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Detailed List of Retreats

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

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

Online events

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

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

To make a donation for online events, please use:

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

Retreat
23 October 2020
  • Qigong Retreat

    Teacher: Di Franklin
    Cost: 2 days' accomodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 October 2020 - Sunday 25 October 2020

    di franklinQigong can be loosely translated as the movement of energy. Qi is the energy derived from nature that is always around us. Using 6,000 year old movements, we can tap into this energy and thereby energise ourselves. Qigong exercises are slower than aerobics, but faster than tai chi. There will also be free time to relax and rest, and to take in the beauty of the BRC.

    View teacher details
    Dianne Franklin is an Advocate in private practice. She has been studying Buddhism and Qigong for twenty years. She is a student of Max Weier, the Qigong Master from Switzerland. Her teachers include Rob Nairn, Geshe Pende and Ken Holmes.

     
24 October 2020
  • Yinsight Yoga: Yin Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation (online)

    Teacher: Despina Forbes
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC during the COVID-19 lockdown
    Dates: Saturday 24 October 2020 08:00am - 09:30am

    despina forbesYin yoga and meditation can be experienced as a practice of cultivating well-being. Combining the practices of Yin yoga and mindfulness meditation creates powerful possibilities for insight, transformation and healing on all layers of being - body, mind, and heart. Yin yoga combines aspects of Hatha yoga, the concept of the modern meridian theory in Chinese medicine, Taoism and mindfulness meditation practice. It is designed to improve the flow of chi/prana (the vital energy of the body) through the energetic channels (or meridians) to improve overall emotional well-being, joint mobility, immunity and organ health. Yin yoga supports a quiet, slow, nourishing and grounded practice. When we cultivate the skill of awareness during meditation with an attitude of kind curiosity and notice the experience for what it is, we can pause, acknowledge and respond in an appropriate way. Cultivating the skill of awareness opens us to possibility, conscious choice and space to create paths for growth, insight and joy.

    24 October | 8:00-9:30am Register

    View teacher details
    Despina Forbes has been guided by the principles of karuna (compassion), maitri (friendship), ahimsa  (non-harm) and satya (truthfulness) to name a few. In facilitating well-being, she draws from nature, mindfulness or heartfulness, psychology, yoga, neuroscience and soundwork as modalities for cultivating healthy change. She is a psychologist, mindfulness and yoga practitioner in Durban North and KwaZulu Natal, and is interested in cultivating sustainable well-being in youth and adults,  embracing the wonder and mystery of this human experience. She is a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programme practitioner and has trained and practised internationally, attended mindfulness trainings and programmes with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, the Centre for Mindfulness and Research in Bangor and The Mindfulness In Schools project, UK.  She teaches mindfulness based programmes to children and teens in school as well as adults. She undertook the 200-hour Yoga teacher training under the guidance of Christine Withiel at Jivananda Centre For Well-Being  in 2016 and furthered her 300-hour training with Yogrishi Vishvekthu, Akhanda Yoga in Rishikesh, India, in 2019.

26 October 2020
  • Unleash Your Potential Within – You Are More Powerful Than You Know

    Teacher: Storm Porteous and Lisa Armstrong
    Cost: 3 days' accomodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 26 October 2020 - Thursday 29 October 2020

    storm porteouslisa armstrongIn this retreat we will learn simple techniques validated by neuroscience, micro-biology and quantum physics to shift the perception of your reality. We will explore different ways to redesign your future and quantum-jump onto your highest available timeline. By using different modalities such as yoga, meditation, breath work, Quantum Healing Hypnosis Technique, Body Talk, Psych-K , Neuro-linguistic Programming (NLP), Time Line Therapy, Life Coaching, Group Regression and Fractal Psychology, we have put together a workshop - to dive into and play - to help release limiting beliefs and blockages.

    View teacher details
    Storm Porteous helps people reach their full potential - which may have become inhibited by having to deal with the many stresses and challenges life throws at us. She uses a variety of healing modalities such as yoga and art, life coaching, meditation and hypnotherapy.

    Lisa Armstrong abandoned her career in finance to follow her love of nature. The magnetic call of the ocean led her to scuba diving and a deep desire to share a different perspective of life with others. After establishing and operating an Eco Lodge in Mozambique, her passion for exploring and understanding the frontiers of human consciousness drew her on a path of self-discovery, studying yoga, kinesiology, Psych-k, Quantum Healing Hypnosis, Fractal Psychology, breathwork, quantum physics, neuroscience and microbiology. She has an intuitive understanding that we are each gifted with the potential to be anything and to do anything without exception.

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.

    View teacher details
    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
  • A Yin Yoga Retreat

    Teacher: Jennifer Chapman
    Cost: 2 days accomodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 06 November 2020 - Sunday 08 November 2020

    jen chapmanJoin Jennifer in taking it slowly, and aligning your body with your mind and emotions. During this restorative Yin yoga retreat, we will rest and stretch, and flow calmly from one posture into another.

    View teacher details
    Jennifer Chapman is the founder of the Astanga Studio, in Kloof, Natal. From the  age of 12, she  was encouraged by her ballet teacher to take up yoga.  Dance has always been her heart song and yoga became intertwined in the dance of her heart. She has taught yoga in Mauritius, the Caribbean, Cozumel, New York and in  South Africa and trained in Mysore, India. She has done  various teacher trainings in Astanga in  South Africa and Mexico, and in Children’  Yoga,  AcroVinyasa Bali and Budokon. Her passion is to share the yoga path with others to find their joy and strength.

     
11 November 2020
  • Fully Human Activism: The way of gentle activists who make a difference

    Teacher: Graham Williams
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 11 November 2020 - Friday 13 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.

