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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.

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This will contain the link to join the session.

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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
21 May 2021
  • Come As You Are: Secular Buddhism, Existential Philosophy And Psychotherapy. Can Buddhism Effectively Treat The Struggles We Face In Life?

    Teacher: Jason Ross
    Cost: 4 days' accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 21 May 2021 - Tuesday 25 May 2021

    jason ross oct2019It is often our personal struggles that bring us to a retreat setting. But, is Buddhism meant to serve as a form of therapy? This retreat will explore the potential meeting place between Secular Buddhist practices, Existential Philosophy and Psychotherapy. We will explore methods such as Vipassana and Korean Zen meditation as a means of better understanding the nature of our own minds and the relationships we have formed with the struggles we are facing. The retreat will include Tai Chi, meditation, philosophical reflection, therapeutic discussion and short periods of essential noble 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.

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 circumambulation 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 Retreat and Environmental 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 + R200 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.

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).

    View teacher details
    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.

    View teacher details
    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
  • Mindfulness Skills For Challenging Times

    Teacher: Choden
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 02 July 2021 - Sunday 04 July 2021

    chodenChoden, a South African born Buddhist monk, will offer some mindfulness skills to help us navigate these times of insecurity, turbulence and uncertainty. He will draw on the Tibetan Mahamudra teachings as a context for his teachings.
    There will be a three-fold focus:
    Embodiment: learning to drop our centre of gravity from the ‘butterfly mind’ in our head to the wisdom awareness of our body.
    Acceptance: learning to accept and allow what arises in our embodied experience rather than resisting it and pushing it away.
    Self-kindness: learning to step out of toxic self-criticism and befriend ourselves by bringing kindness and warmth to our unfolding experience.
    This weekend retreat will be strongly experiential. Choden will introduce some simple yet profound methods; we will practice them together and share any insights. He will strike a balance between teaching, guided practice, sharing and inquiry, along with some periods of silent sitting and walking meditation.

    View teacher details
    Choden: A monk within the Karma Kagyu tradition of Tibetan Buddhism, Choden (aka Sean Mc Govern) completed a three-year, three-month retreat in 1997 and has been a practicing Buddhist since 1985. He is originally from South Africa where he trained as a lawyer and learned meditation under the guidance of Rob Nairn, an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher. He is now involved in developing secular mindfulness and compassion programmes drawing upon the wisdom and methods of the Buddhist tradition, as well as contemporary insights from psychology and neuroscience. He is an honorary fellow of the University of Aberdeen and teaches on their Postgraduate Study Programme in Mindfulness (MSc) that is the first of its kind to include compassion in its curriculum. He co-wrote a book with Paul Gilbert in 2013, entitled Mindful Compassion that explores the interface between Buddhist and Evolutionary approaches to compassion training. He is also the co-author of two other books: Mindfulness Based Living Course (2018) and From Mindfulness to Insight (2019). In 2016 he completed a one-year retreat focused on the foundation practices of Tibetan Buddhism.

05 July 2021
  • Rejuvenating The BRC: A family retreat with children in mind

    Teacher: Anisha Maharaj
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 05 July 2021 - Thursday 08 July 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.

09 July 2021
  • Gardening For Happiness: The Basics of Gardening

    Teacher: Christopher Dalzell
    Cost: 2 nights' accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 09 July 2021 - Sunday 11 July 2021

    chris dalzell pThey say that 'your life begins the day you start a garden'. If you are looking for some green thumb inspiration and motivation,  join Christopher Dalzell for a fun-filled weekend of basic gardening tips where you will learn the practice and art of gardening. The weekend will entail plant identification and plant selection of trees, shrubs, ground covers and bulbs. He will show you how to prepare a flower bed  and how to lay out your plants, and how to plant trees and other plants and their maintenance. Chris will advise on plant propagation showing the different forms of cuttings, seed sowing and dividing large plants and the pruning of shrubs and trees. He will also highlight the importance of soil and how to rejuvenate a nutrient-depleted soil and deal with pest and diseases. Growing and maintaining indoor plants will also be covered. Experience all this  - and more - and celebrate the BRC's gardens and its green spaces.

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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.

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.

20 July 2021
  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 20 July 2021 - Friday 23 July 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.

     
23 July 2021
  • Circles of Compassion: Reconnect with self and others in a socially-distanced world

    Teacher: Graham Williams
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 23 July 2021 - Sunday 25 July 2021

    graham williamsCompassion Circles have emerged as a fine way to bring resilience, wisdom and compassion into being in families, communities and beyond. We find ourselves in a separating, polarizing world where true communication is breaking down everywhere. People are no longer able to hear each other, especially in a climate where individual and collective trauma are heightened by the effects of the pandemic. Many are afraid, uncertain, cynical and feel empty and angry. They are experiencing a sense of meaninglessness and isolation. Compassion Circles are spaces where we can re-imagine the future, experience wisdom, compassion and healing in conversation and sharing anecdotes. Sharing circles help shift dysphoria to euphoria and despair to delight. They help us to flip the truth mandala to discover the riches on the other side. Learn about inspiring initiatives and successes around the World and leave armed with an understanding of where the magic of circles emanates from, how and why it happens. Leave equipped with an ability to form circles successfully in your own family and community.

