants will experience a traditional South African healing ceremony over three days during which they will learn to connect to their Ancestors (bones), Dreams, 'Umoya' (spirit) and one another. 'Ubuntu' means 'I am what I am because of who we all are'. It is a circle of interlinking relationships connecting the seen and unseen worlds. The ceremony will involve a plant cleanse, using medicinal plants to cleanse the spirit and open the heart. Included will be an in-depth discussion on 'African cosmology' and the understanding of ancestors, plant medicine and dreaming. Retreatants will learn one of the most ancient and misunderstood cultures in South Africa today - the Sangoma medicine people, the monks and nuns of Southern Africa. The retreat will focus on educating people about South African traditional spirituality and also lead participants on a spiritual journey to rediscover their own ‘soul’ or what is termed ‘umoya’ in Xhosa/ Zulu culture. This is a unique opportunity as there are very few places in South Africa today where people can learn from this mystical  tradition.  'Ubuntu' in essence represents harmony and is similar to the Zen circle. Linking the past and present, it is an evolving state of co-operation and compassion whereby every human being is linked to their own families and communities as well as the unseen world of ancestors.  John will be assisted by his colleague Makhosi Nomusa who is the resident Zulu Sangoma. Please bring a plastic basin which will be used for medicinal foot healing, a dream journal, pen and paper to take notes, a meditation blanket and an open mind. This retreat is suitable for all therapists, healers and those with a desire to heal South Africa.

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    John Lockley is a traditionally trained sangoma from the Xhosa culture, with over 20 years' experience. He was taught the essence of 'Ubuntu' by his Xhosa elders in the Eastern Cape and has lectured and run retreats all over the world stressing the importance of 'Ubuntu' ('Humanness') and our need to unite as a human race and reconnect to our "blood and bones". The name he was given by his Xhosa teacher MaMngwevu in 1996 was 'Ucingolweendaba' which means "The messenger or bridge between people and cultures". This is an auspicious name and reflects his calling and mission to help bridge African spirituality and western psychology. John also has a background in Zen Buddhism and was a Zen student under the late Zen Master Su Bong from South Korea. His book Leopard Warrior is an account of his pioneering journey in crossing the 'rubicon' or divide between white and black people in South Africa. This will be John's 6th retreat at the BRC and every year there are amazing stories of healing and transformation.

31 January 2020
  • Out To Lunch Where Green Is The New Colour For The Palate: Going vegan with wholesome food

    Teacher: Debbie Rich, Sascha Türk
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 31 January 2020 - Sunday 02 February 2020

    debbie rich 1sascha turkThis retreat is ideal for those who want to make the change-over to a plant-based, healthy lifestyle. Learn how to make nutritious superfood smoothie bowls bursting with fruit flavour, create your own "Buddha" bowls, sunshine salads and simple soups rich with flavour, as well as mouth-watering vegan burgers and vegan healthy-guilt-free chocolate. Included in this retreat will be sunrise yoga and meditation as well as pilates, the yin-yang of health, where "belly strengthening is a perfect balance to belly-nourishing". If you want to learn about wholefoods and veganism, this is an opportunity to find the 'creative foodie' in you.

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    Debbie Rich from Out To Lunch And Wholesome Cafe is not your average vegan. The energetic proponent for healthy living is passionate about plant- based food and living a wholesome life. Her purpose is to help those who want to make the change-over to a vegan lifestyle to do so wisely. She creates art on a plate with every meal and loves to share her recipes and ideas.

    Sascha Türk is a third generation classically trained Pilates teacher in the New York Method and has been teaching Pilates since 2005 from her studio in Durban North. Currently, she is in her final year of Iyengar Yoga Introductory Level Teacher Training. Her love for movement, health, and keen interest in the human body has taken her on a journey towards health and harmony.

07 February 2020
  • Moving Meditation: Cultivating the four energies of tai chi

    Teacher: Brett Vallis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 February 2020 - Sunday 09 February 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.

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    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.

12 February 2020
  • Firm Centre, Open Heart

    Teacher: Ajahn Sucitto
    Cost: 6 days’ accommodation + surcharge R500
    Dates: Wednesday 12 February 2020 - Tuesday 18 February 2020

    sucittoOne of the principle aims of meditation is to experience greater warm-heartedness - towards others and oneself.  The absence of this is a major source of suffering, linked to anxiety, depression and mistrust. On this retreat, we will be cultivating the inner strength that supports and protects the heart so that its natural kindness and compassion can illuminate our lives. The retreat will include guided meditation, teachings, chanting and devotional practice, qi gong, sharing presence with fellow retreatants, questions and answers. As this is a semi-monastic retreat, all Internet connections should be disabled and phones switched off. Out of respect for the environment, please do not bring or use plastic bottles of water; your portable flask can be filled frequently from the pure local water supply. This retreat will be held in an atmosphere of contemplative silence.