    View teacher details
    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.

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.

    View teacher details
    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.

14 November 2020
  • Transition Online For Women: Would you like to transition beyond current challenges into a better place than you were before?

    Teacher: Monique Beekman
    Cost: Donation directly to Monique
    Dates: Saturday 14 November 2020 - Sunday 20 December 2020

    (maximum 10 participants)

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

    Have you been feeling lost, blocked or stuck?

    Transition Online is designed to support you through the effects of the emotional and mental challenges you have experienced during 2020 in a way that resolves even age old trauma and transforms not only your present, but also your future...
    'To have what you do not yet have, you have to go where you have not yet been. There is no other way!'
    With this in mind, we are thrilled to bring you Transition Online to deeply and profoundly resolve relevant and related issues...

    Part 1: Saturday 14, 21, 28 November
    (a) Register for Session A: 7-8.30/9am 

    OR on the same dates

    (b) Register for Session B: 10-11.30/12


    Part 2 & 3: Sat & Sun 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 December

    (a) Register for Session A: 7-8.30/9am 

    OR on the same dates

    (b) Register for Session B: 10-11.30/12

    Registrants please note:

    To be part of this workshop: 

    1. AFTER registration please immediately email Monique at naturallyhealinternational@gmail.com to confirm your attendance.
    2. And she will send you the prep video
    3. Also send her your WhatsApp number for important posts that only get posted in the group chat. Send your whatsapp number immediately please, so you can be added to the confirmed list for the group which is opened a few days before the workshop begins.
    4. Please be on time for the sessions and turn on video & audio as this is an interactive experience and won't be recorded.
    5. Have fun in this deeply transformational experience!

    Clear your energy field, mind and emotions & move into 2021 with renewed clarity, purpose & enthusiasm for life.

    Please make payments to http://paypal.me/MoniqueSky1

    Or EFT to:
    Account holder: Monique Beekmann
    Institutions name: Nedbank 
    Branch code:196005
    Account type: Current/Cheque
    Account number: 112 435 3240

    View teacher details
    Monique's love of facilitating groups to a place of inner well-being, began with teaching Reiki over 20 years ago. She trained Reiki Masters in JHB, KZN, the Cape, Gauteng and the Netherlands. Aside from her studies since then, and her experience and evolution over 27 years as an Ethno-psychologist, continuous self-development also forms a very important part of the foundation of her skills and abilities. This combination enables her to relate to your journey in a very real way, and as an Empath, to effectively & empathetically support you on your journey.

  • An Introduction To Somatic Movement (online)

    Teacher: Lisa Firer
    Cost: Donation to support the BRC
    Dates: Saturday 14 November 2020 04:00pm - 05:30pm

    lisa firerJoin Lisa for a taster of somatic movement. These gentle and mindful body-based practices help release chronic tension and pain, reduce stress and develop compassionate awareness of your body.

    Leave the session with a few movements to take away and join the in-person retreat at the BRC next year to learn more.

    4:00-5:30pm | Register

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

     
15 November 2020
  • The Courage To Be With What Is? The practice of Buddhist Psychotherapy

    Teacher: Jason Ross
    Cost: 3 days' accommodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 15 November 2020 - Wednesday 18 November 2020

    jason ross oct2019After gaining some insight into the true nature of our problems, we are often left with the sense of “What can I do about it?” Buddhist Psychology encourages that it is through the ability to “be with what is” that true solace lies. As a follow-up from the weekend theory, meditation and discussions, Jason invites you to embark on a more in-depth therapy process of intensive sitting, writing and therapeutic conversations. This will include a move from a foundation of Vipassana practice to an exploration of Korean Zen methods.

    View teacher details
    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.

  • Zen Pen (online)

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhof
    Cost: R450 to assist the BRC financially. For payment please reference as ZenPen
    Dates: Sunday 15 November 2020 09:30am - 12:45pm

    dorian haarhof 2019Looking at your image in a clear stream,
    you answer the question by your very presence

    I invite you to a zoom Zen Pen wordshop. Why Zen Pen?

    Zen (Chinese chán ‘quietude’) invites us to be present, to live and write simply.
    Pen (Latin penna ‘feather’) refers to both practising the art of writing and to the implements we use for writing. It also invites us to play in a safe place - as in playpen.

    In this wordshop we explore the connection between writing and meditation. Both these states of grace slow us down so we can live in the moment. They increase our awareness and wake us up. We look with new eyes and hear with new ears. We write and meditate on the many changes and transformations we experience as we journey along the river of our lives. We consider how creativity steadies the boat and how writing helps us dip the oars into dark water so we may navigate the river safely. Read more...

    Register

    View teacher details
    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. For 25 years the BRC has enriched his life and practice. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness. To bring healing. To guide us into the here and now. To build our belonging. A former Professor of English in Namibia, Dorian’s retreats are based on his workbook, The Writer’s Voice. His poetry appears in Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate. When he grows up he’d like to be Poet Dorieate of his spiritual home - the BRC.

20 November 2020
  • Release, Relax And Restore - With Yoga

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 November 2020 - Sunday 22 November 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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.

    View teacher details
    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”.

    View teacher details
    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating qigong (chi kung) in her practice, together with sitting and walking meditation. She has attended retreats at the Buddhist Retreat Centre for 30 years. In her professional life, Alex is a Health Professional in private practice, focusing on the health of women and children.

    Jeremy Lister-James has been involved in the sustainability sphere for the last 15 years. His vision is the possibility of a world in which humans and other life will flourish on earth forever. He strives to do no harm, rather than less harm, starting with a range of reflective practices aimed at flourishing. These foster an individual awareness of connectedness and the need for caring - for self, others and the world. One such practice is tai chi-qigong (chi kung).