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    Graham Williams is an old friend of the BRC who is passionate about personal healing, growth and being relevant in a strident, divisive, combative, fragile and threatened world. He is the author of a number of business books on values, service, resilience, and the use of story as a contributor to better business.

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.

09 August 2021
  • "Written In The Stars": The Basics Of The Ancient Art Of Astrology

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 09 August 2021 - Thursday 12 August 2021

    corinna botoulas2020Discover your intrinsic Nature and Nurture through the planets and stars in this informative Astrological workshop. Learn how the cycles of the celestial world affect you personally, and how your unique blueprint – your Astrological birth chart - can help you live to your fullest potential. Find your strengths, challenges and which areas of life to empower and enable us and live with greater equanimity and awareness. Astrology is an ancient, powerful, well-tested and insightful tool to foster emotional and mental growth and transformation. The retreat will focus on the role of fate and free will, the planets in their signs and houses, the aspects they make to each other, the elements and modalities they represent and the importance of the position of the sun and moon in conjunction with the cycles of life. There will be stargazing sessions, meandering in the labyrinth and sunrise qigong.

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    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and owned a landscaping business for 26 years. She still runs her garden maintenance business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

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.

     
16 August 2021
  • SoulCollage® : "Know Yourself - And You Will Conquer The Universe..."

    Teacher: Corinna Botoulas
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Monday 16 August 2021 - Thursday 19 August 2021

    corinna botoulas2020SoulCollage® is an easy, and creative way to express your inner world. Using intuition, imagination, and your willingness to explore, you will learn to create a deeply personal deck of wisdom cards. These collaged cards represent the varied and uniquely personalised aspects of who you are. They will lead you on a journey of self-discovery. By re-connecting to your innate creativity and accessing and enhancing your intuition, you open up the channel to your soul’s wisdom and access the potential which resides within you. SoulCollage® taps into the transformative power of images, intuition and synchronicity where you gravitate to images that have meaning for you - even though you may not know why. SoulCollage® works directly with the language of symbols, images and archetypes. The weekend workshop is about resting your left brain and using your right brain to connect with your soul as you play with images, shapes and colours. No previous experience is required.

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    Corinna Botoulas is a Horticulture graduate and owned a landscaping business for 26 years. She still runs her garden maintenance business. Parallel to this, she runs a healing practice. A graduate of Astrology and a Soul Collage® Facilitator, her passion lies in empowering people to discover 'their inner soul-full selves' and to awaken them to their life's potential.

20 August 2021
  • Finding And Keeping Your Centre: Taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others

    Teacher: Tessa Pretorius
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R250 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 20 August 2021 - Sunday 22 August 2021

    tessa pretoriusWhy is it so difficult for us to be kind or gentle or good to with ourselves? Perhaps it is because we have grown up within the paradigm that ‘good people put the needs of others first’. In other words, we believe that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to show we care. Or, it could just be that finding time for self-care just means one more thing on the already unobtainable to-do-list.

    But what if caring for ourselves wasn’t that difficult? What if, by a few simple adjustments or re-tuning of your emotions, thoughts or attitude patterns, we could find that calm place on the merry-go-round where we were at our best and could deal with and handle what life throws at us with style. The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. The wisdom of this teaching tells us that when we are kind and good to ourselves, we are automatically much more so to others.

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    Tessa Pretorius is an ex-trauma counsellor, activist, philosopher and writer, and has been facilitating workshops on self-care and mindfulness for over sixteen years. She was trained by Patricia Cane (founder and creator of Capacitar International) whose work she has incorporated into training programmes for NGO's, hospitals, members of the justice system, the SAPS, the corporate sector and at various retreat centres. She believes self-care is essential for personal well-being and, as in Buddhist practice, essential to be of service to others. Tessa and her dog, Maggie, live at Emoyeni Retreat in the Magaliesberg.

27 August 2021
  • A Yin Yoga Retreat

    Teacher: Jennifer Chapman
    Cost: 2 days accommodation +R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 27 August 2021 - Sunday 29 August 2021

    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.

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    Jennifer Chapman is the founder of the Astanga Studio, in Kloof, Natal. From the age of twelve, 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.

     
03 September 2021
  • Yoga Mind, Body And Breath: A journey of self-discovery

    Teacher: Marc Kress
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R150 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 September 2021 - Sunday 05 September 2021

    marc kressThe practice of yoga brings the mind and body together, grounding us in the present, connecting us with where we are and what our body tells us about ourselves. Yoga is a process of re-connecting to our body and breath, coming back into the present moment. The ancient yogis realized that to meditate effectively requires a healthy, strong body, so they developed yoga postures (asanas), cleansing techniques and breathing exercises (pranayama). Through regular practise of asanas, pranayama and meditation, yoga unlocks the deeper levels of our being. It is a way of moving into stillness in order to experience the truth of who we are. This retreat is open to beginners and experienced students. Please bring a yoga mat.

