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Generosity and Gratitude

brcixopo stupa chantal flores B7B5418In one of his teachings, the Buddha enumerated the most noble sentiments we should endeavour to develop in our life. The first and foremost is Dana or Generosity because from that springs forth all other beautiful characteristics  such as kindness, forgiveness and virtue.  We should therefore be alert to situations that arouse these qualities in us and provide us with an opportunity to express them towards others. They then become habitual, effortless and spontaneous. Dictionaries offer a range of meanings for gratitude from thankfulness and a warm feeling towards a benefactor, to an acknowledgement of indebtedness. Such gratitude arises in us every time we receive gifts and donations from our supporters and visitors to the Centre. These feelings are rooted in the early traditions of all religions: that one is inclined to be grateful to religious institutions that offer a different, wider perspective on what is important in life - the meaningfulness of one's existence, along with the need to simply survive..

The Buddhist monastic order has now flourished for more than 2500 years on such goodwill and the generosity of the lay people with whom they had a mutually beneficial relationship. In the modern world, this same spirit of goodwill has been directed towards retreat centres such as the BRC.  Indeed, we have  been moved by the gifts and donations that have flowed to the Centre this past year. We therefore take this opportunity to express our thanks to all those friends who regard the BRC as their spiritual home and want to ensure its longevity. Your generosity generated R18,000.00 in Dana to Woza Moya, the welfare organisation which the BRC supports, and which, in turn, supports the community of Chibini. Your Dana to our teachers allows them to keep the Dharma wheels turning at the Centre and allows the BRC to offer the wide range of retreats from silent meditation and mindfulness retreats to yoga, art and chi kung and much more.

With the Paid-Up-Yogi and Sangha Friends’ contributions, we were able to upgrade the ladies’ bathroom in the Lodge, install a tea station in its foyer for those hot cups of milo on chilly nights, and tile the stoep. We also renewed the canvas to the parasol of the terrace umbrella. Pam Evans very generously sponsored the beautiful granite server in the kitchen, and topped that with a lovely new coffee plunger, soft new pillows and towels, while Anne-Marie Nel donated stylish new cotton duvet covers. Chris Dalzell arrived with a truck-load of indigenous trees for the new forest being cultivated above the vegetable garden and Alex de la Rouviere donated a beautiful Sikkhim silk scarf to Louis to wear during the Chinese Tea Ceremony. The new high-back oak chairs in the Zendo were donated by Patricia Usher and Peter Kloppers. Rosemary Turner installed a beautiful bench in the gardens in memory of the late Bill Chalmers.

Additional PUY contributions and donations made by Nikki Milich, Ileana Dimitriu, Brendon Small, Brad Celliers, Rodger Walters, Jack Schmitter, Brett Lewis, Ingrid Adams, Bobby Forssman, Gustav Hasselskog and Mercia Sevnarin.These have enabled us to continue with pending projects such as reducing our Eskom bills by installing LED lights and refurbishing the men’s bathroom in the Lodge.

Our library continues to be updated by Ans van der Walt. We so appreciate her dedication, and share her delight when she receives new books, some of which have been donated by Tsunma Tsondru and Christine Currie. Our photo gallery has swelled with stunning pics from Andrew Brown, Lennart Erikson and Tsunma Tsondru. Grateful thanks to Beena and Brendon Hatcher of BrilliantWeb for their technical support, Rob Pooley for keeping our bees happy and Tokozani Nene for his wise counsel and friendship. Resounding thanks must go to our dedicated Committee members - Rene Stephenson, Pam Evans, Chris Dalzell, Rob Havemann, Alex De La Rourviere and Rosemary Turner - their commitment and focus made the Silent Auction the success that it was: R120,000.00 was raised from all our donors’ contributions.

Our dedicated BRC team - Lien Duvenage, Jenni Riddell, Colin Kemery, June Atkinson and our new chef, Rose Gelderblom - deserve a special mention. We salute and thank them for their commitment,  friendship and help in running the BRC so smoothly. Ray Vogel, in his inimitable way, made a wonderful contribution during his two month return to the Centre. Credit too must go to our talented cooks, Lindiwe Ngobo, Dudu Memela, and Lungi Mbona;  to our maintenance expert, Mdu Makodi, and to Engakheni Mbanjwa who does such sterling job in overseeing our accommodation. Without them, our teachers our supporters, the Centre would not be the flourishing entity it is. 

