All retreats begin at 5pm (supper), please aim to arrive after 2pm. Retreats finish after breakfast on the finish day.



Date: January 19 - January 22, 2017
Title: New Year Intentions & Yoga Retreat
Teacher: Lucy Draper-Clarke

The thought of New Year's Resolutions brings many of us out in a cold sweat. Old habit patterns of striving, judgment, and duty paralyse our ability to create a life of balance and meaning. The vast majority of resolutions fail, leaving us feeling more despondent than if we had not made them in the first place! This retreat combines Eastern contemplative traditions with insights from Western psychology in order to bring understanding to the conscious and unconscious processes that support, or often block, our path to a life of balance and fulfillment.

We will integrate the body, heart and mind in a gentle, unfolding process, and reflect on what inspires and energises us, trusting that by tapping into our own talents, we can bring benefit to others. Through body-based yoga practices, we will bring awareness to the physical sensations associated with our feelings. Mindfulness practices will tune us in to both our supportive and sabotaging patterns, while compassion practices will provide us with skilful ways to accept ourselves just as we are in order to create the conditions for transformation to take place.


Lucy Draper-Clarke PhD
Lucy Draper-Clarke PhD - Lucy is an educator, writer and researcher-practitioner, with a doctorate in mindfulness and teacher education. After graduating from Oxford in 1989, she obtained a PGCE and moved to Botswana to work in secondary schools and teacher education colleges. She also ran an educational publishing company, consulted on educational issues to the United Nations, and wrote many textbooks for the Botswana curriculum, in the social sciences.

In 2005, she co-founded North Andaman Tsunami Relief in Thailand and worked there for a year. On her return to Botswana, she became Deputy Principal at Botswana's leading secondary school, Maru-a-Pula, while also training as a yoga teacher and mindfulness facilitator.

In 2010, she moved to South Africa to study at the University of the Witwatersrand, and helped to set up Mindfulness Africa, under the guidance of Rob Nairn. She now practices with the Karma Kagyu school of Buddhism and is the chairperson of the Tara Rokpa Centre, which was founded in South Africa by Choje Akong Tulku Rinpoche. Her current focus is on bringing yoga and mindfulness practices to human service professionals, to give them skills to alleviate stress and increase resilience, as well as enabling them to care for others with compassion and presence. She runs Heart-Mind Consultancy and leads courses and retreats around Southern Africa.

Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: February 17 - February 19, 2017
Title: Pudding & Prana
Teachers: Amy Best & Paul Atkinson

Join Amy and Paul for a weekend designed to fill your belly and your heart. Paul will share tips and tricks from his years of cooking both internationally and locally. Amy will conduct yoga sessions and meditations that will focus on cultivating health and joy within your yoga practice. Guided relaxations and vegetarian delights will leave you feeling nourished inside and out.


Amy and Paul
Amy Best & Paul Atkinson - Amy and Paul are the husband and wife team behind "Pudding and Prana". Together they offer retreats that nourish the body and calm the mind. Paul, the former chef and co-author to the much anticipated third BRC cookbook, is passionate about vegetarian food. Amy is a firm believer that yoga can create more joy in our busy lives. She has studied and taught yoga around the world for over 15 years. While based in Underberg, they conduct retreats combining food and yoga throughout SA.

Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: February 24 - February 28, 2017 (retreat finishes evening of the 27th)
Title: The Way of Qigong
Teacher: Max Weier

The ancient Chinese art of qigong aims to cultivate one's qi (life-force) and harmonise body and mind through movement, attention, breath and meditation. Beyond the manifold benefits of the practice the ultimate goal of qigong lies in the opening of the mind to the experience of its inherent stillness.

In this retreat bodily movements will alternate with sessions of sitting meditation and with the contemplation of the mystical Dao, the primordial ground.


Max Weier
Max Weier - Max is based in his native Switzerland and has been studying and practicing qigong, yoga and Buddhist disciplines for over thirty years. He teaches workshops and leads retreats worldwide. He is the author of numerous articles on Eastern body-mind practices and a book on qigong and meditation The Qigong Way: from body to energy to consciousness.

Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: March 3 - March 7, 2017
Title: Healing through the Enneagram with Compassion:
Cultivate love, compassion, and presence by using this ancient wisdom map
Teachers: Anita Craig
"An incredible healing map" is a succinct way to describe the multidimensional Enneagram...