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    Ajahn Sucitto is a British-born Buddhist monk. He has been a monk since 1976 and is based in Cittaviveka Monastery in West Sussex, England. He teaches all over the world and has taught in South Africa on several occasions. He is also the author of many books; these are published for free distribution and can be downloaded from his website www.ajahnsucitto.org.

21 February 2020
  • Reclaim Your Power: A journey to inner balance

    Teacher: Heike Sym
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 February 2020 - Sunday 23 February 2020

    heike symWe all have inner guidance and knowledge, but we don't always know how to access it and use it as the incredible gift it is. We are constantly trying to keep up with the ever-increasing pace and demands of our lives which leaves us with high stress levels and exhausted. On this retreat we will fortify our spirit, embrace our personal power, and allow our light to shine brightly again, the way the universe intended. Through talks, meditation, group work, transformational exercises, relaxation and conversation, we will journey back to our centre - to our most natural and balanced state of being. Deepening our connection with our inner self allows us to stand strong in our own personal power in the here and now. We will learn to listen less to the limiting, fear-based voices of our mind, and start aligning with our intuition, to our core that already knows that we are born as an unstoppable and magnificent force.

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    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 taught at St Philomena's Children's home in Durban for over 16 years and was involved in social outreach projects associated with it. She has also taught and counselled at primary schools and has continued to develop her spiritual interests over the years. 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.

23 February 2020
  • Freedom Through Somatic Practices: A 5-day transformational retreat of somasensing™, intuitive yoga, nature and wholefoods

    Teacher: Yasmin Lambat and Nicholas Luqmaan McLean
    Cost: 5 days accommodation
    Dates: Sunday 23 February 2020 - Friday 28 February 2020

    yasmin lambetnicolas mcleanThis will be an immersion into holistic practices that help to awaken more of your potential. You are born with a self-regulating blueprint - an ability to heal ourselves. SomaSensing movement therapies tap into that blueprint in order to restore well-being. Come and explore the wisdom that is innate in your nervous system and why we get inflammation, and learn about interoception as your 'sixthsense'. Psychoneuroimmunology reveals that disease and who we are depends on our experiences and habitual conditioning. Somatic practices help to shift embodied patterns and habits. This is especially good for anyone with pain or inflammation who is ready to take healing into their own hands. You will get to move the way nature intended, eat an anti-inflammatory diet, and maybe even feel a profound sense of oneness. Contact Nicholas for the cost of the course: 0824379776 or email: nicholas@guthealthyogi.com. www.somasensing.org / www.guthealthyogi.com

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    Yasmin Lambat is the founder of SomaSensing™ and a somatic trauma-informed therapist. She is a registered Somatic Movement Educator (RSME), based in the UK. Placing the body at the heart of healing has become her calling. Her early experience with the body began with a “nuts and bolts” approach to her own chronic pain. She first explored a mechanical approach, focusing on postural alignment, core strengthening exercises and yoga for flexibility until she was introduced to Feldenkrais and other somatic practices. Since then she has spent the last 15 years in somatic exploration to find the missing link between pain and emotion: the body/mind connection - what makes us whole - using motion to heal motion.

    Nicholas Luqmaan McLean is a somatic movement therapist and holistic health coach based in Hermanus and Cape Town. With a yoga and science background and a meditator since the age of 18, he is dedicated to help people find inner freedom. Following a few life-changing breakthroughs, he came across SomaSensing and discovered how soma and a sense of self is the key practice to awaken our potential to self-regulate and shift us out of the habit of being on autopilot. His holistic gut healing programs involve eating wholefoods, somatic movement therapy and mindfulness in order to reduce stress, relieve pain and restore well-being.

28 February 2020
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 February 2020 - Sunday 01 March 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.