11 December 2020
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

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

    ian weinbergIn a series of talks and Mindfulness meditation sessions, we will explore the chemistry which mediates the effects of mind states on the body: psychoneuroimmunology or PNI. The talks and demonstrations will show that we can attain optimal wellness and performance by getting to know our temperament and personality traits; by being more present-minded; and through sensible, informed ways of living and behaving. 

    View teacher details
    Ian Weinberg is a consultant neurosurgeon by profession and a pioneer in the science of applied psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). His Triangles Model© became the cornerstone for PNI instruction and intervention. A significant proportion of these interventions reflect traditional Buddhist principles. He is consulted widely both by private and corporate individuals in the implementation of wellness and performance-enhancing strategies. His book Leading with Conscious Awareness: A narrative of personal insights published by Conscious Companies/South Africa was launched in 2018. See: www.neuronostic.com.

     
18 December 2020
  • Shibuie: When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Seeing with deep-seeing eyes - Sumie and Raku: Japanese brush painting and pottery

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Ingrid Adams and Georgina Calder
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 December 2020 - Tuesday 22 December 2020

    louis van loon smlingrid adamsgeorgina calderShibuie 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.

    View teacher details
    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.

    Georgina Calder has a Masters degree in fine art from the University of KwaZulu Natal and specialized in ceramics, glass and display/exhibition setup. She is currently Head of Design at Pinetown Boys' High School. She loves sharing the magic of ceramic alchemy and helping people to grow in their artistic endeavours. She practises yoga and  loves being in the outdoors with her  two dogs and two cats.

23 December 2020
  • Stalking The Moment: Being at home 24/7: Christmas at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 23 December 2020 - Saturday 26 December 2020

    tsunma tsondruBe here now. Rest in the moment. Catch the ungraspable moment. How do we do that when life keeps tumbling us along like a sand grain in a river? When all is in dizzying motion, where is 'the moment’, where is ‘here’? Take time out at the BRC over Christmas to slow down into the moment. You can find your true home in the here-now. With sitting and walking meditation, we will stalk the elusive moment. We will discover how to recognise our 'home', and we will see that we are in fact at home always. The retreat will be held in Noble Silence, with time for journaling, reflection, and fireside talks.

    View teacher details
    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a molecular biologist, lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and as its Executive Director. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts done by Penny Urquhart.

30 December 2020
  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year: New year at the BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 30 December 2020 - Sunday 03 January 2021

    tsunma tsondru

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

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

    View teacher details
    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a molecular biologist, lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and as its Executive Director. In order to learn the Work That Reconnects, she travelled to San Francisco for a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s Work That Connects. Tsondru offers this work, blending it with teachings on Engaged Buddhism, and traditional meditation practice. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth. Click here to see the blog interview in 2 parts by Penny Urquhart.

04 January 2021
  • Awakening The Writer In You: A 3-day inspirational retreat for those with a story to write but who need help finding the fire starter

    Teacher: Elana Bregin
    Cost: 3 days accommodation plus plus Course fee
    Dates: Monday 04 January 2021 - Thursday 07 January 2021

    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 memoir, 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. 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, children books, 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 their journey to published success. Her own writing experiences through the years have given her insight into the intimate processes of story-writing and its ability to reconnect us with both 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.

     

08 January 2021
  • Time To Focus And Tune Into 2021: Gently kickstart the new year with an ashram-style retreat offering qigong (chi kung), hatha yoga, chanting and meditation and healing therapies

    Teacher: Alex Lister-James and Colin Kemery and Deborah Don and Jeremy Lister-James and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 January 2021 - Sunday 10 January 2021

    alex lister jamescolin kemerydeborah donjeremy lister jamesmarc kressIt is difficult to make decisions about important issues in your life when you are immersed in them. You need some distance from them, physically and psychologically to see them clearly for what they are. Only then, can you gain a fresh perspective on them. So, if you feel you need a gentle, uncluttered space to tune into what lies ahead for you in 2021, this largely unstructured weekend will prove useful. Experience sunrise qigong (chi kung), gentle hatha yoga sessions and evening chanting and meditation. The Centre is yours to enjoy, walking or bird-watching in three hundred acres of rolling hills and indigenous forests. Circumambulate the labyrinth and stupa, meditate in the Zen garden or in the Buddha Boma, and spend solitary time in the deer park and at the dam or listen to the wind-chimes. Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach and massage therapist, will be offering healing therapies by appointment. The BRC provides an ideal opportunity to be in a sympathetic space to reflect on the things that crowd one’s life and to experience what it is like to "just be".

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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.

15 January 2021
  • Getting To Know The Birds And Trees At The BRC: 160 Birds of a feather

    Teacher: Chris Dalzell and Steve Davis
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 January 2021 - Sunday 17 January 2021

    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.

22 January 2021
  • Vipassana Meditation: How to realise ever-present mindfulness

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 January 2021 - Sunday 24 January 2021

    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 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.

     

24 January 2021
  • A Vipassana Retreat: The search for truth

    Teacher: Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 24 January 2021 - Thursday 28 January 2021

    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.

29 January 2021
  • Happy Healthy Yoga: Kickstart the new year with yoga for health and harmony

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 January 2021 - Sunday 31 January 2021

    margot mcmasterJoin 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.