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    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”. Marc has been practising and studying in India and South Africa with various teachers in different styles of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyāsa, Iyengar, Sivananda, Tantra and Astanga. He has a Hatha yoga teaching qualification from the Yoga Alliance and is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher.

10 September 2021
  • “You Can’t Fill The Hole In Your Heart With Food”…And Other Things - Jan Chozen Bays Mindful Eating: The hidden gifts of our compulsions

    Teacher: Xenia Ayiotis
    Cost: 2 days Accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 10 September 2021 - Sunday 12 September 2021

    xenia ayiotisFood and eating can be a source of great joy, but it can also be a source of great suffering and struggle. This retreat is based on a combination of the principles of Mindful Eating And Intuitive Eating. The intention of this retreat is to examine our relationship with food and to start the process to create a healthy relationship with food. Using a non-judgemental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat, also examining our rules around food. We will look at how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. Through a process of enquiry, we will explore the emotional triggers that often lead us to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be understood and effectively dealt with. Using mindfulness and examining our conditioning around food, we will gain an awareness of our habitual behaviour and begin a process towards a joyful and peaceful relationship with food and our body.

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    Xenia Ayiotis is a Certified Mindful Eating Coach, Intuitive Eating Counsellor and Life Coach. Xenia has a Masters degree in languages from Wits University. She is currently training with Jack Kornfield and Tara Brach as a Mindfulness and Meditation teacher. She helps people let go of the struggle around eating and find peace in their relationship with food and their bodies. She is in private practice and offers workshops and retreats. www.theartofmindfuleating.com

17 September 2021
  • A Taste of Somatics: Feeling and healing the body within

    Teacher: Lisa Firer
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 17 September 2021 - Sunday 19 September 2021

    lisa firer2021Join Lisa for a weekend of somatic movement in the tradition of Clinical Somatics. Learn gentle, nourishing, soothing movements for well-being and release chronic tensions that underlie pain and stress. The retreat will offer some theory of somatic movement in general and Clinical Somatics specifically. Exploring the communication between the brain, nervous system and muscular system, we will learn about pandiculation, nature's way of releasing tension from the body. Develop your inner awareness and bring comfort and ease to the body through this slow and mindful approach. Begin an inner dialogue with your body, reminding it of its intelligence. You will leave the retreat with some tools and practices to become your own body worker This retreat is suitable for everyone and will meet you where you are.

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    Lisa Firer is an artist and facilitator. Focused on embodied learning, her approach is strongly rooted in mindfulness and movement. 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. Lisa is also an internationally accredited Biodanza facilitator, a system of human development using music and movement. She is certified Level 1 facilitator of somatic movement exercises through the Somatic Movement Centre.

     
23 September 2021
  • Zen Pen: A Writing, Being And Meditation Retreat

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 23 September 2021 - Sunday 26 September 2021

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

    In this retreat we explore the connection between writing and meditation. 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.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness, to grow the moment and bring healing. Dorian’s workshops are based on his text, The Writer’s Voice. He draws his inspiration from mythology, whole-brain theory, narrative therapy, Zen, creation spirituality, the new physics and eco-and Jungian psychology. He is a former Professor of English (Namibia) who has taught at the BRC for 25 years. His poems appear in the BRC cookbooks, Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate.

26 September 2021
  • The Rough Writing Road: Keeping a journal

    Teacher: Dorian Haarhoff
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Sunday 26 September 2021 - Tuesday 28 September 2021

    dorian haarhof 2019The journal is a vehicle for my sense of selfhood. it does not simply record my actual, daily life but rather - in many cases - offers an alternative to it - Susan Sontag

    Journals inform and support all genres - as a think book, as a non-think one, a plan book or an open-hearted one. Instants of inspiration. A home for the imagination, the cauldron of creativity. Moments of synchronicity. As William Blake says kissing the moment as it flies. So, come and kiss the moment.

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    Dorian Haarhoff is a writer, story-teller and mentor. Passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination, he believes in the power of stories to spread loving-kindness, to grow the moment and bring healing. Dorian’s workshops are based on his text, The Writer’s Voice. He draws his inspiration from mythology, whole-brain theory, narrative therapy, Zen, creation spirituality, the new physics and eco-and Jungian psychology. He is a former Professor of English (Namibia) who has taught at the BRC for 25 years. His poems appear in the BRC cookbooks, Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate.

01 October 2021
  • Deepening Your Emotional Intelligence Through Mindfulness: Gaining insights into your emotional intelligence for resonant relationship

    Teacher: Shanil Haricharan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 01 October 2021 - Sunday 03 October 2021

    shanil haricharanA growing body of research links mindfulness to cognitive, physiological, and psychological benefits. There is a positive relationship between mindfulness and emotional intelligence. 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). Everyone is capable of growing their EI - an essential part of our personal development. This interactive retreat supports participants in their personal development journey, through gaining insights in concepts and practices in emotional intelligence and mindfulness, in navigating our volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world.