     
06 March 2020
  • The Sacred Feminine: Empowering the feminine with yoga, meditation and your astrological moon

    Teacher: Margarita Celeste, Michelle Strybis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 March 2020 - Sunday 08 March 2020

    margarita celestemichelle strybisIn this empowering weekend for women, gentle Yin-style yoga will be offered as an invitation to expand, open and release tightly-held emotions and stress, focusing on the hips and heart. Evening "Moon" themed meditations will help participants to get in touch with this powerful Lunar Body to connect with your inner Feminine. Included will be talks on the Astrological Moon which will help women to navigate their emotional styles, and that of others. Body and Mind will be nourished over a weekend that promises to be nurturing for women - mothers and daughters, sisters and best friends - in a moment by moment openness to each other and to the beautiful, tranquil surroundings of the BRC.

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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.

    Michelle Strybis danced from a very early age and has always been aware of the way movement affects our moods and mental states. Her journey with yoga started on a visit to an ashram in India many years ago where she completed her Yoga Teacher's Training in Bangalore. She has since visited India annually to further her yoga studies. In 2017 she completed a pre-and-post Natal Yoga Teacher's Training and in 2018 she qualified as a Meditation teacher in Dharmsala. She is passionate about sharing how yoga and meditation can help to keep us centered in our everyday lives.

13 March 2020
  • The Healing Art Of Reiki (Level 1), Yoga And Meditation: Heal the body, relax the mind

    Teacher: Katherine Fillmore
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 March 2020 - Sunday 15 March 2020

    katherine fillmore In the beautiful surroundings of Ixopo, enjoy a revitalizing, relaxing weekend of gentle yoga, breath work, meditation and reiki. Reiki is the ancient Japanese technique for stress reduction and relaxation which promotes healing. It is administered by "laying on hands" and uses the "life force energy" that flows through us. The word 'reiki' comprises of 'rei' which means 'God's higher power' and 'ki' which is 'life force energy'. It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing and has great beneficial effects. It also works in conjunction with all other medical or therapeutic techniques to promote recovery. This practice reduces stress, awakens deep relaxation, peace and self-awareness, improves sleep, eliminates depression, enhances your immune system, prompting contentedness and balance in your life. Reiki healing can be extended to all areas of your life, including your children and animals.

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    Katherine Fillmore is a director of  Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing our rivers in South Africa and a qualified Hatha yoga, meditation and Reiki teacher. She has been teaching yoga for ten years and has a yoga studio in Pretoria. She conducts Reiki and meditation courses and works as a Reiki healer from home and in hospitals. Before working as a yoga teacher, she was a professional photographer. Currently, she channels her creative energy into painting.

15 March 2020
  • Deepening The Healing Art Of Reiki: Reiki: (Levels 2 and 3), yoga and meditation

    Teacher: Katherine Fillmore
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 15 March 2020 - Thursday 19 March 2020

    katherine fillmore Reiki Level 2
    At this level of reiki practice, you will learn to apply the healing effects of reiki on others. Two more sacred symbols will be passed onto you: the Distance Healing Symbol and the Emotional Healing Symbol. You will learn how to use reiki as a means of empowering others. 

    Reiki Level 3
    At this level you will make a commitment to reiki in your life and progress to become a Reiki Master. You will receive the Master Symbol and the Tibetan Fire Serpent Symbol which are used during the Master attunement process. You will learn how to pass this attunement to others, and to take on students of your own. Some Reiki Masters never teach reiki, but they are able to use the Master energy on others and apply it in their own lives.

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    Katherine Fillmore is a director of  Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing our rivers in South Africa and a qualified Hatha yoga, meditation and Reiki teacher. She has been teaching yoga for ten years and has a yoga studio in Pretoria. She conducts Reiki and meditation courses and works as a Reiki healer from home and in hospitals. Before working as a yoga teacher, she was a professional photographer. Currently, she channels her creative energy into painting.

20 March 2020
  • The Wilderness Within: The subtle activism of engaged Buddhists

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 March 2020 - Sunday 22 March 2020