05 February 2021
  • Speak Your Truth, Listen Deeply: A Mindful Communication Retreat

    Teacher: Lucy Draper-Clarke and Felicity Hart
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 05 February 2021 - Sunday 07 February 2021

    lucy draper clarke phd 2019felicity hart“When you are busy judging people, you have no time to love them.” Marshall Rosenberg

    When interacting with others, we often find ourselves triggered and then communicate in ways that hurt or harm - ourselves, the other, or the relationship between us. Our conditioned ideas of what it means to communicate, especially during times of conflict, frequently results in a loss of connection. Judgement and defence, as well as the strategies of criticism, insults, blame or put-downs are commonly used in our attempt to be heard or to meet our need to be “right”, “good” or “winning”. Despite our best efforts and intentions, we habitually become “violent” with our words and then feel the pain of disconnection.
    This retreat explores the principles and practices of mindfulness and nonviolent communication (NVC), to foster connection and minimize the suffering of outmoded ways of engaging. We will practice both intra-personal and inter-personal mindfulness in order to cultivate skills of empathy, compassion and a better understanding of self and other. Contemplative dyads are a way to promote social connectedness, something that we are often lacking in daily life where our time is dominated by digital devices. Together, these practices will help us communicate more consciously so that we learn to be aware of our feelings and needs, make requests to meet these needs and stay open to the feelings and needs of others.
    You can expect daily mindful meditation practice to support the empowering and enriching teachings of NVC, gentle exercise, and some down time for rest and relaxation.

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    Lucy Draper-Clarke is a mindfulness mentor and researcher-practitioner, with a doctorate in Mindfulness and Teacher Education. She runs Heart-Mind, facilitating mindfulness retreats, and supervising Masters and PhD candidates. Through the instruction of inspiring Buddhist teachers such as Rob Nairn, Donal Creedon, Jack Kornfield and Thich Nhat Hanh, she has developed a daily meditation practice, and loves to support others in starting their own. Her light-hearted approach allows retreat participants to learn through a joyful, yet transformative experience.

    Felicity Joan Hart has practised meditation, mindfulness and yoga for over 35 years and teaches within these modalities. Her formal qualifications include an Honours Degree in Psychology, international coaching qualifications, and a PGC in Mindfulness-Based Interventions from the University of Stellenbosch. She is an enthusiastic student and teacher of Non-Violent communication as developed by Dr Marshall Rosenberg. Her teaching style is interesting, intuitive, precise, responsive and entertaining.

12 February 2021
  • Pathways To Tao: Ch'i Kung (Qigong) - Meditation - Wisdom

    Teacher: Max Weier
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 February 2021 - Sunday 14 February 2021

    max weierSimple Ch’i Kung (Qigong) exercises alternate with meditation practices from Taoism and Zen. Movement, stillness and the teachings and contemplation of the ancient wisdom traditions of the East flow seamlessly into one another. We taste the boundlessness of our true nature - the Tao. Noble silence will be observed from the last session in the evening until midday the next day.

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    Max Weier resides in Switzerland and has been studying and practising various Buddhist traditions - Taoist disciplines and Vedanta - for the past forty years. He has been teaching worldwide for the last twenty years. He is an author on the subjects of ch’i kung and Taoism.

     
16 February 2021
  • Taoist Ch'i Kung (Qigong)

    Teacher: Max Weier
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 16 February 2021 - Thursday 18 February 2021

    max weierCh’i Kung (Qigong) practices help us to strengthen, free and move our internal energy, our ch’I, and to ground us. From a body-mind that is dense, contracted and agitated we will move to a state of openness, relaxation and expansion. Sessions of still meditation will be part of this retreat. Noble silence will be observed from the last session in the evening until midday the next day.

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    Max Weier resides in Switzerland and has been studying and practising various Buddhist traditions - Taoist disciplines and Vedanta - for the past forty years. He has been teaching worldwide for the last twenty years. He is an author on the subjects of ch’i kung and Taoism.

     
19 February 2021
  • The Sacred Feminine : Empowering the feminine with yoga, meditation and your astrological moon

    Teacher: Margarita Celeste and Michelle Strybis
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 February 2021 - Sunday 21 February 2021

    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 ands mental states. Her jouney with yoga started on a viist to an ashram in India where she completedher Yoga Teacher's Training. She has since visited India annually to furthger her yoga stiudies. 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.

26 February 2021
  • Reclaim Your Power: A journey to inner balance

    Teacher: Heike Sym
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 26 February 2021 - Sunday 28 February 2021

    heike sym2020We 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.

05 March 2021
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 05 March 2021 - Sunday 07 March 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.

     
12 March 2021
  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 March 2021 - Sunday 14 March 2021

    georgie carterYin yoga provides the balance to our hectic Yang lifestyle. In today’s busy world we are inundated with the pressure to do more, take on yet more and push ourselves even further. This retreat provides a balance to our often frenetic, stressful lives and will restore harmony, health and calmness. In relaxing our muscles and surrendering into our yoga postures, we are able to work deeply into the joints, ligaments, fascia and bones of the body - releasing tension and detoxifying normally inaccessible parts of our bodies. The weekend is centred around releasing, relaxing and restoring our bodies, our minds and our energy and is suitable for everyone. Please bring your own yoga mats.

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    Georgie Carter has been practising Hatha Yoga for 8 years. She completed her 200-hour teacher training with The Jivananda Centre for Well-Being in 2010 followed by an intensive Iyengar yoga course in Rishikesh, India with Usha Devi in 2015. Her passion is to apply yoga to everyday life in order to find a balanced and better way to manage daily challenges, to enable us to live  a more loving, compassionate and purposeful life. She has travelled to India many times to deepen her practice. She currently lives in the Natal midlands, where she teaches yoga.