Thank you all! 

Chrisi

Thanks for your support

brcixopo protea buddha campher 009

Many thanks to all our BRC friends for supporting our Silent Auction fund-raiser. 
A magnificent total of R101,000.00 was raised as a result of all your generous bidding. We cannot thank you enough! Additional thanks must go to our wonderful Committee members: Rene and Neil Stephenson, Pam Evans and Rosemary Turner and loyal friend Rob Havemann for all their hard work in making the auction happen. Grateful thanks too must go to all the donors who contributed the beautiful items so willingly for the auction and also the friends who made cash donations.

Gratitude

outside meditation hall buddhaIn one of his teachings, the Buddha enumerated what he considered to be the most noble sentiments we should endeavour to develop.  The first and foremost amongst them is Dana or Generosity: from that springs forth all other beautiful characteristics we are capable of, such as kindness, forgiveness and virtue.  We should therefore be alert to situations that arouse these qualities in us and provide us with an opportunity to express them towards others. They then become habitual; effortless; spontaneous. Dictionaries offer a range of meanings for this word - from thankfulness and a warm feeling towards a benefactor, to an acknowledgement of indebtedness.  Indeed, these emotions arise continuously in us every time we receive gifts and donations from our supporters and visitors to the Centre. These feelings are rooted in the early traditions of all religions: that one is inclined to be grateful to religious institutions that offer a different, wider perspective on what is important in life - the meaningfulness of one's existence along with the need to simply survive.

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Sangha Projects: September 2016

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas (Perfections) and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gives rise to the other quintessential qualities of virtue. This altruism is evident in the way our patrons and donors respond so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre - needs that are not catered for in the rates we (reluctantly) charge for food and accommodation.

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Sangha Projects: January 2016

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas (Perfections) and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gives rise to the other quintessential qualities of virtue. This altruism is evident in the way our patrons and donors respond so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre - needs that are not catered for in the rates we (reluctantly) charge for food and accommodation. 

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Sangha Projects: June 2015

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas (Perfections) and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gives rise to the other quintessential qualities of virtue. This altruism is evident in the way our patrons and donors respond so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre - needs that are not catered for in the rates we (reluctantly) charge for food and accommodation. 

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Sangha Projects: December 2014

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas (Perfections) and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gives rise to the other quintessential qualities of virtue. This altruism is evident in the way our patrons and donors respond so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre - needs that are not catered for in the rates we (reluctantly) charge for food and accommodation. Thank you to Dave Paterson, Kim Darke, Linda Van der Nest, Melanie Wicks, Barbara Day, Annegret Rood, Peter Wellman, R. Brownath, Rosemary Turner, Stephen Coan, Antony Lavoipierre, Pam Evans, Kushy Ramjathan and Jack Schmitter, for your continued generosity which has enabled the ongoing refurbishment and upgrading of the Centre.

The treasured Bodhi (“Enlightenment”) Tree, donated by the Myanmar Buddhist Association, is flourishing in our Buddha Boma thanks to Chris Dalzell who has  sourced the other seven trees associated with the Buddha’s life and teaching, and to our Patrons Annegret Rood, Dena van der Berg, Gerrit and Helen Vogel, Rob Haveman and Verna du Preez who helped make this project possible.    We need to particularly single out Dave Paterson who has taken on the Boma project with gusto and expertise, and enabled the central pavilion to be set out under his supervision, and the supporting columns to be erected.  Next year we will see much more progress on the roof, the rock garden, and the waterfall and lotus pond – hopefully in time for the Boma’s opening at the most important event in the Buddhist calendar:  Wesak in May.

Thank you everybody!                                              

Chrisi

Sangha Projects - July 2014

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas, and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gave rise to the other quintessential qualities of morality. This altruism is so evident in the way our patrons and donors have responded so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre. Thank you to Kim Darke, Linda Van der Nest, Melanie Wicks, Barbara Day, Annegret Rood, Colleen Trotter, Peter Wellman, R. Brownath, Rosemary Turner, Stephen Coan,  Antony Lavoipierre, Jack Schmitter, Sandra Kloppers and Ian Chambler for your continued generosity which has enabled the ongoing refurbishment and upgrading of the Centre.

