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  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 10 December 2021 - Sunday 12 December 2021

    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.

     
  • Shibuie - When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Sumie and Raku – Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Ingrid Adams and Jess Merle
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 12 December 2021 - Thursday 16 December 2021

    ingrid adamsjess merleShibuie - When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Sumie and Raku - Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Shibuie 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. Ingrid will teach the classical Japanese brush painting techniques (Sumie) as these are applied to traditional subjects, such as landscape, bamboo and flower studies - as well as 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. Jess 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!

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    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.

    Jess Merle has been passionate about clay since her first ceramics class in 2010. Her journey with clay continued as she specialised in ceramics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, and completed her Masters in 2016. Being able to share the joys and excitement of the ceramic process is something she is passionate about. As a practising ceramist, she is especially interested in hands-on, low-tech firing techniques such as saggar firing and pit firing.

  • Doing your own thing: Self Retreat

    Teacher:
    Cost: 3 days accommodation
    Dates: Thursday 16 December 2021 - Sunday 19 December 2021

    6The BRC is a beautiful, quiet and sympathetic space where you can experience meaningful aloneness, get in touch with yourself, reflect on the things that crowd your life and chart new directions.  Enjoy walks and bird- watching in 300 acres of rolling hills, parklands and indigenous valleys and forests. Meditate, learn some Chi Kung and Yoga, and savour our delicious vegetarian food.  There is a great library of tapes, CD’s, DVD’s and books. Experienced staff members are available to give advice – if you want it.  Visit the Stupa and our raked Zen Gardens, walk the Labyrinth, and experience the beauty of the Deer Forest.

     
  • Stalking The Moment: Being Home 24/7 - Christmas At The BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R450 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 23 December 2021 - Sunday 26 December 2021

    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.

  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R450 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 29 December 2021 - Sunday 02 January 2022

    tsunma tsondruThe spiritual life is first of all a life. It is not merely something to be known and studied, it is to be lived - Thomas Merton

    New Year is a good time of the year to take stock and contemplate our moment-to-moment, here-and-now reality in all its fullness. It’s a traditional time for clarifying our motivations, and for starting afresh with new intentions. A time, in other words, to reboot the system. Give yourself the gift of time over this New Year period to collect the Three Wise Medicines of gratitude, ahimsa and contentment, to reflect on the past year, and uncover how you can best live your life in the coming year. During this time together we will let our body, speech and mind fall silent through the practice of meditation and silence. In working with the Three Wise Medicines, there will also be time for writing and contemplation, walking and ceremony especially outside in nature. We will welcome the New Year with a lantern-lit perambulation around the Buddha, chanting, ringing out the old year with an ancient Chinese temple gong and welcoming the New Year with a Tibetan bell.

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a 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 is now its Executive Director. She spent a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s “Work That Connects”, which she has offered in Cape Town. 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.

  • Time To Focus And Tune Into 2022: Gently kickstart the new year with an ashram-style retreat offering qigong (chi kung), hatha yoga, chanting and meditation and healing therapies

    Teacher: Deborah Don, Kugan Naidoo and Colin Kemery
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 January 2022 - Sunday 09 January 2022

    deborah donkugan naidoo lotuscolin kemeryIt 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 2022, this largely unstructured weekend will prove useful. Experience sunrise qigong (chi kung), gentle hatha yoga sessions 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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    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 five years. She offers aromatherapy, energy balance and sound therapy, self-esteem coaching and foot, back and neck healing therapies.

    Kugan Naidoo has studied Yoga and more especially Hatha yoga (asana) informally since 1988. He has taught in Ashrams and temples on a very basic level, free of charge. His formal training began in 2014 and culminated in his 300 hr Yoga Teacher Training qualification. He holds a diploma in Yoga and certification from Yoga Alliance and co-organizes the International Day Of Yoga in Durban. He presents Yoga For The Wellness Series on a National Television channel and has been featured on radio programmes to share his knowledge.

    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 has been a Buddhist and yoga practitioner for 42 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.

  • Vipassana Meditation: How to realise ever-present mindfulness

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 14 January 2022 - Sunday 16 January 2022

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg 2020Thoughts 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 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 and currently manage and teach at the Tisarana Vipassananusorn Meditation Centre in Prague.

  • A Vipassana Retreat: The search for truth

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 16 January 2022 - Thursday 20 January 2022

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg 2020You 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.

  • The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

    Teacher: John Lockley and Nomusa Mthembu
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 January 2022 - Monday 24 January 2022

    john lockleynomsa mthembuParticipants 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 21 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's 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.

    Nomusa Mthembu has been a traditional healer and Sangoma since 2001. She lives in the Chibini community where she meets monthly with other traditional healers for traditional ceremonies. She has been a valued BRC staff member for twenty-one years.

  • Healing Qigong For Health And Vitality

    Teacher: Dr Hu Jin-Yun
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 January 2022 - Sunday 30 January 2022

    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 and incorporate it into their daily lives, effortlessly. These techniques are easy to learn, are useful and powerful. The healing power of qigong 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 some 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 previously.

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    Dr Hu Jin-Yun is a certified Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor in China. He is a registered Acupuncture Practitioner at the AHSPCA, as well as the BHF in South Africa. He received his PhD Degree in medicine from the Heilongjiang Chinese Medicine University in China. Apart from his medical and academic studies, Dr Hu has been practising Tai-Chi Quan, and Qigong in Taiwan since 1995. He currently lives in Somerset West in the Cape. He has his own private TCM clinic, the Helderberg Acupuncture And Healing Centre, where he practises this ancient art form of Traditional Chinese healing. He regularly presents seminars to the SAACMA (South African Association of Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture) and has been lecturing at the Juniata College in America since 2013.