     
19 March 2021
  • From Fear To Fundamental Well-Being

    Teacher: Albert Buhr
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 March 2021 - Monday 22 March 2021

    albert buhr smlKenshō Therapy is a comprehensive, acceptance-based approach to healing the nervous system and easily accessing the part of the mind that is naturally blissful, clear and spacious. This goes beyond simply managing your anxiety or neuroses. It starts by working on the chronic contractions in the body through physical methods like neurogenic tremoring and Myoga. A specific type of yoga nidra then forms the bridge from body to mind, expanding into an easy process of meditative inquiry.Kenshō Therapy is informed by Western perspectives in transpersonal psychology, neuroscience and trauma healing, as well as the Eastern traditions of Advaita, Dzogchen/Mahamudra and Zen.

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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.

26 March 2021
  • 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 26 March 2021 - Sunday 28 March 2021

    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 qualified Hatha yoga teacher and trains students to become yoga teachers. 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.

28 March 2021
  • 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 28 March 2021 - Thursday 01 April 2021

    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 NPO Hennops Blue Horizon which works towards healing the Hennops River. She is a qualified Hatha yoga teacher and trains students to become yoga teachers. 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.

01 April 2021
  • Open The Heart And Still The Mind: Embracing grief and gratitude with compassion

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 01 April 2021 - Monday 05 April 2021

    sue cooper oct2019

    This 4-day, silent Easter long-weekend Open the Heart and Still the Mind Compassion Retreat will provide an opportunity to integrate the experiences of grief and gratitude that we all have been confronted with during this time of uncertainty. Drawing 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" we will strengthen our capacity to be with things as they are unfolding. 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 and fear. 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 and more courageously, 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.
    Further details https://stillmindretreats.com/event/retreat-embracing-grief-and-gratitude-with-compassion/
    A pre-retreat individual session in person in Cape Town or via Zoom/Skype/Whatsapp if elsewhere is recommended for newcomers or if you have not attended one of Sue’s residential retreats before. The fee for this is R950 for 50 mins, fully covered by medical aid and can be reduced if necessary.
    Please contact Sue on sue.stillmind@gmail.com to arrange a time
    CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: to be confirmed in 2021.

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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: https://stillmindretreats.com and please contact sue.stillmind@gmail.com.

     

08 April 2021
  • The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

    Teacher: John Lockley
    Cost: 3 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 08 April 2021 - Sunday 11 April 2021

    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.

16 April 2021
  • A Weekend Of Kindness At The BRC

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 16 April 2021 - Sunday 18 April 2021

    elizabeth gaywoodJoin Elizabeth for a weekend of kindness, not only for ourselves, but for others after months of lockdown and isolation. Help to kindle the spirit of generosity and friendship which the BRC has demonstrated for 40 years since it opened. The weekend will be adjusted to suit everyone; if you want to go hiking - that is an option - if you want to be silent, catch up with your reading and breathe in the restorative air - that’s OK too. Meditation sessions will be available (either guided or silent). We are sure many of you need a break and this is an ideal opportunity to be kind to yourself, for friends to reconnect and enjoy the peace and healing energy that the BRC offers.

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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.

23 April 2021
  • Vinyāsa Yoga And Meditation

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 April 2021 - Sunday 25 April 2021

    hannelize robinsonYoga teaches us the ability to remain present, calm and stable no matter what situation we find ourselves in. It is not about perfecting the shape of the pose or increasing flexibility -  it is about knowing what the shapes do and how they impact our physiology, our energy and our mind. When carefully planned and sequenced, yoga helps us to thrive in the external world that is always changing, and simultaneously allows us to disconnect from our daily lives and reconnect to that aspect of being that never changes. In yoga we use the body to connect with the breath (asana), the breath to connect with the mind (pranayama) and the mind to connect back to Source (meditation). When we regularly practise meditation we train ourselves to pause before we react – often based on habitual patterns – and instead to respond calmly with  more wisdom and compassion.
    Previous yoga practice is recommended; however, beginners are welcome. Please bring your own yoga mat.

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    Hannelize Robinson is a Yoga and Mindfulness teacher based in Johannesburg. She is a dedicated student of Yoga  and  Buddhism and the founder of Conscious-Collab, an initiative established to host transformative group experiences and gatherings - for mind and body - to help create a healthier, harmonious and more conscious, connected world. Her personal journey of discovery has led her towards conscious and mindful living with yoga and meditation becoming an integral part of her life. Her intention is to inspire and assist her students and clients on their own journey of growth and transformation.

30 April 2021
  • Seeing The Light: A Photography Workshop: Explore your inner light through your camera

    Teacher: Marlene Neumann
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 April 2021 - Sunday 02 May 2021

    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.

07 May 2021
  • The Heart And Art Of Awakening - Part 1: Shift your life though presence and art

    Teacher: John Homewood and Michelle McClunan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 07 May 2021 - Sunday 09 May 2021 08:00am - 05:00pm

    john homewoodmichelle mcclunanWould you like to connect more deeply with Life?
    Reunite with the simple joy of being?
    Open to the flow of creative abundance?
    Shift your life to a new level?
    Join two of South Africa’s top transformational facilitators, John Homewood and Michelle McClunan on a powerful, transformational experience, that will awaken, shift and nourish you. This retreat will integrate powerful spiritual teachings of Presence, Awakening and Flow with different creative art processes, to help you to clear blockages that may have prevented you from living a healthy, joy-filled, peaceful and abundant life. The creative experiences are process-driven, as opposed to being outcome-based, so no artistic experience or skill is required. Through wisdom teachings, guided visualisations, meditations, time spent in nature, heart-opening music and a variety of experientially creative processes, you will be led gently into your inner landscape, where you will rediscover your own deep wisdom and reason for being here, on this planet, right now. You will also be provided with valuable tools to help you navigate our quickly changing world.

