Detailed Retreats List


Caring for ourselves – the vital step to a peaceful heart

Presenter:   Tessa Pretorius 
Date:  November 15 – 17                                                                                                              Weekend ~ R1600 – R1900

The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. Most of us, whether we are professional caregivers or regular people caring for family and friends, miss this vital step. Even though we are often told to take better care of ourselves but most of us either don’t have the time or, we don’t know where to begin!
The secret lies in finding your centre. When we are centred we are able to deal with and handle so much more of what life has to throw at us. This retreat will teach you practical tools to help you find, regain and retain your balance and centre so that you can ride life’s merry-go-round in style.                 

This course is ideal for care workers and anyone wanting to be more effective in caring for themselves.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


A Silent Meditation Weekend

Presenter:   Tineke Osterloh and Mervyn Croft
Date:  November  29 – December 1                                                                                                                 Weekend ~ R1700 – R2 000

How do we nourish a courageous heart and a positive inner climate? What kind of insights and perspectives help to foster a sense of belonging and connectedness? During this silent meditation-retreat we will practice calm and mindfulness meditation with a special focus on self-compassion, love and being at peace with ourselves.
This retreat is a precious opportunity for those new to meditation and ideal for experienced practitioners who wish to enjoy an inspiring meditation-weekend with us. There will be evening discussions and time to walk and reflect in nature.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


Three days of self-compassion practice

Presenter:   RJ Chippendall
Date:  December 13 – 16                                                                                                                      3-days ~ R2400 – R2850

Our inner critic is often the loudest voice in our mind, making it difficult to acknowledge our successes and inherent goodness. We seem to find it a lot easier to dwell on our self-doubt and shortcomings, denying ourselves the kindness and forgiveness that we so readily extend to others. Being at war with ourselves comes so naturally that we hardly notice we’re caught up in the battle. It’s an insidious behaviour that wears us down and eventually tears apart the fabric of the self. But rather than greeting the pain and difficulties we encounter in our lives by fighting them, we can choose to bear witness to them and respond with understanding and kindness.

This retreat is an opportunity to bring our full and patient attention to the present moment, whatever it is, to learn to gently meet and befriend the confused parts of us that stumble in the dark waging war with each other. We will move through a variety of practices that help us deepen into the qualities of self-acceptance and self-compassion. These are essential aspects of happiness and success and form a core component of the resilience we require to face our rapidly changing and stressful world. Our practice will be enhanced by the noble silence that will be kept from Friday evening to Monday morning.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


Taking time to reflect 

Presenter:   Mervyn Croft
Date:  December 29 –  3 January 2020                                                                                                                       5-days ~ R3850 – R4600

The New Year is a powerful symbol of impermanence, of the cycles in nature and in our own lives. It is a time to reflect on the past, to open to the present and to question what it is that we are doing with our lives? This 5-day meditation retreat will mostly be in silence, giving us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of impermanence and explore how it is inherent in every aspect of our lives – our health, our work, our relationships… Each day will include walks in the veld and the mountain, opportunity to reflect on these questions and in the evenings, time to explore these questions with others.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?



Date:  17 -19  January 2020

Work Retreats are a great way to see the reciprocal nature of service and Dana in practice. On a Work Retreat Emoyeni offers you free board and lodging at our beautiful centre in exchange for 10 hours of service spread over the weekend. The work will mostly be physical, outdoor work, a chance to get out there and get your hands in the soil. In order to make this a fair exchange, we reserve the right to select the project and type of work needed on these retreats.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


Beginning  the Year with Calm and Compassion

Presenter:   Sue Cooper

January 24 – 26       Weekend ~ Bookings directly with Sue

This ‘Open the Heart and Still the Mind’ weekend retreat will be held in a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence and is suitable for beginners as well as experienced meditators.

Through the practice of meditation and the wisdom of Buddhist psychology we will discover how to create balance and stillness in the midst of whatever is arising. Guided meditations, including mindfulness and compassion practices, as well as daily qigong movement meditation, time in nature and a short session with Sue will help transform the fragmented, self-critical heart and mind to a more integrated experience of embodied presence. We will deepen this process with metta (loving-kindness) meditation, which allows us to embrace our humanness with kindness and care.

Please book directly with Sue Cooper:



 Exploring ways to transform what is difficult or painful into spiritual gold

Presenter:   Rene Stevenson
Date:  February 7 -9                                                                                                                        Weekend ~ R1650 – R1950

“Alchemy” is an ancient metaphor for the subtle and mysterious process of transforming what is negative, dark, painful, stressful and difficult into spiritual and psychological gold.

