Finding their tracks: Bushman, Voortrekkers and Settlers at the BRC

The BRC sits on 300 acres of hills which Alan Paton, in the opening paragraph of his seminal book, Cry the Beloved Country, describes as lovely beyond any singing of it.  Yet in 1970, these three hills had become sterile; they had eroded and were covered with steekgras, American bramble and Australian wattle plantations.   That is how I acquired it for the purpose of establishing the first Buddhist meditation centre in South Africa.

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The BRC is clearly photogenic

The BRC is clearly photogenic. The producers of the SATV 2’sEastern Mosaic filmed  at  the BRC recently. You can watch the evocative episode by clicking the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKNqoaicfC4

Japanese Brush Painting and Raku Pottery

potteryAnthony Shapiro and Louis van Loon conduct another workshop in Cape Town on

Japanese Brush Painting and Raku Pottery
3 days: May 21 - 23 2015

For more details contact Erika

The BRC hosted Master Chef SA and is featured in the November issue of Paris Vogue

nalandarocksLA VALLEE BLEUE, Afrique du Sud L'un des dix meilleurs centres de méditation du monde, selon CNN, se trouve dans les montagnes du KwaZulu-Natal, au-dessus des méandres de la rivière Umkomaas. Dans ce parc de 120 hectares, de multiples chemins mènent au nirvana : au détour d'un sentier, croiser une hirondelle bleue ou contempler la vallée qui s'efface dans toutes les nuances de bleu. Comme dans les autres centres de méditation bouddhiste, on peut y pratiquer l'assise tranquille, en silence, en observant sa respiration - guidée par des enseignants -mais ici il est aussi possible de s'exercer seul. D'autres types de stages permettent également d'explorer la pensée et la philosophie bouddhistes ou de pratiquer la pleine conscience pendant des cours de cuisine, de tai-chi, de poterie, de percussions ou de photo. Autant de manières d'accéder au Grand Tout en se reconnectant à soi-même. Buddhist Retreat Center, Ixopo. www.brcixopo.co.zaParis Vogue  in their current issue,  features the BRC as La Vallee Bleue. The picture is of the valley below Nilanda Rocks. (Download the article

The producers of Master Chef SA rewarded contestants in this popular cooking competition with a visit to the BRC,  where Louis told them about the eastern philosophical principles of vegetarianism.  They then  tasted our food to make them aware of  how fabulously tasty and nutritious this Ahimsa (“harmless”) food can be.  Their visit was featured in episode 8 of Master Chef SA on SATV 3 recently.

Visiting Teachers in 2015

Unfortunately, John Peacock is not well enough to teach at the BRC in March 2015.   We wish him a steady recovery and hope that he will be able to visit the BRC again later in 2015.

Jonathan Preboy and Anna Scharfenburg: January  5 – 9 & May 29 – 31 

Rob Nairn and Lucy Draper-Clarke:  March 24 – 29 2015

Lama Marut:  April 30 – May 3 2015

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You are invited to our AGM- 30 July 2014

What if you could talk to animals -  and have them talk back to you?

In this remarkable film, “The Animal Communicator”, you will see Anna Breytenbach turn a snarling leopard into a contented cat; wild birds land on her shoulders; fish gather round her when she swims; wild baboons lie on her body as if she is one of them.  She talks about how she communicates with animals through thought.        

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In Praise of Stillness

in-praise-of-stillness“The word prevents silence from speaking”  (Eugene Ionesco)

“Few things under heaven are as instructive as the lessons of Silence/ or as beneficial as the fruits of Non-Ado” (Lao-Tzu) 

Silence has a special meaning in Buddhism.  That is why it is called Noble Silence.  It is not just an obligation to keep quiet - like one is expected to do when listening to a Chopin Nocturne played in a concert hall.  It is also not simply the abstention from making an audible noise.  It is a voluntary undertaking to open up to a world that exists independently from our interpretation of it – whether in spoken or written words or thoughts.  Such stillness can only happen when you make yourself available to receive whatever the universe is presenting you with; when you are quiet and keep still.  

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Sangha Projects: December 2013

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

Dana (generosity) is a well-known sentiment in the Buddhist Eastern countries, and a natural response to the needs of the monasteries and centres like ours. We are always humbled by the abundance of gifts from retreatants who have made the BRC their spiritual home. Grateful thanks to  generous donations from Ian Chambler, Sandra Kloppers, Baboo Soni, Rafeek and Tasneem Dada, Aroshan Mohanlal, the Sitaram family, Roy Sivmangal, Asha Mahabeer, Kushy and Roy Ramjathan. The large AMC pot donated by Shirley Mahabeer was gratefully received, as was the magnanimous donation of paint from Lianne Van Niekerk and Pam Evans to complete the painting of the exterior of the Lodge.

We were blessed to receive and provide a loving home to 84 special indigenous trees, donated by Jenny Cowey, as well as another generous donation of indigenous trees from Chris Dalzell, all of which are flourishing with the spring rains.

Big thanks to Roy McEwen for compiling a beautiful CD of Antony Osler’s talks over Stoep Zen, and to Ans Van Der Walt who continues to maintain our library.

Thank you – everybody!                                                


The BuddhaBoma: it’s on its way - at last!

After many false starts, Chris Dalzell has located the eight trees that tell the story of the Buddha’s life and teachings.   His partner, Pamela Evans, has offered to fund the boardwalk that leads from the circular road behind the Buddha statue, past the labyrinth, to the circular platform where the meditation pavilion will be built.   The trees will be planted around the perimeter of the Boma, enabling visitors to circumambulate them, each tree representing an important aspect of  Buddhist history and philosophy.

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