I am fortunate enough to have been invited to teach this year at The Buddhist Retreat Center, a meditation center in South Africa that has been listed by CNN as one of the top ten meditation centers in the world (along with Plum Village and Spirit Rock). In addition the center has "unarguably one of the best vegetarian tables in South Africa". The center has published two wonderful recipe books Quiet Food and The Cake the Buddha Ate, it was awarded Natural Heritage Status by President Nelson Mandela, and is home to rare Blue Swallow. This article will give you a taste of the BRC.
I'd love you to join me there so I can share this beautiful corner of the world with you.
I've been visiting the BRC for over twenty years now and make sure I include at least a weekend there on every return trip to South Africa. I've taught there on a number of occasions and it is one of the places I know I can always find my center. It was the inspiration for my book of Meditative Moments and the place where I learned the value of being in the present moment and letting go of attachments. It is the place where some of my most meaningful photographs have been made and where I've been able to work through hard decisions. Spending time here always feels like a spa treatment for my soul.
I'll be offering two workshops and a SoulCollage® Facilitator Training during the ten days and you don't have to attend them all (or even any of them!) to come and enjoy this oasis of calm in the rolling hills of Ixopo. There is plenty of time between workshops and during workshops to connect to your soul and enjoy the beauty of the land.
Friday, October 7th to Sunday, October 9th
The Zen of Seeing: Photography as Meditative Practice
In this retreat we will explore the connection between meditation and photography. You will learn techniques to bring mindfulness and awareness into your photography practice, as well as ways to more fully express yourself, your senses and your feelings in the images you make. Reflective focus practices using your eye and your camera will build your image-making skills, while showing you the value of “seeing through quiet eyes”. We will also create a small zen-like book as a container for your “Meditative Moment" images.
Monday, October 10th to Wednesday, October 12th
SoulCollage® and the Labyrinth as Tools of Transformation
A Veriditas Approved Qualifying Workshop
SoulCollage® and the Labyrinth are both tools for self-discovery and soul-alignment, as well as ways to quiet your mind and access your inner knowing. They are creative and mindful ways of exploring and clarifying the paths we are on. We will explore the spiral pattern of the labyrinth as a metaphor for wholeness and creativity, and use the SoulCollage® process to integrate and deepen our experience of self-discovery in the labyrinth.
Thursday, October 13th to Sunday, October 16th
SoulCollage® Facilitator Training
This Training is for those who want to share the SoulCollage® process with others. You will learn how to prepare for a workshop, create safe space for participants, do SoulCollage® readings, as well as how to promote your workshops. You will find out how to access the rich archive of information available to Facilitators and how to use the SoulCollage® website to share your workshops. You will network with like-minded people and become part of a world-wide community of Facilitators. Once you've completed the Training you will receive a certificate entitling you to use the SoulCollage® trademark and logo in the work you do according to the Principles of SoulCollage®. More information on the Training can be found here.
- Cost of accommodation at the BRC ranges from $55 per night to $100 per night (all delicious meals included) depending on whether you want simplicity or your own chalet with en-suite bathroom. Best value for money anywhere! All accommodation is booked directly with the Buddhist Retreat Center.
- The cost to attend the Photography workshop and the Labyrinth workshop is about $20 for supplies and is booked through the BRC.
- The cost of the Facilitator Training for new Facilitators is $695 and for already-trained Facilitators refreshing their skills it is $445 (and if you use SoulCollage® or the labyrinth in your work in the world, this could qualify as a business trip!) To register for this book through Catherine - details here.
- Airfare can range from $1,000 to $1,500 depending on where you are flying from. To get to the BRC, you would fly into King Shaka International Airport in Durban (either with Delta or SAA from Atlanta/JFK/Washington to Johannesburg and then from Johannesburg to Durban, or with Emirates from Boston to Dubai then Dubai direct to Durban).
- Transport to the retreat center (about 2 1/2 hours from Durban) - estimated at $50 to $100 depending on the number of people.
- If you wanted to add in a couple of days at a Game Reserve in KwaZulu-Natal, I can give you information.
OPPORTUNITY TO VISIT WOZA MOYA
For those of you that know me, you know that I have a special place in my heart for the people of Woza Moya, a non-profit that came into being as a result of the extreme and urgent need that arose out of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in the area. They make a huge difference to the women and children living there. Find out more here.
For those interested, I will arrange for us to visit Woza Moya which is located close to the BRC, to find out more about the work they do with the community (which includes SoulCollage®) and see the beautiful crafts the women make to support themselves and their children.
If you have questions or need to find out more you are welcome to contact me.