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Who would like to live and work at the Buddhist Retreat Centre?

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We often reach a cross-road in our life when we need a change of direction. The Buddhist Retreat Centre provides such an opportunity for visitors to do so. And occasionally, an opportunity arises when one can join our resident staff and live in a beautiful country environment.

Staff manage our administration, maintain our buildings and extensive gardens and oversee our vegetarian kitchen. The applicant must be mature and sociable, a non-smoker, able and willing to get along with people, enjoy living in the rural environment of the Ixopo hills and be sympathetic to Buddhist philosophy. Staff have the opportunity to meet an array of interesting people, participate in retreats and meditation courses conducted by a stellar panel of local and international teachers.

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You are invited to our AGM

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The 38th Annual General Meeting of 
The Buddhist Institute of South Africa
Wednesday July 25 2018 @ 19h30
to be held at the home of Chrisi & Louis van Loon, 
24 Bemersyde Road, off Stephen Dlamini (Essenwood) Road Durban.
Please RSVP for catering: 0824668306

Gracious Praise and Reflections

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For over 20 years of my visits the retreat has cradled me, whichever mood I am in. The home baked bread and honey remain a comfort in a kitchen that brings my grandmother's memories to life. (At home I cook from the coffee table quality BRC cook books.) The coming together of Nature, Art, Science and Spirit at this place where Alan Paton's hills unfold, makes it a place where folks from all faiths, and none, are welcome. Spirit is spacious here.

Mari Pete: 07.10.2017

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Mossy Buddhas

mossy buddhaThe Buddha statue at the BRC has an interesting story. The idea of constructing it occurred to me when I travelled widely in the East during the 1950’s and 60’s where I came across the majestic ruined remains of the ancient Buddhist monastic cities, built centuries before the Christian era - such as you find in India, Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka. They had been vandalised by hordes of antagonistic invaders who used the sculptures to vent their hatred of religions other than their own - much as Napolean’s soldiers did to the sphinxes guarding Egyptian pyramids when they used them as targets in rifle shooting practice. It happened again during the Crusades and the Reformation and, recently, when the Taliban went berserk in the Middle East.

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"Plentiful - The Big Book Of Buddha Food" launched in December

"Quiet Food" became more vocal in the "Cake The Buddha Ate", which was eaten to the last crumb. The Ixopo food story continues with the BRC's third recipe book, "Plentiful -  The Big Book Of Buddha Food" launched in Durban on Thursday 8 December at Adams Musgrave bookstore.

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International Zen teacher: David Loy at the BRC

david-loyBook early for “Awakening from the illusion of separateness: a Zen retreat” led by international Zen teacher, David Loy, from December 20-27. “To study the Buddha Way is to study yourself. To study yourself is to forget yourself. To forget yourself is to realise your intimacy with all things.” Read more about the retreat here.

We are here to overcome the illusion of our separateness” Thich Nhat Hanh

 Friends, this is an invitation to a public talk or retreat over the Christmas and New-Year Season with leading edge philosopher David Loy. Do listen to a short interview here with David where he talks about the interface of inner transformation through spiritual practice and a world in crisis.

David is an esteemed American Buddhist author, philosopher, activist and teacher. He trained in the Sanbo Zen tradition of Japanese Buddhism and a professor of Buddhist Studies. His articles appear regularly in journals such as Tricycle and Buddhadharma, and his latest book is A New Buddhist Path: Enlightenment, Evolution and Ethics in the Modern World. David’s other books include, Money, Sex, War, Karma and The World is Made of Stories.

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“Sumie: Make the brush dance and the ink sing” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 29, 30 October.

bambooIn the wake of his successful courses, Louis is offering another weekend of Japanese brushpainting.

Louis has conducted traditional Japanese brush painting courses in Ixopo and Cape Town for many years.  Following many requests, he has just started a four-weekend course in Durban with an appreciative group of students.  He has now been asked to offer an introductory 3-day course in this fascinating ancient Eastern art, using the traditional tools: deer hair brushes and ink made of pine soot.  You will learn the basic strokes the brush is capable of making and the shades of grey the ink can produce to depict the character of our natural environment – in landscape, plants, flowers and trees.

Dates: 29, 30 October 2016.
Cost: R800 - includes a set of sample paintings and the hire of a set of brushes, ink and rubbing slate.  A set of brushes, ink and slate can be purchased at a cost of R700 

 

“Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 11-13 November.

venpiyadassimahatharaIf you can hand-write a letter, you can sketch – it is as simple as that. “Sketch what you see” in Durban with Louis van Loon: 11-13 November.
Pen and ink sketching is a very rewarding skill to acquire. Yet, no special talent is required. Louis will take you from the stage where you claim that you “can’t draw a straight line”,  through some elementary exercises in “Seeing-Drawing”,   such as still-lives and interiors,  to figure studies and portraits. You will be encouraged to simply  notice what something looks like from where you are viewing it - and draw it like that. You will then be able to take your sketch pad and pen anywhere and draw anything that takes your fancy. You will be truly present in where you are.  For enquiries for his Durban course: louis@vanloon.co.za

The accidental Buddhist scholar

During the 1960’s, the Departments of Religious Studies and Philosophy at South African universities arranged a series of public lectures on ethical subjects, such as euthanasia, professional secrecy, suicide and so on.  I was then practicing as an architect and civil engineer, but was also an enthusiastic student of eastern philosophy - in particular, Buddhism.   I noticed that the lecturers were largely ignorant of the teachings of the Buddha.  I therefore made contributions to the debates from a Buddhist perspective, from the floor, as a member of the audience.  I felt that it could add a vital element to our understanding of how religions and philosophies can throw a useful perspective on contemporary social problems.

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SHIBUIE: The Accident of Beauty

An introduction to Japanese Brush Painting (Sumi-e) & Raku Pottery

Join renowned potter Anthony Shapiro and Louis van Loon, founder of The Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo in this fascinating experience of Shibuie - a form of art that relies as much on unpredictable natural processes as it does on the artist directing them.

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