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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, 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 and is able to impart deep truths in an easy and understandable way.

    Michelle McClunan is an Astrologer/Coach, Process Art Facilitator and uses a multi-faceted approach to help people understand and accept themselves, navigate their lives and rediscover their true purpose and potential. She has written a fortnightly newsletter for the last twelve years, where she provides practical tools to assist people in navigating and optimising the current planetary energies. She has a gift for meeting clients exactly where they are, gently guiding them through what they are going through, without judgement. She has been working as a counselling astrologer/coach for the past seventeen years and has run hundreds of workshops, where she assists people to shift old patterns of thought or behaviour that block them from living rich and fulfilling lives.

09 May 2021
  • The Heart And Art Of Awakening - Part 2: Going deeper

    Teacher: John Homewood and Michelle McClunan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 09 May 2021 - Tuesday 11 May 2021 08:00am - 05:00pm

    john homewoodmichelle mcclunanThis is a follow-on from the weekend’s retreat for those wishing to deepen the process of Awakening and aligning with Presence and Flow.
    It will be structured in a way to allow newcomers to attend - so all welcome!

    Would you like to connect more deeply with Life?
    Reunite with the simple joy of being?
    Open to the flow of creative abundance?
    Shift your life to a new level?

    Join two of South Africa’s top transformational facilitators, John Homewood and Michelle McClunan on a powerful, transformational experience, that will awaken, shift and nourish you. This retreat will integrate powerful spiritual teachings of Presence, Awakening and Flow with different creative art processes, to help you to clear blockages that may have prevented you from living a healthy, joy-filled, peaceful and abundant life. The creative experiences are process-driven, as opposed to being outcome-based, so no artistic experience or skill is required. Through wisdom teachings, guided visualisations, meditations, time spent in nature, heart-opening music and a variety of experientially creative processes, you will be led gently into your inner landscape, where you will rediscover your own deep wisdom and reason for being here, on this planet, right now. You will also be provided with valuable tools to help you navigate our quickly changing world.

    View teacher details
    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, 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 and is able to impart deep truths in an easy and understandable way.

    Michelle McClunan is an Astrologer/Coach, Process Art Facilitator and uses a multi-faceted approach to help people understand and accept themselves, navigate their lives and rediscover their true purpose and potential. She has written a fortnightly newsletter for the last 12 years, where she provides practical tools to assist people in navigating and optimising the current planetary energies. She has a gift for meeting clients exactly where they are, gently guiding them through what they are going through, without judgement. She has been working as a counselling astrologer/coach for the past seventeen years and has run hundreds of workshops, where she assists people to shift old patterns of thought or behaviour that block them from living rich and fulfilling lives.

14 May 2021
  • Releasing Ourselves From Old Stories: Stepping from the past into an abundant future by drawing on the Ancient Hawaiian practice of Ho’oponopono

    Teacher: Dominique Garnett
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 14 May 2021 - Sunday 16 May 2021 08:00am - 05:00pm

     dominique garnettStories and story-telling are what make us human. We have stories about health, wellness and well-being. Often, we are informed by the should, could and would of life. These stories, or programs, inform our view of the world - whether it is a world-view and story of scarcity or one of abundance. Sometimes these stories, or the programs from the past can entrap and restrict us from living a full life. How have other people’s stories of the world in health and wellness, scarcity and abundance - informed your own? This retreat is an invitation to look at our own personal stories as part of a much larger story of world, health and well-being; to look at the programs that run automatically and prevent us from living freely and being in the present moment. It is also an invitation to seek alternate stories as we explore new possibilities of being well and being present; to be curious at how and where certain stories come from and to seek alternate meaning through engaging with new ideas and research, and to be enlivened as we open up to the possibilities. Through learning and practising Ho’oponopono we can learn how to release ourselves from restrictive stories and live in the fullness of each moment and to see how transforming this can be. The weekend will be informative, with practical workshopping real-life examples of how to shift our lives into the fullness of the present moment.

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    Dominique Garnett is a Counselling Psychologist, Narrative Therapist, Nutritional Coach,  writer, artist, foodie and a passionate reader and learner. She has a practice on the North Coast of KZN where she connects with people in therapeutic conversations as they explore meaning-making in a holistic and respectful way. She runs workshops and weekend retreats exploring health and wellness.

21 May 2021
  • Meditation In Daily Life: How To Develop Wisdom, Happiness And Freedom In Our Life - With Silent Meditation, Dialogue, Talks And Contemplation

    Teacher: Bhante Sukhacitto and Beth Faria
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R500 sucharge
    Dates: Friday 21 May 2021 - Tuesday 25 May 2021

    bhante sukhacitto elizabeth fariaIn this retreat we will develop mindfulness in silent sitting and walking  meditation, and also use the practice of Insight Dialogue to develop insight. In dialogue meditation, we will explore and contemplate in the presence of another, relevant Dhamma topics in order to understand how things really are. The aim is to develop wholesome qualities such as kindness and compassion and cultivate spiritual friendship. We will explore how to apply the Noble Eightfold Path into practice. The retreat will be held mostly in noble silence and is suitable for beginners as well as seasoned practitioners. More information www.insightdialogue.org

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    Bhante Sukhacitto is an Insight Dialogue teacher. He was born in Germany in 1963 and first came into contact with Buddhism in 1986 in Thailand when he attended a meditation retreat in Wat Suan Mokkh. He ordained there as a novice in 1989 and as a monk in 1990. He moved to the West in 1993 where he has lived at various monasteries of the Ajahn Chah tradition in Switzerland and the UK. While attending his first Insight Dialogue retreat in 2005, he was amazed by the powerful experience of meditating together with other people. Since 2010 he has taught Insight Dialogue worldwide and was trained by Gregory Kramer and other teachers. In his experience, interpersonal meditation is an extremely helpful aid for the development of wisdom. It bridges the gap between traditional silent meditation and our everyday lives and relations with other people. He established a small Dhamma Centre "House Of Noble Friendship“ in his hometown and ran it until 2020.