What is the Enneagram?
The name "Enneagram" comes from two Greek words: ennea meaning "nine" and gram meaning "drawing" or "figure." The Enneagram is a nine-pointed diagram inscribed in a circle. The meaning of the symbol itself, together with the personality styles organized around the nine points, convey a system of knowledge about nine distinct but interrelated ways of seeing and experiencing the world. Each style associated with the Enneagram represents a map of traits that highlights patterns of thinking, feeling, and behaving. By learning one's own style and the patterns and habits associated with that style or pattern, one can use the Enneagram system as an effective tool for self-understanding and self-development.

Each Enneagram personality style is based on a pattern of where attention goes. By learning about what kinds of things one habitually attends to and puts energy into, one can observe oneself more accurately and develop more self-awareness. By enhancing one's self awareness with the help of the Enneagram, one can exercise more choice about one's functioning rather than engaging in patterns of thought, emotion, and behavior in an automatic, habitual, unconscious way. The Enneagram symbol and the knowledge associated with it have ancient roots. Traces of it can be found in the early mystical forms of many of the world's spiritual teachings. Today, knowledge of the Enneagram system is growing all around the world. The insights about human functioning and development are being applied in many varied areas including psychology and psychotherapy, business, the arts, health care, parenting, education, and spiritual growth.

How is it useful to us?
We can use the enneagram as a way to explore, to heal our wounds and our world - first, by becoming aware of the habitual and hurtful patterns of our own and others' basic styles, then by forgiving our broken humanity and having the courage to show up as our true selves and support others in doing the same…

This retreat will allow us a holistic and thorough enquiry that helps us to see what we are not seeing (through the lens' of the 9 styles), and give us access to the gifts of each of the styles that we are possibly not utilizing fully, especially when we get caught up in our own primary style. On this retreat, the journey of the enneagram will deepen, as aspects of spirituality, the return path to essence for each enneagram pattern, will be uncovered, with healing transformations and practices for each ennea style.

Some teaching inputs will be provided, yet, the focus of the retreat is experiential, and will include:

• Both narrative and silent practices, such as meditation, presencing and centering practices
• Poetry, enquiry into the essence of Who We Are, and paths to liberate us from our ennea-trances
• Essence, shadow, integration, and awakening
• Intimate, compassionate conversations about our loves, our fears and challenges.

This retreat is suited to any individual, or couple, on a journey of enquiry. A foundational level of the enneagram is useful, however, not essential to participate.

To discover how you can apply this healing map to your life, relationships and communities, we invite you to attend this retreat and deep Enneagram journey.


Anita Craig
Anita Craig - Anita works both in the capacity as a corporate facilitator and executive coach, and runs a private holistic wellness practice for over 15 years. Wellness for her includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Anita has personally worked with a broad range of clients at C-level leadership, senior management and executive levels, with particular focus on sustainable individual and organisational change and growth.The enneagram for Anita is the modality that encapsulates the most dynamic way of understanding complex human behaviour, as it allows for movement within the map, and ways to be liberated from the limitations of our personality structures. At a personal level, Anita understands and loves the richness and diversity of human behaviour, cultures and multiple world-views. She loves the challenge of working with the paradoxes that reside in us as individuals, those at large in the world and the systems that surround us. She is on a deep spiritual journey, as a committed seeker and aspirant. Her path has been influenced greatly by Advaita Vedanta, and Sai Baba's teachings, with an all-embracing approach of "Love All, Serve All". It is her personal joy to share the gifts of the enneagram, to alleviate the suffering of man and mind.

Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: April 14 - April 18, 2017
Title: Yatra - Walking in the Berg
Teachers: Dain Peters & Chandasara

"Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come." - Rumi

Walk in the Mountains to reconnect with the sacred. Bring poetry, prayers and sacred texts that are meaningful to you to share. There will be walking in the day and gatherings in the evenings, led by Dain & Chandasara. There are pools to swim & an opportunity to absorb the power and majesty of the Berg. Walks paced for various levels of mobility.

In Sanskrit Yātrā ( यात्रा) means 'journey', 'procession', and refers to the pilgrimage to holy places, such as confluences of sacred rivers, and places associated with ancient stories and sacred epics. In many cultures, since ancient times it has been recognised that we walk our way back into wholeness and the memory of the "intimacy of all things." This pilgrimage retreat offers both seated meditation and mindful walks in the beautiful mountains surrounding Dharmagiri as well as a range of teachings and practices from both Buddhist and Jungian paradigms which explore the winding paths of our deviations and reunions in this great Pilgrimage of Becoming Human.

Testimonial previous Yatra retreat. "I experienced Dain and Martin's Yatra as abundantly peaceful, transcendently beautiful, heart-warmly meaningful and super fun! Dain and Martin created between us (those who, like me, participated in the Yatra) an almost instantaneous sense of community. And as a community, we, with blessed idleness, wandered through the Southern Drakensberg and, with insightful facilitation by Dain, engaged in thought-provoking discussions. I particularly enjoyed Dain's masterful use of poetry to communicate ideas that we were exploring."