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    Shanil Haricharan is an academic, activist, advisor, writer, and coach. He has a diverse professional and academic career in the public and NGO sector, having served as a senior advisor on public management, leadership and organisational culture at the National Treasury for thirteen years. Currently, he is the academic director of UCT’s Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, where he teaches and research emotional intelligence and leadership. 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.

     
08 October 2021
  • Yinsight Yoga: Yin Yoga And Mindfulness Meditation

    Teacher: Despina Forbes
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 October 2021 - Sunday 10 October 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.

12 October 2021
  • Stand Like A Tree To Power Up Your Chi

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Tuesday 12 October 2021 - Friday 15 October 2021

     paul dorrianZhan Zhuang (‘Standing like a Tree’) qigong is unlike most other qigong styles, in that with the exception of changing from one static posture to the next, the practitioner remains absolutely still. Regarded by many contemporary Masters as the most powerful of all qigong practices, it opens all of the nine energy portals in the body, and encourages one’s chi (life force) to flow powerfully throughout one’s entire being. In this retreat Paul will teach the Four Posture Zhan Zhuang Form, which assists in developing a strong physical structure as well as creating a greater supply of healing chi to promote health and vitality. To complement Zhan Zhuang, he will also teach a bouquet of ancient Taoist qigong healing meditations, designed to cleanse and heal the key organs of the body, promote inner peace and tranquillity, expand one’s spiritual awareness, and develop a glowing aura of protection and health.

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    Paul Dorrian is a former international management consultant, author and speaker. His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach qigong and tai chi Chuan. Paul has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. He currently teaches tai chi Chuan in the Yang style and qigong in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of tai chi chuan, and with private students in Pietermaritzburg.

15 October 2021
  • The Myth Of Writer’s Block: Exploring the relationship between negative thought patterns and creative flow

    Teacher: Natasha Freeman
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 15 October 2021 - Sunday 17 October 2021

    natasha freemanUtilising the tenets of Vipassana meditation, Natasha will explore the concept that writer’s block does not actually exist. The retreat will utilise complimentary aspects of meditation and discourse, focussing on self-reflection and exploring, discovering and shifting restrictive internal barriers which contribute to the perception of writer’s block.

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    Natasha Freeman is an author and communications specialist. She was nominated for the Ashton Wylie Book Award which honours works that contribute to the growth and enlightenment of humanity. Her primary interest is in relating the human story in its layers and depths to the greater human experience. She is the author of four books including recently for Penguin: #I’m staying: The unspoken impact of the #I’m staying movement.

22 October 2021
  • Under The Rose-Apple Tree: A weekend of meditation practice

    Teacher: Stephen Coan
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 October 2021 - Sunday 24 October 2021

    stephen coan oct2019The teachings of the Buddha sprang from his enlightenment experience under the bodhi tree. The key to this final awakening, according to the Buddha, was his recollection of a childhood experience that occurred when, on a hot day, “I was sitting in the cool shade of a rose-apple tree” and, quite naturally, he entered a meditative state. “Following on that memory came the realization that: ‘This is indeed the path to enlightenment’.” While the Buddha’s enlightenment can be difficult to comprehend, this earlier experience is more accessible, possibly even familiar to us. Re-connect with and renew that experience in a Zen-style retreat supported by a programme of sitting and walking meditation. There will also be time to enjoy the beautiful grounds of the centre - and to sit under trees. Please note: apart from an introductory talk and a discussion period the retreat will be held in Noble Silence.

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    Stephen Coan has been involved with Buddhism for over 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, and the profound benefits of doing nothing, seriously. He draws on his own life experience of moving between being and doing as a film and theatre director, writer, journalist, and poet.

29 October 2021
  • Life Tides And Word Links: A weekend course in poetry

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 October 2021 - Sunday 31 October 2021

    dawn garischI want to share an approach to poetry
    that’s taught me how to play
    with rhythm and meaning, following words
    and traces of feeling to make new tracks.
    Acts of poetry link the tides of my body
    and the world with new ways of thinking, moving
    across from life to the page, and back

    This course will help you to connect with themes and images that need expression and exploration. Learning to condense or distil your inquiry can help with insight and clarity. Working with rhythm and rhyme, off-and-half-rhymes, and with antonyms and synonyms, can break open meaning in new and unexpected ways. Please bring a thesaurus and a rhyming dictionary if you have one. I will bring mine to share.

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    Dawn Garisch has had seven novels, two collections of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky won the NAF-funded Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptations of her novels Accident and Trespass were staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

03 November 2021
  • Writing Our Ancestral Stories : Shifting the past into new futures

    Teacher: Dawn Garisch
    Cost: 5 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 03 November 2021 - Sunday 07 November 2021

    dawn garischWhat story were you born into? What story will you pass on to future generations? We are all born into circumstances that are not of our choosing – historical, political, cultural, spiritual, geographical, mythological, genetic, epigenetic. This writing course is an invitation to explore what you have inherited from those who came before you, and how this affects your life, often in ways that are just below consciousness. We will investigate whether these attributes and attitudes are helpful or harmful to ourselves, others and the earth. We will also write our way into what attributes and attitudes we wish to pass down to future generations, and what we should rather examine and deal with ourselves in this life, so that we do not unwittingly pass old wounds and outmoded ideas on to those who come after us. Beginner writers are welcome.