    tsunma tsondruAs we travel deeper into the 21st century we experience more and more acutely - if we are awake and aware - the unravelling of the interconnected cycles and systems which make up this miracle of life on this Earth which is our only home. Increasingly, we humans don't seem to care for anything other than ourselves. The chasm that is separating human beings from the natural world and from one another is widening, with society encouraging ever more alienation. Even the very words for wild and natural things - flowers and creatures and landscapes - are being erased from the great dictionaries, to be replaced by technology-speak. And yet the words we choose become the world we live in - so we are diligently engaged in making an un-natural and hyper-me world. It is our connection, our relationship, with something that moves us to take care of it. So the key to our future lies in re-connecting ourselves to the Earth, to one another, to our true nature. We cannot survive independently from the Earth and her natural cycles and systems. No matter which strand we try to isolate, we will always find it hitched to a myriad others. Indeed, we are made of the elements. We are made of the same stuff as the stars. We and they have come from the same singularity. Yet a long time ago, before physicists had ever even theorized about the Big Bang, Dogen, the great Zen master, already knew.  I came to realize that the mind is nothing but the sun and the moon and countless stars. Can we also come to this knowing, like Dogen? How can we come to know that the sun and moon and stars are within, that the wilderness is within, that we are the whole of it? The Buddha showed us how when he awoke to the Truth while sitting under the Bodhi tree. He had found through his practice of meditation that we are the sun and the moon and the stars, that the wilderness is within, and is home. He had seen the great interdependence of all things. Taking advantage of the wilderness around the BRC, we will explore the meeting place of the outer and inner worlds to uncover our connection with ourselves, all beings, the sun and moon and the stars. The retreat will combine meditation practice with silent contemplative walking in the wilderness, as well as some of the spiral practices from Joanna Macy's Work That Reconnects.

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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.

27 March 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 27 March 2020 - Sunday 29 March 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.

03 April 2020
  • Vinyāsa Yoga: Stilling the mind

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 April 2020 - Sunday 05 April 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.

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    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.

09 April 2020
  • Open The Heart And Still The Mind: Cultivating kindness and compassion

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 09 April 2020 - Monday 13 April 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.

14 April 2020
  • Dyad Enquiry: Listening with your whole being. Speaking from your deepest authenticity

    Teacher: Nicholas Burnand and Sarah Dekker
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 14 April 2020 - Friday 17 April 2020

    nicholas burnandsarah dekkerWe are inviting you on a journey of direct experiencing, sensing and being - witnessing the mystery of existence reveal itself through the Dyad enquiry practice (meditation in pairs). The mindful awareness of a practice partner increases the ability to stay present and in the moment, allowing the inquiry to go deeper and for moment to moment awareness to be sustained for longer. Many people who struggle with staying focused during conventional meditation practice, have experienced unbroken awareness for periods of five minutes and more when doing the Dyad practice. It is not only a method to strengthen awareness, but also to deepen interpersonal connection, and enjoy more loving, compassionate relationships. In this retreat individual and group processes will be alternated with periods of individual reflection and quiet contemplation. The retreat will be held in partial silence. Click here to view a clip of a similar retreat conducted in Cape Town.

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    Nicholas Burnand lives in Belgium, where he is a certified Nonviolent Communication trainer and trauma therapist. His journey has taken him to remote places, spending hundreds of days in retreats, ceremonies, and workshops around the world. He is focused on creating safe spaces which foster transformation and awakening. Along with Nonviolent Communication qigong (chi kung) and meditation, he has found the Dyad method to be a deeply transformative practice. Through it he has discovered that empathy and authentic self-expression are a path to freedom from suffering - as the Buddha did 25 centuries before him.

    Sarah Dekker leads courses and workshops in Nonviolent Communication, one-on-one coaching and retreats in South Africa and Belgium. She is passionate about integrating Nonviolent Communication with embodied spirituality and draws on the work of Robert Gonzales and Robert Krzisnik. Her workshops offer ways to cultivate daily practices for living life fully and authentically and to be deeply grounded in compassion for oneself and others. Her interest in individual and collective trauma healing has led her to explore Dyad meditation practice, Mondo Zen, gender reconciliation training, Biodynamic Breathwork  and Trauma Release Systems, constellation work and other modalities. She is known for creating safe spaces for self-exploration and healing. Her authentic presentation style is refreshing in a world of trends and hype and her calm and warm approach supports participants to slow down and be more at ease. 

17 April 2020
  • Healing Qigong (Chi Kung) - For Health And Vitality: Embodying and radiating the chi

    Teacher: Dr Hu Jin-Yun
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 April 2020 - Sunday 19 April 2020

    dr hu jinyun smlExplore this ancient Chinese practice that boosts one’s health and vitality. Participants will learn the key techniques of how to master qigong (chi kung) and incorporate it into their daily lives, effortlessly. These techniques are easy to learn, are useful and powerful. The healing power of qigong (chi kung) works on both the physical and spiritual level - if it is done correctly. These techniques include breathing, timing, warm-ups, postures, movement and mind projection. Dr Hu will also introduce Chinese medicine for detoxing, lowering cholesterol, decreasing body fat and relieving water retention. This retreat is designed to suit beginners, as well as those who have practised qigong (chi kung) previously.

