This imposing Buddha icon sits in the park-like gardens of the Buddhist Retreat Center enjoying his view of a protea, South Africa's national flower.
The BRC's park-like gardens are an Impressionist’s dream when splashed with the biggest and brightest pink and red azalea “trees” you’re likely to have seen. Accommodations at the BRC range from, left to right on the hill, a comfy lodge with single and double rooms and shared ablutions to the Quartet — four en-suite single rooms — to the chalets (see the next picture) and other options.
Accommodation options include three simple but designer-cool luxury chalets, en suite and two-bedded, with imposing views.
Longtime BRC cooks Lindiwe Ngcobo and Dudu Memela with former kitchen chief, Daniel Jardim, who was very involved in the BRC's second cookbook, The Cake the Buddha Ate, and who runs occasional workshops. A sprout salad ablaze with orange nasturtiums, much of the produce picked fresh from the BRC's bountiful organic veggie garden. The circular thatched library across from the meditation hall is a great spot to sit and browse from among the vast selection of Buddhist books that range from popular to more academic. BRC founder and chief teacher, Louis van Loon, with his wife, Chrisi van Loon, equally involved with BRC matters, at the launch of the BRC's second cookbook, The Cake the Buddha Ate.
Entrance to the meditation hall at the Buddhist Retreat Center near Ixopo in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. View from the outside of the meditation hall at the Buddhist Retreat Center in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
You can wander through a creative bamboo labyrinth pondering the twists and turns of existence — only to end up feeling that twists and turns are, perhaps, quite simply what it’s all about.
A recent group of retreatants take a mindful afternoon walk to one of the many viewspots at the The Buddhist Retreat Center in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Splashes of orange clivia and luxuriously abundant assorted protea are some of the flowers waiting to delight, depending on the season. The top 10 foods to make your Memorial Day the best everEven though Memorial Day weekend in the U.S. The Donut Whole combines dreamy treats with community vibe in Wichita, KansasThe vintage storefront is a carb-loading hangout 24 hours a day.
He is one of the most outstanding teachers I have ever met, who introduced me to the fabulous world of meditation and a breathtaking discovery of my inner self.
Everything one might need for comfort and a quiet meditative space with none of the noisy extras.
Here long-time BRC cook, Dudu Memela, plucks fresh fare from the garden for the day's lunch menu. The BRC has a wonderfully well stocked library with a good selection of books covering the different Buddhist persuasions.


Her South African journalism background includes 7 years on the Sunday Tribune and 5 years on Cosmopolitan magazine. He taught me the importance of making time to know my finer qualities,as this is an essential pre-requisite to awakening.What is really uplifting about his courses is that they are full of FUN! Behram has an infectious laugh and with his hilarious jokes and stories, has his students rolling on the floor with laughter.
Like little children, we demand and listen to his bedtime stories with rapt attention, which illustrate the teachings for the day.Behram has a very positive and empowering outlook on life, which rubs off on his students, lighting the spark of commitment in their hearts to live more enriching and inspiring lives.
He encourages all his students to view all life-situations as a blessing because only then can we see the extraordinary in the ordinary. Petit High School for GirlsMumbai, India Behram came into my life in early 1995, as a spiritual guide and mentor. Although I was an Architecture student at the time I met Behram, I felt that life was pointing me elsewhere and, therefore, through the classes, I acquired enough clarity and courage to let go of this vocation, and follow my true calling, instead.This led me to explore various courses on mind-body enhancement, such as NLP, Kinesiology and Yoga, as a way of living more authentically. I am now a Yoga teacher and am able to express myself in ways that bring tremendous satisfaction and joy in my life, as I see my students benefit from what I offer.Looking back upon the time before these changes occurred in my life, I see how beautifully and gently, Behram led me out of the dark prison of a suffocating lifestyle, into the brilliance of living life to the fullest, in dedicated service to others.
However, life had other plans for me as I ended up at the Nembutsu Centre, instead, situated in a lovely apple orchard on the outskirts of town. Until that fateful day when I met Behram, I thought I knew all about life and how it is to be lived. As my practice unfolded, I found out that I was way off the track in my understanding of life and realized that things were totally contrary to what I had so far envisioned them to be.I also discovered that spirituality was no longer beyond my reach and that it lies within the simplest aspects of living. I listened to one introductory talk and was instantly intrigued and before long deeply inspired.
I found out later that the other students too experience the same relevance and intimacy with the way he presents the teachings.I stayed on at the Centre for three months because I knew there was much more to be discovered about myself and the world I lived in.
I would definitely have stayed on much longer, but the centre was closing for winter and I had to move on, to practice what I had joyfully learned in those magical three months at NC, which was situated in the midst of the beautiful and fascinating Himalayan ranges.It is clear to me that Behram understands the subtle intricacies of life as I observe his behavior through his speech and his actions, which is a rare thing indeed. And even more stirring than this, for me, is that Behram is able to express the teachings of the Buddha in such a profoundly simple manner, that I not only grasp the message intellectually, but also feel deeply motivated to apply what I learn in practical terms, in my everyday actions.I have had teachers and coaches at school and in sport, but I did not have one to guide me through the snakes and ladders of life.
From the time we first met, I have attended several retreats under his loving and skilled guidance, the longest being for three months in the lap of the Himalayas, in North India.
So far, every experience I have had of Behram's teachings has been imbued with a beautiful simplicity and a profound depth.
Behram's remarkable clarity and presence brings a fresh and exhilarating perspective to the issues in my life - a perspective that is so pure and integrated, that its truth is self evident. Just coming into contact with this has brought me an enormous sense of relief, hope and enthusiasm for life.The energy in his classes, while on retreats, is very inspiring and greater than in any other learning environment I have ever been in.


The classes are enormous fun, and somehow within the lightness and laughter there is a gentle power, which nurtures me as a student to be intimately involved in the process of true learning, which is not just a matter of simply acquiring information.
It is only through Behram's classes and the creative exercises he introduced me to, that I was able to view life from a whole-brain perspective. As such, I chose to listen to my heart and resigned from my career after many years of service, in order to pursue what gave me far more satisfaction. Therefore, my present career ~ which I love immensely ~ is as a school teacher on the beautiful island of Samsoe, in Denmark.Dear Behram, I thank you and myself for the great effort we both made, to lift me out of my mediocre frequencies into inspirational ones. And inevitably, the void inside me grew larger each day, because the end of craving is not achieved by feeding the illness.Meeting Behram in 2002 was the turning point in my life. Thanks to Behram's retreats and interactive style of teaching, I was led ever so skilfully to discover some surprisingly extraordinary answers within myself. I have studied Buddhism at Kopan Monastery in Nepal, I have left my corporate employer of 19 years and I am now discovering what really makes my heart sing. Trust in yourself, open this door to a spectacular discovery of what is finest in you by attending Master B's classes. Having graduated from university with two degrees and established a successful career, I still felt that something was missing. I had no knowledge whatsoever of the Buddha's teachings and my many attempts to meditate up to that point had been frustrating.
Coming to a retreat with a beginner's mind was the best thing I did, as I arrived fresh and with no expectations and WOW! He communicates complex ideas in simple and easy to understand terminology without any jargon. In this gifted manner in which he presents the teachings, there is not a single minute where his students feel bored or restless. I am now much happier, I love what I do, and I feel empowered to be true to myself and others more and more every day.
I had not laughed or had that much fun in years and through this process,I gained a sense of peace, love and understanding that - even today - keeps me balanced and happy a lot more often than ever before.
My relationships and my career fell into place, and today I feel fulfilled in a multitude of ways.So, my message to anyone considering going on a retreat?



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