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    Dawn Garisch has had seven novels, two collections of poetry, a non-fiction work and a memoir published. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in anthologies, journals and magazines. She has had a short play and short film produced, and has written for television and newspapers. Three of her novels have been published in the UK. In 2007 her poem Blood Delta was awarded the DALRO prize. In 2010 Trespass was short-listed for the Commonwealth prize for fiction in Africa, and in 2011 her poem Miracle won the EU Sol Plaatjie Poetry Award. In 2013 her short story What To Do About Ricky won the NAF-funded Short.Sharp.Story competition. Her novel Accident was published by Modjaji in 2017 and her adaptations of her novels Accident and Trespass were staged. She published her latest book Breaking Milk in 2020. She is interested in trans-disciplinary work in science and art, and between different art forms and teaches life writing and creative method courses. She is a practising medical doctor and lives in Cape Town.

12 November 2021
  • Letting Go Into Flow

    Teacher: Chandasara and Nolitha Tsengiwe
    Cost: 7 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 12 November 2021 - Friday 19 November 2021

    chandasara2nolitha tsengiwe2021As change is constant in our lives it seems like a good thing from time to time to reflect on how we deal with change, uncertainty and insecurity more generally. When we are faced with any big change, whether global or personal, how do we cope with not knowing when or how we will ‘get back to normal’, or even whether ‘normal’ still seems ‘normal’ anymore. Where do we find our sense of security, safety, stability, when faced with our fears of far-reaching change and uncertainty? In this silent 7-day meditation retreat, we will explore the theme of change and uncertainty using the Buddha’s teachings as a guide. Our focus will be on calming the body, heart and mind so that we can see a little more clearly into our habitual responses to change and uncertainty. There will be morning and evening talks, periods of sitting, walking and lying down meditation, time on our own in nature, some time for sharing together and group discussion, as well as the opportunity for individual interviews.

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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 nine 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.

    Nolitha Tsengiwe has always been curious about “what truth is.” Her search for truth led her to become a practising Buddhist under the guidance of Kittisaro and Thanissara who are disciples of the Thai Forest Buddhist tradition master, Ajahn Chah. She is a graduate of CDL4 at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, USA, and is currently enrolled in a 4-year Buddhist teacher training course under Joseph Goldstein at the Insight Meditation Society in Barre, Massachusetts. She is a psychologist in private practice and an executive coach. In both roles, her primary goal is to create a holding space for people who are seeking truth as a doorway to freedom and healing.

19 November 2021
  • At Ease in in Mind and Body: An introduction to qigong

    Teacher: Paul Dorrian
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 19 November 2021 - Sunday 21 November 2021

    paul dorrianQigong is an ancient Chinese practice that boosts one’s health and longevity. Through gentle, slow and flowing movements, it integrates and harmonises one’s bodily functions and states of mind by eliminating static and toxic energy patterns. Qigong strengthens the internal organs and skeletal structure and encourages good posture. In this retreat Paul will teach the Healing Sounds Short Form - a set of gentle exercises that also uses sounds to cleanse and heal our major organs, and which is a lot of fun to practise. He will also teach the ancient Taoist qigong meditation for inner peace and tranquillity.

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    Paul Dorrian is a former international management consultant, author and speaker. His interest in improving employee wellness in the work place led him to teach qigong and tai chi Chuan. Paul has studied these disciplines under various teachers in the UK and Spain, and with the late Master Dr Nico Snyman, his current teacher Master Marleen Bilas and with his Grandmaster Dr Lin Feng-Chao. He currently teaches tai chi Chuan in the Yang style and qigong in the Pa Tuan Chin, Healing Sounds and Zhan Zhuang styles at his school, the Lin Li School of tai chi chuan, and with private students in Pietermaritzburg.

     

26 November 2021
  • Quiet Mountain, Clear Sky: Meditating with calmness and clarity

    Teacher: Mervyn Croft
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 26 November 2021 - Sunday 28 November 2021

    mervyn croftThis retreat will provide an opportunity to explore two aspects of Buddhist meditation practice - the gradual development of calmness and peacefulness in our mind; and the practise of awareness, in order to live with more clarity and more centredness in the present moment. This foundation of calmness helps us to meet our confused thoughts and emotions with more acceptance and kindness and leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of our minds. The retreat will create a gentle and relaxed space in which to explore the benefits of spending time quietly with ourselves, to allow the qualities of calmness and clarity to develop in a natural way and to enjoy the nurturing effect of being silent in a beautiful environment.

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    Mervyn Croft has been engaged in Buddhism for over forty years, including a period of thirteen years as a member of the resident community at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo. He has participated in retreats in the Theravada, Zen and Tibetan traditions, and for many years was a student of Godwin Samararatne from Sri Lanka. In 2000 he co-founded the Emoyeni Retreat Centre where he teaches and lives in a house of stone.