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    Dr Hu Jin-Yun is a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor and Acupuncturist  both in South Africa and China. He received his Masters and PhD degrees in medicine from the Heilongjiang Chinese Medicine University in China. He has been practising Tai-Chi Quan and qigong (chi kung) in Taiwan since 1995. He currently lives in Somerset West, Cape Town, and runs his private TCM clinic, the Helderberg Acupuncture And Healing Centre, where he practises this ancient art form of Traditional Chinese healing. He is the current deputy chairman of the SAACMA (South African Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture) where he presents seminars regularly. He has been lecturing at the Juniata College in America since 2013.

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

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Rudene Gerber
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 19 April 2020 - Tuesday 21 April 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, upon reflection. 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 over this unstructured retreat, and a chance to simply be present from one moment to the next in a tranquil, natural environment.

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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 FoodThe 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.

24 April 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 24 April 2020 - Monday 27 April 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.

30 April 2020
  • Awakening To Flow: Re-aligning and shifting your life

    Teacher: John Homewood
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 30 April 2020 - Sunday 03 May 2020

    john homewood nov2019Those who Flow as life flows
    Know they need no other force - Lao Tzu

    Dissolve your old imprisoned self and set yourself free now. Awakening To Flow is your opportunity to live a life without struggle, where the joy of being pervades all your actions and experiences. Learn how to align - and live from - your natural and inspired Flow State, clearing away any blockages such as fear, anxiety, grief and anger and allowing the light of abundance, love, peace, fulfillment and joy to flow into your life. Our greatest relief can be found in the flow of Presence. Awakening To Flow offers practical tools and teachings which help us transcend the compulsive thinking and worrying mind which prevents us from creating a better world for ourselves and others. This retreat is based on John’s own wisdom and insights from over 20 years of teaching, and also draws on enlightened teachings such as Eckhart Tolle and A Course in Miracles.

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    John Homewood is an international inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, personal growth facilitator and spiritual life coach. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of Wisdom to Nourish. His early career in the corporate world was a steady climb from sales to senior management, and by the age of 30 he became a director of a publicly listed company before leaving to start his own business. 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.

03 May 2020
  • Going Deeper Into Flow: Applied knowledge creates wisdom and flow

    Teacher: John Homewood
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 03 May 2020 - Tuesday 05 May 2020

    john homewood nov2019If you want sanity, then the focus of your life must be the present moment
    Looking for your identity in the past or for fulfillment in the future is madness - Eckhart Tolle

    John Homewood’s insightful wisdom teaching will help clear your mind of its emotional and mental attachment to, and ‘stuckness’ in the past and future, enabling you to move into Flow. This two-day extension of Awakening To Flow will deepen participants’ understanding and practical application of Flow. This retreat will be a deeper, intimate, transformative exploration; a clearing away of old mental cobwebs and inviting the potential of Awakened Flow into your life. Clear the blockages you carry in life, set yourself free and unleash the flow of abundance, love and the joy of living.

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    John Homewood is an international inspirational speaker, corporate trainer, personal growth facilitator and spiritual life coach. He is also an entrepreneur and founder of Wisdom to Nourish.  His early career in the corporate world was a steady climb from sales to senior management, and by the age of 30 he became a director of a publicly listed company before leaving to start his own business. 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.

08 May 2020
  • Under The Full Moon Of May: Wesak: The BRC - Forty years on

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 May 2020 - Sunday 10 May 2020

    louis van loon smlstephen coan oct2019Wesak is the most important day on the Buddhist calendar, commemorating the birth, enlightenment and death of the Buddha 2,500 years ago, and is traditionally held on the full moon of the lunar month of Vesakha (coincidental with May). This year Wesak has special significance for us at the Buddhist Retreat Centre as 2020 marks the fortieth year since the Centre opened its doors. As in the past, we will mark this festival with a programme of sitting and walking meditation, talks and reflections on aspects of the Buddha’s life and teachings and, in union with Buddhists around the world, a Wesak ceremony culminating in a candle-lit circumnambulation and traditional chanting. Please note: Apart from the talks and discussion periods this retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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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.

    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).

11 May 2020
  • Transforming Fear: How to turn stress and anxiety into well-being

    Teacher: Albert Buhr
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 11 May 2020 - Wednesday 13 May 2020

    Talbert buhr smlo reduce the suffering in the world, we need the skills to reduce our own. This workshop will teach you the practical, effective tools to do exactly that. Unless it is released, stress gets locked into our bodies, accumulating until it erupts in panic, aggression or illness. Only a bold and brave reorientation can heal the roots of the growing epidemic of anxiety and depression that psychiatry has failed to quell with its quick-fix suppression of symptoms. Deep relaxation is an art, and the doorway to profound bliss.