     Elizabeth Faria is an Insight Dialogue teacher. She has taught online programs, as well as workshops and retreats in Australia and Brazil. Practising meditation since 1996, she has trained with a Burmese meditation master and in the Thai Forest tradition. She is a graduate of the Australian Association of Buddhist Counsellors, and  has worked as a psychotherapist for the last thirty years working with intergenerational trauma. She has long been interested in the integration of The Noble Eightfold Path with the whole life experience, and in the practice of the liberating teachings on satipatthana and of the brahmaviharas. She lives in New South Wales, Australia.

28 May 2021
  • Under The Full Moon Of May: Wesak

    Teacher: Louis van Loon and Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 28 May 2021 - Sunday 30 May 2021

    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). 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).

04 June 2021
  • An Introduction To Mindfulness Based Living: "Knowing the present"

    Teacher: Carey Would and Kerri Martinaglia
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 June 2021 - Sunday 06 June 2021

    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 is the manager of The Waterfall Envoronmental and Meditation Centre. She is a student of the late Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche and has trained within the Karma Kagyu Lineage and participated in several meditation retreats over the past 19 years, including a 6 month closed retreat at the Tara Rokpa Centre Retreat Valley in Groot Marico. In 2009 she was invited to join the Mindfulness Africa Organisation. She is the Mindfulness Africa Coordinator for KwaZulu Natal and has certification in hatha yoga and  qigong disciplines. Her special interests are how the combined practices of gentle movement, mindfulness and compassion can potentially help to restore our balance.

11 June 2021
  • Radical Acceptance - Exploring the first fetter in the Buddha's teaching: Personality or Identity View

    Teacher: Chandasara
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 June 2021 - Sunday 13 June 2021

    The less personality you carry, the more presence you have. All practice is towards this – to dissolve the personality and enhance the presence of life in you - Sadhguru

    chandasara2In this meditation retreat, we will explore some of the ways that we identify with various facets of our experience. We can take our body, our feelings, our perceptions, our thoughts to be who we are. The Buddha called this “I-making, mine-making”. So what happens when we drop this identification and let go of these constructions of our self? How do we relax into a radical acceptance of the sufficiency of pure presence? We will explore these questions in the light of the Buddha’s teaching on untying this first fetter that keeps us bound in a state of agitation. In this deeply uncertain time, through these teachings, we can find a refuge – an island in the midst of the storm.

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    Chandasara (Louise Stack) spent her early adult life in political exile and later worked as a political analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. She trained as a Buddhist nun in the Forest School for 9 years in the UK, at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries. She holds degrees in Politics, Linguistics and Psychology. She taught meditation at Dharmagiri retreat centre and mindfulness at Riverview Manor clinic in Underberg for four years. She currently resides at Emoyeni retreat centre in the Magaliesberg.

18 June 2021
  • Writing To Move On: An experiential writing workshop for those in need of new ways of being, seeing and doing

    Teacher: Elana Bregin
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 June 2021 - Sunday 20 June 2021

    elana breginYou can’t go back and change the beginning
    but you can start where you are and change the ending.

    C.S Lewis

    This is not a writing course in the usual sense, but an experiment in using the insights and creative techniques of narrative-writing to bring into being a new and more fulfilling story for ourselves. For many of us, the Covid winds of 2020 have left us feeling shaken, stirred and vulnerable - exposing the faultlines and dissatisfactions in our lives as never before. But with the doors of possibility standing wide open, there has never been a better time to detach from old discomfort zones, and set sail for the life that is waiting. Most of us carry our stories of trauma, loss and heartache in one form or another, for that is the human story. As much as we would like to leave the past in the past, moving on from habitual thinking patterns and stuck places can be challenging.

    The retreat aims to offer the space, guidance and support that will allow us to vacate our place in the chair of old sorrow and move on to the future that is waiting. With the help of our creative mojo, and using the dynamic energy of story writing, we will reach for new insights on where we are, where we want to be, and explore ways of inventing for ourselves the next chapter in the novel of our lives.

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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, children books, 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 their journey to published success. Her own writing experiences through the years have given her insight into the intimate processes of story-writing and its ability to reconnect us with both 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.

21 June 2021
  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A family retreat with children in mind

    Teacher: Anisha Maharaj
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 21 June 2021 - Thursday 24 June 2021

    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.

25 June 2021
  • Iyengar Yoga: Nudging the body into shape and health

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 25 June 2021 - Sunday 27 June 2021

    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 Pune many times to study and practise under the guidance of Gurus, BKS, 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.

27 June 2021
  • Iyengar Yoga: Deepening your practice

    Teacher: Judy Farah
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 27 June 2021 - Friday 02 July 2021

    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 Pune many times to study and practise under the guidance of Gurus, BKS, 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.