03 December 2021
  • Grounded In Space: A weekend of tai chi and qigong

    Teacher: Alex and Jeremey Lister-James
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 03 December 2021 - Sunday 05 December 2021

    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  exercises and movement-within-stillness meditation. Tai chi has been described as “learning to move with the wind and water in the course of everyday life”.

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    Alex Lister-James initially studied the Yang Form of tai chi as a form of “moving meditation” before incorporating qigong (chi kung) in her practice, together with sitting and walking meditation. She has attended retreats at the Buddhist Retreat Centre for 40 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 field 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).

10 December 2021
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

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

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

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

     
12 December 2021
  • Shibuie - When Beauty Happens Accidentally: Sumie and Raku – Japanese brush painting and pottery

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

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

    Shibuie is the ancient Japanese concept of Accidental Beauty in which the artist is just one ingredient in a number of dynamic interacting natural processes, the outcome of which is delightfully unpredictable, but strangely beautiful - not ego-driven or deliberate. Ingrid will teach the classical Japanese brush painting techniques (Sumie) as these are applied to traditional subjects, such as landscape, bamboo and flower studies - as well as contemporary subjects. We will use the genuine, traditional materials: solid pine-soot ink, a hollowed-out slate to liquefy it, a deer-hair bamboo-stemmed brush and absorbent mulberry paper. Tools will be provided, but sets can be purchased (R850) from the BRC. Each retreatant will receive a bisque-fired tea bowl to sumie-decorate and glaze. Jess will then fire up the kiln after which we will watch the magic as the pots emerge from their ordeal of having been subjected to 1000ºC heat, smothered in sawdust and immersed in cold water. The pots will emerge triumphantly from the scorching heat!

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    Ingrid Adams qualified as a fashion designer, an art teacher and completed a B.A. Fine Arts with Unisa. She travelled extensively whilst running a successful business in fashion and home textiles. Viewing Sumie and ink painting in China, Japan and Korea, she embarked on a Sumie course with Louis and was instantly smitten. Retiring from business, Ingrid completed a B.A. Fine Arts Honours, and recently a Masters, with UKZN Pietermaritzburg. Both the research and practical were focused on Sumie. She currently paints and teaches Sumie part-time.

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

16 December 2021
  • Open The Heart And Still the Mind: Ending The Year With Kindness, Compassion And Joy

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 7 days accommodation plus Teacher’s fee/dana + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 16 December 2021 - Thursday 23 December 2021

    sue cooper 2021This annual “Open the Heart and Still the Mind” 7-day intensive silent retreat is an integration of Buddhist wisdom and practices with psychology.
    Through mindfulness and compassion practices we will establish a calm and grounded embodied presence, creating a reliable foundation from which to cultivate a brave, compassionate and joyful heart and mind. These qualities of consciousness allow our thoughts, speech and actions to move beyond habitual fear, self-doubt and anticipatory dread, so that our choices become informed by open-hearted, appreciative awareness and compassionate wisdom.
    The extended time in silence will provide an opportunity to process the year and to discover new perspectives and more courageous and joyful ways of being. This will equip us for this world which is characterised not only by change and uncertainty, but also by beauty, joy and wonder. In addition to the guided meditations in all postures, our embodied experience will be enhanced by daily sessions of qigong and mindful movement, as well as time to walk in nature and explore the stunning beauty of the Centre. Short, individual sessions with Sue are included and will provide additional emotional containment and healing.
    A pre-retreat 30-50 minute individual session with Sue, either in person in Cape Town or via Zoom/Whatsapp is required if you have not attended one of her residential retreats before and is fully covered by medical aid. The fee will be reduced if you are not on medical aid or have financial constraints.
    CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: to be confirmed and carrying an admin fee.
    Please contact Sue on sue.stillmind@gmail.com or see www.stillmindretreats.com for cost of course and further details.

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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

23 December 2021
  • Stalking The Moment: Being Home 24/7 - Christmas At The BRC

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 23 December 2021 - Sunday 26 December 2021

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

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

29 December 2021
  • Three Wise Medicines For Living Your Life In The New Year

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Wednesday 29 December 2021 - Sunday 02 January 2022

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

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

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism. She came across Buddhism through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a lawyer and environmental scientist, she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three-and-a-half-year retreat, followed by a second retreat of four years. Since returning to Cape Town, she has served on the Board of the Southern African Faith Communities Environmental Institute, a multi-faith NGO, and is now its Executive Director. She spent a 10-day intensive retreat with Joanna Macy, engaging with Macy’s “Work That Connects”, which she has offered in Cape Town. Her particular interest is eco philosophy and the role that spirituality and ethics play in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of the Earth.

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

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

    deborah donkugan naidoo lotuscolin kemeryIt is difficult to make decisions about important issues in your life when you are immersed in them. You need some distance from them, physically and psychologically to see them clearly for what they are. Only then, can you gain a fresh perspective on them. So, if you feel you need a gentle, uncluttered space to tune into what lies ahead for you in 2022, this largely unstructured weekend will prove useful. Experience sunrise qigong (chi kung), gentle hatha yoga sessions and meditation. The Centre is yours to enjoy, walking or bird-watching in three hundred acres of rolling hills and indigenous forests. Circumambulate the labyrinth and stupa, meditate in the Zen garden or in the Buddha Boma, and spend solitary time in the deer park and at the dam or listen to the wind-chimes. Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach and massage therapist, will be offering healing therapies by appointment. The BRC provides an ideal opportunity to be in a sympathetic space to reflect on the things that crowd one’s life and to experience what it is like to "just be".