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    Albert Buhr travelled the world to learn the best methods for subduing the stress response, after he recovered from debilitating anxiety himself.  A former novice monk, he now runs workshops for people struggling with severe anxiety, and facilitates mindfulness programs in the corporate environment. As a member of Harvard's Langer Mindfulness Institute he has taken his workshops to an international audience. His book, Angel of Fear, was published in 2016.

15 May 2020
  • Meditation For Beginners: Learning the basics of meditation practice

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 May 2020 - Sunday 17 May 2020

    elizabeth gaywoodThis is an interactive retreat designed to help the “beginner” to understand and experience the basics of meditation practice. Meditation is a tool to transform the mind so that one’s life and experiences become more meaningful. This is achieved through simple, yet effective Mindfulness techniques as well as analytical meditation practices. Different techniques will be experienced so that retreatants can take with them tools to assist the transformative process in their daily-life. No prior knowledge of meditation is necessary. The retreat will be held in an atmosphere of silence and contemplation.

     

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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.

22 May 2020
  • Stress: The Disease Of Our Age - The Buddhist Way Out: Finding an effective way of dealing with stress

    Teacher: Melanie Polatinsky
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 May 2020 - Sunday 24 May 2020

    melanie polatinskyStress, tension, fatigue, nervous disorders, pressure, mental strain, sleeplessness, unrealistic expectations - and so many other symptoms - cause us intense suffering and a life without peace of mind. The tense situations that we experience are not the primary cause of our stress, but the realization that our state of mind is the primary creator of this gives us the way to a different, Buddhist view. Join us for a weekend of meditation and exploration to find a different pathway to dealing with stress effectively.

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    Melanie Polatinsky is a psychotherapist, and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, and has been empowered to teach by Lama Yeshe Rinpoche, Abbot of Samye Ling Monastery, in Scotland. She has worked, taught and conducted retreats in a variety of fields for the past 45 years. These include meditation, dream work, death and dying, bereavement, inner child work, relationships, karma and reincarnation, inner peace, the five Wisdoms, discovering your true potential, and many other Buddhist topics including a Dzogchen View of life. She has done several self-retreats in India at Palpung Sherabling Monastery. She runs a Tibetan Samye Dzong Centre in Johannesburg and is involved in ongoing teaching in the above fields as well as many aspects of Vajrayana practice. She also teaches a Bardo group to train people in the death and dying teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as extensive direct work with the dying and their families. She has a private practice in psychotherapy with a Buddhist approach.

29 May 2020
  • Yogis Live Longer: Hatha yoga for health and resilience

    Teacher: Christine Withiel and Howard Lipschitz
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 May 2020 - Sunday 31 May 2020

    christine withielehoward lipschitzHatha yoga is the balancing of the physical body, energetic body and the mind. Ha means sun and tha means moon. We all have solar and lunar energy within us. The solar energy is associated with the left side of the brain and is linked to dynamic energy, clear thinking, strength and positivity. The lunar energy is associated with cooling energy, creativity, rest and negativity. Bringing balance to these energies brings balance to all aspects of our life: physical, mental, energetic and emotional. In hatha yoga we use asana, pranayama, meditation and chanting to purify and balance these aspects as well as philosophy to give us understanding, direction and inspiration. When we are in balance, we navigate our way through the challenges of life with more ease and grace.

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    Christine Withiel is passionate about yoga and sharing its teachings. She and her husband, Howard, created the Jivananda Yoga Centre in Durban North in 2003. It is a beautiful space offering a refuge of peace and tranquility. Her yoga journey began over 30 years ago with meditation and philosophy, followed by asana (physical) practice in 1995 with Monica Fairall. She has been training teachers since 2005 and runs 200-hour Basic and 300-hour Advanced Yoga Teacher Training at the Jivananda Centre. She is a member of the 200 and 300-hour teacher training teams at Anand Prakash ashram in Rishikesh, India. As a director of the Township Yogi project, she trains and supports yoga teachers in the community. Christine and Howard travel to India every year to renew, to teach and to learn.

    Howard Lipschitz was introduced to Iyengar yoga in Israel 40 years ago where he trained in therapeutic yoga and sport for the disabled. He competed internationally in archery and practised karate and fencing until he found qigong (chi kung) which became his first love. He has practised and taught qigong (chi kung) for many years and leads a blend of qigong (chi kung) and yoga classes at the Jivananda Centre in Durban North.