Dain Peters
Dain Peters - Dain is a qualified musician, Clinical psychologist, and Jungian analyst. He serves on the executives of the SAPC (The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation) and SAAJA (South African Association of Jungian Analysts). In Cape Town, where he runs a private Psychotherapy practice, he is regularly contracted to support, develop programmes and train local NGOs. Previously he managed the Midlands office of Sinani (Kwazulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence), an NGO addressing the multiple consequences of socio-political violence. He is committed to supporting the LGBTI community and has collaborated with Triangle Project for over 10 years.

Chandasara
Chandasara - from South Africa, spent her early adult life in political exile in Europe and America where she was recruited into Okhela, an Oliver Tambo initiative to facilitate and expand white involvement in the ANC. Following this, she worked as a political analyst with the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. During this period she was also involved in an esoteric spiritual school. Wishing to deepen her meditation experience, she undertook a 6-week self-retreat guided by Kittisaro and Thanissara at the BRC in 1998. Having discovered the revelatory power of sustained and focused meditation, she decided to enter monastic life. Chandasara resided at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist monasteries from 2002 to 2010. She put down the robes in 2011. Since then she has resided at Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the Magaliesberg during which time she completed an Honours degree in Psychology. She moved to Dharmagiri in May 2015 where she offers supported self-retreats for individuals wishing to explore and engage more deeply with particular aspects of their life experience. Chandasara leads Underberg Meditation Group, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor rehab centre and clinic..

Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: April 26 - May 1, 2017
Title: A Taste of Freedom on the Sacred Mountain
Teachers: Sue Cooper

This retreat is suitable for both beginner and experienced meditators. Held in contemplative silence, this retreat draws inspiration from the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and the support of the sacred Mvuleni Mountain (place of rain, and place of openings.) Through the cultivation of meditation practices that will nurture and ground us, we will discover ways to free ourselves from our habitual, fear-based patterns of thinking and behaving. When we embrace our humanness with kind and compassionate awareness, we can move beyond fear, shame and the curse of perfectionism, to discover that the possibility of freedom lies in the next breath! This silent retreat includes sitting and walking meditations, daily sessions of Qigong movement meditation, as well as time for yoga and mindful walks to enhance the integration of body, heart, and mind. There will be short, individual sessions with Sue, as well as time for restorative rest.


Sue Cooper

Sue Cooper - Sue is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice in Cape Town since the early 1990s. 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. Sue 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.

Sue 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. Sue offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Bodhi Khaya, Temenos and Mont Fleur in the W. Cape, Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and The Buddhist Retreat Centre in KZN 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. Please see www.suecooper.co.za. Contact details: sue.stillmind@gmail.com and www.facebook.com/suecoopermeditation


Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: May 12 - May 30, 2017
Title: Ubuntu Tour
Teachers: Chandasara with Jane & Garth Patterson

Join us on a cultural, historical, and game park tour where we also visit religious and political landmarks, battlefields, and the sweeping landscapes of the Drakensberg Mountains and pristine beaches along the Indian Ocean. This truly unique journey will be led by Chandasara, a former Buddhist nun and current mindfulness teacher and counselor, who will share her perspective informed by her engagement in the anti-apartheid struggle and an exploration of the importance of connecting with the natural environment as a way of healing and returning to core values. Chandasara, as a resident teacher at Dharmagiri, invites you to join her in furthering our insight into the Dharma through taking this journey together in the region of our planet where we as human beings began our common human journey.


Chandasara
Chandasara - from South Africa, spent her early adult life in political exile in Europe and America where she was recruited into Okhela, an Oliver Tambo initiative to facilitate and expand white involvement in the ANC. Following this, she worked as a political analyst with the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. During this period she was also involved in an esoteric spiritual school. Wishing to deepen her meditation experience, she undertook a 6-week self-retreat guided by Kittisaro and Thanissara at the BRC in 1998. Having discovered the revelatory power of sustained and focused meditation, she decided to enter monastic life. Chandasara resided at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist monasteries from 2002 to 2010. She put down the robes in 2011. Since then she has resided at Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the Magaliesberg during which time she completed an Honours degree in Psychology. She moved to Dharmagiri in May 2015 where she offers supported self-retreats for individuals wishing to explore and engage more deeply with particular aspects of their life experience. Chandasara leads Underberg Meditation Group, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor rehab centre and clinic.