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    Deborah Don, a qualified Self-Esteem Coach, and massage therapist, has been involved in the Health, the Easter and New Year retreats offered at the BRC over the last five years. She offers aromatherapy, energy balance and sound therapy, self-steem coaching and foot, back and neck healing therapies.

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

    Colin Kemery has conducted his popular sunrise chi kung sessions at the BRC for 8 years. He is a resident member of the BRC and has been a Buddhist and yoga practitioner for 42 years. He lived and worked in the UK, France, Denmark and the USA, and is a musician and song-writer, with a passion for cooking and nutrition. He and Shadow, the BRC kitty, are inseparable.

14 January 2022
  • Vipassana Meditation: How to realise ever-present mindfulness

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

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg 2020Thoughts are about what is not happening - Paul Hedderman

    Vipassana (Insight) meditation is based on mindfulness, which is always available, everywhere, without limit or cost. The challenge is how to realise it. The answer was provided by the Buddha. He taught ways to cultivate mindfulness that lead to insight and awakening. This retreat is an invitation for beginners and experienced meditators to practise Vipassana using the traditional Buddhist method of Ajahn Tong. For beginners it is a simple and direct technique to start meditating and for experienced meditators, it is a skilful method to deepen their insight. Mindfulness is developed by regular walking and sitting practice, by maintaining awareness during normal activities, such as eating, showering, dressing and supported by talks and daily interviews with a teacher. The weekend will be held in silence. Retreatants are welcome to join the subsequent 4-day meditation retreat.
    Sustain awareness at every moment in every posture, whether standing, walking, sitting or lying down. This is the way to establish mindfulness in the heart - Ajahn Chah

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    Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg trained in Vipassana meditation under the Thai Vipassana master Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo. Jonathan worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Durban and Anna holds a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies. They have taught meditation together at Wat Chom Tong Meditation Centre in Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Spain and South Africa and currently manage and teach at the Tisarana Vipassananusorn Meditation Centre in Prague.

16 January 2022
  • A Vipassana Retreat: The search for truth

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

    jonathan preboyanna scharfenberg 2020You may find that the cell is an ideal place to learn to know yourself, to search realistically and regularly the processes of your own mind and feelings ... it gives you the opportunity to look daily into your entire conduct to overcome the bad and develop whatever is good in you. Never forget that a saint is a sinner who keeps on trying - Nelson Mandela - Mandela The Authorised Biography by Anthony Sampson

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

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

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    Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenberg trained in Vipassana meditation under the great Thai Vipassana master Ajahn Tong Sirimangalo. Jonathan worked as a clinical psychologist in private practice in Durban and Anna holds a Master of Arts in Buddhist Studies. They have taught meditation together at Wat Chom Tong Meditation Centre in Thailand, Mexico, Italy, Spain and South Africa (the BRC, Dharmagiri and Emoyeni) and currently manage and teach at the Tisarana Vipassananusorn Meditation Centre in Prague.

21 January 2022
  • The Way Of Ubuntu: Exploring traditional South African healing

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

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

28 January 2022
  • Healing Qigong For Health And Vitality

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

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

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

04 February 2022
  • Rainbow Salads And Sunshine Bowls: Adopting A Wholesome Plant-Based Lifestyle

    Teacher: Debbie Rich, Sascha Türk, Nishalin Pillay and Vaneshran Arumugam
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 February 2022 - Sunday 06 February 2022

    debbie rich 2021sascha turknishalan pillayvaneshran arumugamFollowing on the success of their first 'vegan venture', Debbie and Sascha are offering an updated version. We are all in need of paying close attention to our health. This retreat is ideal for those who want to make the change-over to a plant-based, wholesome and healthy lifestyle. Learn how to make nutritious superfood smoothie bowls which are decorated creatively and bursting with fruit flavour; create your own "Buddha" bowls, sunshine and rainbow salads, ultimate dressings and simple soups rich with flavour, as well as mouth-watering vegan burgers, falafels and vegan healthy-guilt-free chocolate. If you want to learn about wholefoods and veganism, this is an opportunity to find the 'creative foodie' in you. Included in this retreat will be sunrise yoga and meditation as well as pilates, the yin-yang of health, where "belly strengthening is a perfect balance to belly-nourishing". A "sound bath" meditative experience will be offered using healing instuments such as gongs, singing bowls, percussion, chimes, rattles, tuning forks and chanting.

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

    Sascha Türk is a Pilates and Yoga teacher. She is a third generation classically trained Pilates teacher in the New York Method and has been teaching Pilates since 2005 from her studio in Durban North. She attained her Introductory Level certificate for Iyengar yoga in 2019. Her love for movement, health, and keen interest in the human body has taken her on a journey towards health and harmony.