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.

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    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.

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.

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    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.

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    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.

19 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

    Teacher: Klasie Wessels and Samantha Sparkes
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 June 2020 - Sunday 21 June 2020

    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. Logotherapy and existentialist analysis were developed by Dr Viktor Frankl - most famous for his book Man’s Search for Meaning. Frankl was practising as a neurologist and psychiatrist in Vienna when, as a Jew, he was sent to the concentration camps. There he refined his philosophy on discovering meaning in life despite suffering. This secular approach offers many parallels with that of Buddhist philosophy. The weekend workshop will include activities to assist participants to discover their own unique path to meaning both in their personal lives and at work.

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    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.

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.

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    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).

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    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.

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    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.

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    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: Rudene Gerber
    Cost: 2 days accommodation
    Dates: Monday 06 July 2020 - Wednesday 08 July 2020

    rudene 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.

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    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.

10 July 2020
  • Re-Storying Our Lives With Special Focus On Depression And Anxiety: Exploring a reconnection with well-being

    Teacher: Dominique Garnett
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 10 July 2020 - Sunday 12 July 2020

    dominique garnettStories and story-telling are what make us uniquely human. Amongst others, we have stories about health and wellness, nutrition, anxiety and depression. These words are all interwoven into complex stories that inform how we live our lives each day and how we feel embedded in our bodies. Sometimes those stories can entrap us and restrict us from living a full life. What if you don’t like the story you find yourself in? Or if there are alternate stories of health and wellness you need to hear? How have other people’s stories of the world - and specifically the story of depression and anxiety, health and wellness informed your own? This retreat is an invitation to look at our own personal stories as part of a much larger story of health and well-being and an opportunity to seek alternate stories as we explore new possibilities of being well. Also, to seek alternate meaning through engaging with new ideas, with special emphasis on depression and anxiety. Dominique will share new research with you, and offer a practical guide on how to take steps towards wellness.

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

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.

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    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.

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    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
  • Exploring The Practices Of Meditation, Prayer, Generous Giving And Fasting As Four Foundations Of Spiritual Life: Focusing on universal spiritual practice

    Teacher: Felicity Hart
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 24 July 2020 - Sunday 26 July 2020

    felicity hartWe will explore the practices of meditation, prayer, generous giving and fasting as four foundations of a spiritual life. Regardless of your current practice, this retreat will assist you to connect with these elements in a deeply personal way and support your unfolding spiritual path. If you are experiencing boredom or an absence of spirituality in your life, or are new to a spiritual path, this retreat can uplift and encourage you to re-connect and re-commit. If you have been practising for many years, but your practice has become dry and on “auto-pilot”, exploring these ancient foundations may infuse you with a sense of freshness and newness. You can expect a balance of lively learning and communication, quiet time for yourself spent in nature, gentle yoga and guided periods of meditation and reflection.

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    Felicity Hart Felicity Hart has a devoted meditation, prayer and yoga practice of over 30 years. 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 has extensive teaching experience. Her style has been described as interactive, intuitive, reflective, engaging and responsive. She is a gifted Bach Flower practitioner, using flower remedies to heal and support her clients.

29 July 2020
  • A Secular Buddhist Retreat: Towards a practice of care

    Teacher: Katrin Auf der Heyde
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 29 July 2020 - Sunday 02 August 2020

    katrin auf de heyde oct2019In this retreat we will explore how the Buddha’s teachings inspire a way of being in this world, at this time, in a way that is both caring and responsive. The retreat will consist of formal sitting practice interspersed with periods of walking and gentle movement to support an embodied experience. Silence will be maintained throughout.

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    Katrin Auf der Heyde has participated in various long term dharma programs, including the 6-month Karuna Foundation course, the CDPP (Gaia House) and Secular Dharma Program (Bodhi College). For many years she was involved with Dharmagiri Retreat Centre where she also taught meditation and yoga retreats. Trained by Martine Batchelor, Katrin 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.

     
     
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
  • A Taste Of Yoga And Zen: Yoga and Zen meditation practice

    Teacher: Jane Treffry-Goatley and Kevin Treffry-Goatley
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 October 2020 - Sunday 04 October 2020

    jane treffery goatelykevin treffry goatleyIn this retreat, we will practise yoga asanas and Zen meditation to show how the parallel paths of the Eight limbs of yoga and the Eight-fold path of Buddhism lead to the same end-purpose - to know ourselves and to help others. There will be sitting and walking meditation as well as an introduction to Zen chanting, together with sessions of active and restorative yoga to help us deepen our practices.