Cost + Info - $2,970 -- £2,450 -- €2,800
Click here for an overview of the tour.
Contact Jane at dharmagiri.ubuntu.tour@gmail.com for more info.
Date: June 11 - July 7, 2017
Title: Supported Depth Practice Within Sangha:
A guided self-retreat focused around mindfulness and insight meditation
Teachers: Jaya & Chandasara

This retreat, held in noble silence, will be an opportunity for some extended self-retreat in the beautiful setting of Dharmagiri, with the support of two experienced teachers and a small group of fellow practitioners. The retreat will highlight mindfulness and insight meditation practice using the core teachings of the Buddha, which will primarily be through listening to recorded Dharma talks by valued, and respected Dharma teachers, and occasional dharma reflections and guidance from Jaya and Chandasara. There will be a spacious daily schedule, weekly community check-ins and one to one meetings with the teachers. In Dharmagiri tradition and weather permitting, we will have a weekly silent walking day in the mountains for those who wish to participate. Also available will be qi gong, with some chanting to help support practitioners.

This retreat will be of benefit for experienced practitioners. The minimum stay is one week. Preference will be given for those who can stay longer, and particularly the whole time. This retreat is run on a minimum cost/dana basis, and as all Dharmagiri retreats, there will be a rota to help with shared duties to support the upkeep of the retreat space.


Jaya
Jaya Rudgard - Jaya's Anglo-Chinese heritage sparked an early interest in Buddhism (from her great grandmother) and what happens both personally and collectively when different cultural forces come together. After graduating from Oxford University and qualifying as a lawyer in London she spent eight years as a Theravada nun in the Thai Forest Sangha in the UK with Ajahn Sumedho. After leaving monastic life, Jaya qualified as an integrative psychotherapist and counsellor and as a yoga teacher. She currently teaches mindfulness and dharma in the UK and elsewhere and has completed the Spirit Rock / Insight Meditation Society U.S.A. based 4-year teacher training in 2016. Jaya is a long time friend and supporter of Dharmagiri, and we are delighted to have her come back!


Chandasara
Chandasara - from South Africa, spent her early adult life in political exile in Europe and America where she was recruited into Okhela, an Oliver Tambo initiative to facilitate and expand white involvement in the ANC. Following this, she worked as a political analyst with the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. During this period she was also involved in an esoteric spiritual school. Wishing to deepen her meditation experience, she undertook a 6-week self-retreat guided by Kittisaro and Thanissara at the BRC in 1998. Having discovered the revelatory power of sustained and focused meditation, she decided to enter monastic life. Chandasara resided at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist monasteries from 2002 to 2010. She put down the robes in 2011. Since then she has resided at Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the Magaliesberg during which time she completed an Honours degree in Psychology. She moved to Dharmagiri in May 2015 where she offers supported self-retreats for individuals wishing to explore and engage more deeply with particular aspects of their life experience. Chandasara leads Underberg Meditation Group, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor rehab centre and clinic.

Cost:
One week - R3,500 - ($260 - £215 - €245)
Two weeks - R5,600 - ($415 - £340 - €390)
Three weeks - R6,900 - ($510 - £420 - €480)
Whole month - R8,000 - ($590 - £490 - €560)
R700 ($100) teacher travel surcharge + Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Bursaries Available + Dana for teachers and managers

Longer retreats are usually suitable for more experienced practitioners. For beginners we recommend starting with a weekend. Unless otherwise stipulated guided retreats at Dharmagiri are held in silence which we ask retreatants to agree to and respect. During each retreat there are times for meeting individually with the teachers, group sharing circles and some discussion. Before applying to attend one of these guided retreats please check the criteria below.

Our longer retreats are best suited for those who:

  • Have had some experience of meditation
  • Have psychological well being. Although the practice and context is a healing one, we are unable to offer rehabilitative or therapeutic care.
  • Are willing to enter into the communal life of the hermitage.
  • Are willing to engage in simple duties that enable the smooth daily running of the hermitage.
  • Are satisfied with simple, healthy food and accommodation
  • Are comfortable practicing in a Buddhist context. Respect for Buddhist precepts, (though not adherence to the Buddhist religion), is a requirement.

The 5 ethical Buddhist precepts:

  • To refrain from harming and the taking of life – to maintain respect for life.
  • To refrain from taking what is not offered – to practice generosity.
  • To refrain from misuse of the senses & sexuality – to practice renunciation.
  • To refrain from harmful, deceptive and harsh speech – to practice speech that promotes truth, accord and clarity.
  • To refrain from intoxicating drugs & alcohol – to respect the instrument of awakening which is consciousness