    Nishalin Pillay and Vaneshran Arumugam are multi-talented musicians who will create a mercurial sound to enhance your meditative journey. Nishalin, a percussionist and tabla ambassador, has played devotionally in ashrams and Vaneshram's voice comes out of a lauded career as a master performer and storyteller.

11 February 2022
  • 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 11 February 2022 - Sunday 13 February 2022

    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.

18 February 2022
  • Happy Healthy Yoga For Health And Harmony

    Teacher: Margot McMaster
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 February 2022 - Sunday 20 February 2022

    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.

25 February 2022
  • Speak Your Truth, Listen Deeply

    Teacher: Lucy Draper-Clarke and Felicity Hart
    Cost: 2 days accommodation plus R600 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 25 February 2022 - Sunday 27 February 2022

    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 PhD is a mindfulness mentor and researcher-practitioner, with a doctorate in Mindfulness and Teacher Education. She now 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 Hart has practised meditation, mindfulness and yoga for over 35 years and now 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.

04 March 2022
  • A Neurosurgeon Probes Wellness And Performance: Psychoneuroimmunology

    Teacher: Ian Weinberg
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 04 March 2022 - Sunday 06 March 2022

    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.

     
11 March 2022
  • Yin And Yang: A Yoga Retreat: Release, relax and restore

    Teacher: Georgie Carter
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 11 March 2022 - Sunday 13 March 2022

    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.

     
18 March 2022
  • From Fear To Fundamental Well-Being

    Teacher: Albert Buhr
    Cost: 3 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 18 March 2022 - Monday 21 March 2022

    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.

25 March 2022
  • 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 25 March 2022 - Sunday 27 March 2022

    katherine fillmore2020In 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.

27 March 2022
  • 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 27 March 2022 - Thursday 31 March 2022

    katherine fillmore2020Reiki 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 2022
  • A Weekend Of Kindness At The BRC

    Teacher: Elizabeth Gaywood and Di Franklin
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 01 April 2022 - Sunday 03 April 2022

    elizabeth gaywoodBe kind to yourself, recharge your energy and reconnect with friends. Enjoy the peace and healing energy of the BRC. 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 is OK too. Elizabeth will be available for meditation sessions (either guided or silent) and Di will be offering qigong. Bask in the spirit of generosity and friendship upon which the BRC has been based for the last 41 years. We invite you to bring a tray of seedlings or an indigenous tree to plant in lieu of Dana.

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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.

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    Di 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.
     

08 April 2022
  • Reclaim Your Power: A journey to inner balance

    Teacher: Heike Sym
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R200 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 08 April 2022 - Sunday 10 April 2022

    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.

14 April 2022
  • Open The Heart And Still The Mind: Embracing grief and gratitude with compassion

    Teacher: Sue Cooper
    Cost: 4 days accommodation + R600 surcharge
    Dates: Thursday 14 April 2022 - Monday 18 April 2022

    sue cooper oct2019This 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 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.

    View teacher details
    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.

22 April 2022
  • World As Lover, World As Self: Finding our way home in difficult times

    Teacher: Tsunma Tsondru
    Cost: 2 days accommodation + R350 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 22 April 2022 - Sunday 24 April 2022 08:00am - 05:00pm

    ‘Home’ is a feeling of safety, belonging, completeness, and rest. Difficult times, the rocky pandemic road especially, may have left many of us feeling - or realizing that we feel - disconnected, perhaps lonely, anxious, lost and far from ‘home’. How to find our way home again? A detailed map that leads back home is to discover that the world is both lover and self. Using The Work That Reconnects of Joanna Macy, the weekend will explore heart-opening practices of active hope that reveal our deep belonging to and connection with the world, and the Universe. Active hope is waking up to the beauty of life on whose behalf we can act, through meditation, walking, journaling, and work-shopping. We belong to this world!

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    Tsunma Tsondru is a nun in the Karma Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, ordained by Tai Situ Rinpoche. She first met Buddhism in the 90’s through Louis van Loon at the BRC. After working as a lawyer and environmental scientist she left for Spain for a traditional Kagyu three and a half years closed retreat, followed by a second one of four years. In 2015, Tsondru spent a 10-day intensive with Joanna Macy in California, engaging with the Work that Reconnects, and since then has been teaching the Work that Reconnects in Cape Town and elsewhere. She dedicates her time to sharing the teachings of the Buddha, teaching meditation, helping people reconnect with inner wilderness through leading contemplative Wilderness Within trails in the iMfolozi-Hluhlue wilderness area, and teaching The Work That Reconnects, weaving it into the practice and teaching of Buddhism and meditation. Her journey now is to bring spiritual practice into the world, through teaching eco-philosophy, deep time, deep ecology, and ‘actionism’, because spirituality and ethics, as well as a deep perspective, must play a foundational role in transforming our economic and social systems in protection of our precious home-place, Earth.

29 April 2022
  • Vinyāsa Yoga And Meditation

    Teacher: Hannelize Robinson
    Cost: 2 day's accommodation + R400 surcharge
    Dates: Friday 29 April 2022 - Sunday 01 May 2022

    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.

    View teacher details
    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.




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