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    Jane Treffry-Goatley has practised yoga since her twenties. She is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher and teaches yoga at the Lotus Studio in Knysna. She has been a student of Zen practice for 18 years.

    Kevin Treffry-Goatley is a chemical engineer and a certified Zen Buddhist Dharma teacher with guiding teacher, Heila SSN of the Dharma Centre in Robertson. He teaches Zen practice and leads a Sangha in Knysna. In his teachings, his main interest is to develop the understanding and practices that will enhance the quality of the life experience of his students.

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
  • The Yoga of Self-Love: A spiritual exploration

    Teacher: Nerisha Maharaj
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 09 October 2020 - Sunday 11 October 2020

    nerisha maharajThe eternal, unbroken, natural state of abiding in the Self is jnana (wisdom)
    To abide in the Self, you must love the Self
    Since God is verily the Self, love of the Self is love of God
    And that is bhakti (Divine Love)
    - Sri Ramana Maharshi

    Self-Love is a topic that many of us avoid, yet it is one which has a profound impact on our happiness, effectiveness and spiritual growth as human beings. What is less well known, is how Self-Love integrates with spiritual teachings. Sadly, many of us have been taught quite the opposite, based on a misinterpretation of what Self-Love actually means, which has led to greater suffering in the world. Drawing on universal truths from various spiritual traditions, her experience as a scholar of ancient scriptures, and her academic and experiential research into Self-Love and Leadership, Nerisha will explore how Self-Love impacts our ability to lead ourselves and others toward greater well-being and spiritual evolution. We will explore the meaning of Self-Love in its highest expression, and how it is the very opposite of narcissism and selfishness. Unravelling what is Self and what is Love, we will understand that true Self-Love involves an expansion of compassion toward others rooted in a spiritual understanding of who we are. Working experientially, the retreat will include discourses, meditation, silent forest walks, yoga, and practical coaching techniques toward cultivating Self-Love.

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    Nerisha Maharaj is an author, yogi and international Leadership and Life Coach who brings together a unique blend of global expertise in the fields of spirituality, business and self-mastery. Using her experience in coaching, business leadership, the Enneagram and EQ profiling, meditation, yoga and ancient Eastern psychology, she aims to unleash the highest potential in her clients. She is a qualified Chartered Accountant, who has worked in New York, London and Botswana. She has an MBA in Advanced Leadership and Coaching, holds a Sanskrit Literacy certification, is a 200-hour certified yoga and meditation teacher, and has had the privilege of studying with wise monks. Her book, Self-Love: The Authentic Path to Conscious Leadership, is based on her published MBA research into the topic, which was the first academic research into self-love in the world at the time. She teaches Self-Love, Leader Evolution and Self-Mastery on the Executive MBA at the UCT Graduate School of Business annually and is the executive coach for a number of corporate and private clients. Nerisha finds her soul joy in the study of spiritual philosophy, the lives of great saints, and travels off the beaten path to sacred places in India. Visit: www.nerishamaharaj.com.

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
  • Welcoming The New Year With Compassion And Joy: New year at the BRC

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 30 December 2020 - Sunday 03 January 2021

    sue cooper oct2019In this 4-day Open the Heart and Still the Mind silent retreat we will reflect with kindness and compassion on the year which is ending, creating a space of possibility for new beginnings and joyful discovery, as we welcome the new year with an open and generous heart and mind at the beautiful BRC. In a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence, we will transform the self-critical, judgmental inner voices which keep us stuck in the past, so that we can discover that each breath offers the possibility of a new beginning and greater freedom. As we enter the new year with compassionate simplicity, inspired by Buddhist wisdom teachings and embodied and calming meditation practices which open the heart, we will remember what really matters on this wondrous path of awakening. 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 healing and integration of body, heart and mind. We will welcome the New Year with a ceremony which includes chanting and a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha rupa, and we will usher out the old year with an ancient Chinese temple gong. Please kindly be aware that as there is no teacher's fee for this retreat, your dana replaces the teacher's fee. CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: 24 General CEUs are applicable and R175 admin fee is requested to receive the CPD certificate. See: 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 at Somersault Studio (Clarement), Reunion Yoga and Meditation (Constantia) and Pranahouse (Gardens).

     

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 and Rudene Gerber
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 January 2021 - Sunday 10 January 2021

    alex lister jamescolin kemerydeborah donjeremy lister jamesmarc kressrudene gerberIt 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.

    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.