     
     
02 July 2021
  • Yoga And Zen: Integrating Yoga and Zen meditation practice

    Teacher: Jane Treffry-Goatley and Kevin Treffry-Goatley
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 July 2021 - Sunday 04 July 2021

    jane treffry goatley2020kevin treffry goatley2020

    In this retreat, we will practise Yoga asanas and Zen meditation in different sessions with the intention of highlighting the similarities and using the differences to enhance both practices. The parallel paths of the eight limbs of yoga and the Eight-Fold path of Buddhism show us that both practices lead to the same end purpose - to know ourselves and to help others. The compassion and teachings of the Buddha and Patanjali, and the physical and mental energy we gain from the asanas help us to wake up and live our lives fully.
    We will do sitting and walking meditation as well as an introduction to Zen chanting with sessions of both active and restorative yoga to help us release and go deeper in our practice. All are welcome to join.

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    Jane Treffry-Goatley has been practising yoga since her twenties. She is a certified Iyengar Yoga teacher and has been teaching since 2007. She teaches at the Lotus Studio in Knysna.

    Kevin Treffry-Goatley’s career started as a chemical engineer in the purification of water. He is a certified Zen Buddhist Dharma teacher with guiding teacher Heila Downey of the Dharma Centre in Robertson. He teaches Zen practice and leads the sangha in Knysna.

09 July 2021
  • Being Here Right Now - With Yoga

    Teacher: Nicky van der Hulst
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 09 July 2021 - Sunday 11 July 2021

    nicky van der hulstReleasing, reconnecting and revisiting your heart space right now.
    A gentle yoga retreat exploring your personal tools for finding your balance in crazy times. Practical and profound yogic tools for earthing, grounding, reconnecting and balancing will be playfully experienced. These tools for transformation will be explored through Hatha yoga asana, breathwork, meditation and mantra in the nurturing natural setting of the BRC.
    Please bring your yoga mat, a pen and journal.

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    Nicky van der Hulst is a Chiropractor, Homeopath, Yoga teacher and mom to a delightful toddler. While her practice of yoga exceeds twenty years, she has taught Hatha, Yin, Vinyasa and Astanga for ten years. Her teaching has a strong anatomical and physiological approach grounded in a deep understanding of the philosophy of yoga and heartfelt love of the practice. She a keen interest in the therapeutic benefits of movement and gentle preventative care on health and well-being. She brings together her love of teaching, therapeutic movement, rehabilitation and holistic therapies in the practice and facilitation of her work. She has a wealth of experience in bodywork and complementary health modalities.

16 July 2021
  • The Roots Of Sacred Drumming: Exploring natural rhythms

    Teacher: Richard Ellis and Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R300 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 16 July 2021 - Sunday 18 July 2021

    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.

23 July 2021
  • Yinsight Yoga: Yin Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation

    Teacher: Despina Forbes
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 July 2021 - Sunday 25 July 2021

    despina forbesYin yoga and meditation can be experienced as a practice of cultivating well-being. Combining the practices of Yin yoga and mindfulness meditation creates powerful possibilities for insight, transformation and healing on all layers of being - body, mind, and heart. Yin yoga combines aspects of Hatha yoga, the concept of the modern meridian theory in Chinese medicine, Taoism and mindfulness meditation practice. It is designed to improve the flow of chi/prana (the vital energy of the body) through the energetic channels (or meridians) to improve overall emotional well-being, joint mobility, immunity and organ health. Yin yoga supports a quiet, slow, nourishing and grounded practice. When we cultivate the skill of awareness during meditation with an attitude of kind curiosity and notice the experience for what it is, we can pause, acknowledge and respond in an appropriate way. Cultivating the skill of awareness opens us to possibility, conscious choice and space to create paths for growth, insight and joy.

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    Despina Forbes has been guided by the principles of karuna (compassion), maitri (friendship), ahimsa (non-harm) and satya (truthfulness) to name a few. In facilitating well-being, she draws from nature, mindfulness or heartfulness, psychology, yoga, neuroscience and soundwork as modalities for cultivating healthy change. She is a psychologist, mindfulness and yoga practitioner in Durban North and KwaZulu Natal, and is interested in cultivating sustainable well-being in youth and adults, embracing the wonder and mystery of this human experience. She is a trained MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) programme practitioner and has trained and practised internationally, attended mindfulness trainings and programmes with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre, the Centre for Mindfulness and Research in Bangor and The Mindfulness In Schools project, UK. She teaches mindfulness based programmes to children and teens in school as well as adults. She undertook the 200-hour Yoga teacher training under the guidance of Christine Withiel at Jivananda Centre For Well-Being in 2016 and furthered her 300-hour training with Yogrishi Vishvekthu, Akhanda Yoga in Rishikesh, India, in 2019.

30 July 2021
  • Moving Meditation: Cultivating the four energies of tai chi

    Teacher: Brett Vallis
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 30 July 2021 - Sunday 01 August 2021

    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.

06 August 2021
  • 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 06 August 2021 - Sunday 08 August 2021

    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.

13 August 2021
  • A Weekend of Hatha Yoga: Rekindle Your Life Energy

    Teacher: Kugan Naidoo
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 13 August 2021 - Sunday 15 August 2021

    kugan naidoo lotusJoin Kugan for a weekend of gentle yoga to restore and rejuvenate the body and mind and for holistic health and well-being. There will be time for walking in the tranquil grounds of the Centre, for rest and meditation.

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    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.

     



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Wishlist

If anyone would like to get involved with donating goods to the Centre, please see the much-needed list below, or email us:  

  • Linen and towels
  • Indigenous trees
  • Seedlings
  • Garden tools
  • Garden tables and chairs 
  • Brush cutters
  • Small generator

Contact Us

Email: bookings@brcixopo.co.za
Telephone: 087 809 1687
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Durban nos.:+27 [0]31 209 5995 or 082 466 8306 (Chrisi)

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