Dana (generosity) is a well-known sentiment in the Buddhist Eastern countries, and a natural response to the needs of the monasteries and centres like ours. We are always humbled by the abundance of gifts from retreatants who have made the BRC their spiritual home. Grateful thanks to Rosemary Turner in finessing the bungalow, Malcolm Powell for the book on eradicating aliens and his stunning pics,  Jeannine Stafford for her generosity to Woza Moya, Nelhi Harrison for the wonderful selection of Buddhist books to our library, so ably and proficiently maintained by Ans Van der Walt, and gifts from Devlin Lindeque, and Dave Paterson. The office is thriving, thanks to all the new computer equipment facilitated by Pam Evans. The resonant, big gong sourced and donated by Carlos Dos Santos has been installed, and the generous gift of garden tools from John Bulteel, so welcome. Thank you too to Shane and Lisa Platt for designing the beautiful cover to the CD of Music for Yoga and to Ken Gaze for the indigenous trees.


We were blessed to receive a treasured Bodhi tree and votive Stupa from the Myanmar Buddhist Association, facilitated by Paddy Maharaj and Dr Soe Thein. The delivery and planting of the Bodhi tree was a labour of love, supervised by Chris Dalzell, that required focus and a generous heart and spirit. We are happy to report that the tree is thriving in the Buddha Boma.


Thank you everybody!

Chrisi

Sangha Projects: July 2013

Generosity is the first of the Paramitas, and the most highly praised of the Buddha’s teachings, because it gave rise to the other quintessential qualities of morality. This altruism is so evident in the way our patrons and donors have responded so spontaneously to the needs of the Centre. Thank you to Iris Bornman, Kim Darke, Linda Van der Nest, Melanie Wicks, Barbara Day, Annegret Rood, Colleen Trotter, Peter Wellman, Rosemary Turner, Stephen Coan, and Antony Lavoipierre for your continued generosity which has enabled the refurbishment of the Lodge and Room 20.

Dana (generosity) is a well-known sentiment in the Buddhist Eastern countries, and a natural response to the needs of the monasteries and centres like ours. We are always humbled by the abundance of gifts from retreatants who have made the BRC their spiritual home. Grateful thanks to  generous donations from Charmaine Goott, Nicki Janssens, Katrin Auf Der Heyde; also for  the wonderful Le Cruset baking dish for our kitchen from Diana Vives, and the magnanimous donation of paint from Lianne Van Niekerk to complete the painting of the  exterior of the Lodge.

We were blessed to receive hundreds of indigenous trees, sourced by Izolde Mellet, which were transported by MCM Construction. Thank you Carlos Dos Santos for this kind gesture, and also for donating the big gong.

Whenever Kushy Ramjathan is at the Centre, it is like Christmas! Her breyani is famous! Through her, the BRC was the recipient of towels and linen from Baboo Soni, cleaning materials from Kleenline, groceries from Aroshan Mohanlal and Mr Badat, as well as a ton of yoghurt from Honeydew. Iris Bornman, Linda Ireland and Nelhi Harrison donated books on Buddhism to our library, so proficiently maintained by Ans Van der Walt. Max Weier donated copies of his new book The Qigong Way from body to energy consciousness.

Thank you Geeta Maharaj for your very generous gift of a stove.

Chris Dalzell has sourced the 8 trees associated with the Buddha’s life and teachings, and Pam Evans has financed the boardwalk, so the Buddha Boma is underway, having been marked out by Richard Norris.

Thank you – everybody!                                                

Chrisi

Sangha Projects News - Dec 2012

It really feels good to know that you are one of those for whom the BRC has become a major spiritual focus and to which you feel closely connected. It is vindication of a belief and a vision Louis had some 40  years ago when those three hills in Ixopo were first acquired for retreat purposes – long before there was anyone interested in the dhamma in South Africa – let alone in meditation practice!

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