This moment in time is one of unprecedented change, radical uncertainty and tumult- not only globally, but in our personal lives and relationships with ourselves and others. How, then, do we navigate these often terrifying terrains? How do we manage the crazy stresses of daily life? How can we make meaning and keep vision alive in a world plagued with violence and injustice? This retreat offers an alchemical ‘crucible of containment and care’ in which to hold such questions, as well as the struggles and questions you bring. With kind eyes, acceptance and patient awareness we will ‘cook’ the alchemical potion together. We’ll do this through mindful image making and creative expression (no art experience necessary); journaling, walking in nature, ritual, silence, meditation, embodied awareness practices, story-telling and poetry. Gently, yet powerfully, the alchemical process will allow what needs to unfold to unfold; what needs to heal to heal, what needs to transform to transform. What is distilled for each of us, is unique alchemical ‘gold’ that inevitably allows us to live more authentically and passionately; and respond more creatively, wisely and open-heartedly in our everyday lives.


How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


 Cultivating inner strength and warm-heartedness 

Presenter:  Ajahn Succito
Date:  21 – 26 February                                                                                                                5-days ~ R4100 – R4850

One of the principle aims of meditation is to experience greater warm-heartedness – towards others and oneself. The absence of this is a major source of suffering, linked to anxiety, depression and mistrust. On this retreat, we will be cultivating the inner strength that supports and protects the heart so that its natural kindness and compassion can illuminate our lives. The retreat will include guided meditation, teachings, chanting and devotional practice, qi gong, sharing presence with fellow retreatants, questions and answers. As this is a semi-monastic retreat, all Internet connections should be disabled and phones switched off. Out of respect for the environment, please do not bring or use plastic bottles of water; your portable flask can be filled frequently from the pure local water supply. This retreat will be held in an atmosphere of contemplative silence.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


The Art of Story-telling 

Presenter:  Dorian Haarhoff
Date:  6 – 8 March                                                                                                                   Weekend ~ R2100 – R2400

Ever since I heard my first love story I have been looking for you (Rumi)

Who is the who that Rumi alludes to? There is something deeply fictional about us human beings. We are the stories we tell about ourselves. Rediscover the lost art of story-telling. Experience the joy, presence, mindfulness and transformation that arrive when we engage with a tale, learn how to craft it and inhabit it.  We begin to see our lives as a story, keeping pace with the rhythm of our hearts, balanced between the in and the out of our breathing. Be enchanted by Zen and other tales from many paths.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


 How to live and write poetry

Presenter:  Dorian Haarhoff
Date:  8 – 10 March                                                                                                                    Mid-week ~ R2100 – R2400

I believe that poetry is a primal impulse within us all. …we are all capable of it …
a small, often ignored corner of us yearns to try it     (Stephen Fry)

Do you love reading poetry? Do you yearn to write poems? Poetry is a way of paying attention, listening, being in the moment and observing the world. We enter the world of images, rhythm, sound and subtle rhyme. We open to our creativity and imagination. As we cultivate a sense of belonging, our words offers us relationship, presence and healing. We can all live poetically and find the words that balance voice and silence. Together we shine light into ignored corners and engage with the craft that calls us.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


  Towards a practice of care

Presenter:  Katrin Auf den Heyde
Date:  20 – 22 March                                                                                                                   Mid-week ~ R2100 – R2400

In this retreat we will explore how the Buddha’s teachings inspire a way of being in this world, at this time, in a way that is both caring and responsive.

The retreat will consist of formal sitting practice interspersed with periods of walking and gentle movement to support an embodied experience.

Silence will be maintained throughout.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


Explore the joy and healing of coming home to your body

Presenter:  Mari-Louise van der Walt  and Candice Janks
Date:  27 – 29 March                                                                                                                      Weekend ~ R1900 – R2200

Presence is more than being mindful of our surrounds and experience. It is a deep sense of embodiment, of being at One with, and intimately connected into, the web of Life. It is a slow settling of our breath and being into the base of our body.
Integration of mind, body and spirit holds a key to inviting this type of Presence. Our bodies are our home base, our intelligent center of gravity, connected both to the present moment and the outside world. Meditation and yoga are thousands of years old practices based around this understanding of joining mind, body and spirit.

Come explore with us the intelligence of your body, the satisfaction and joy of living in and from our bodies, moment by moment, and the healing of coming home.

During the weekend we will work with movement (yoga asanas) and breathing (pranayama), presence or mindfulness (dharana) and meditation (dhyana). We will practice both hatha vinyasa and yin forms of movement. You will need a yoga mat, a light blanket or shawl and a journal. You do not need any prior experience.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


A time for meditation, yoga, reflexology treatments and walking in nature

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft and Pete Richer and Lauren Richer 
Date:  9 – 13 April                                                                                                                      (Easter) 4 -days ~ R3650 – R4050

Take time during the Easter long-weekend to enjoy some contemplative space and give yourself the opportunity to relax and deepen your practice. Alongside some solid meditation practice, each day will include yoga sessions with Pete Richer and an opportunity for reflexology treatments from Lauren Richer.  We will also include nature walks in the Magaliesberg – one of these walks will be a long one when we will go up into the high ground and explore the kloofs and rock pools. This is a semi-silent retreat and there will be plenty of opportunity to relax.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


How can we live wholeheartedly in the midst of a challenging world

Presenter:  RJ Chippindall 
Date:  24 -27 April                                                                                                                     3 -days ~ R2780 – R3080

We 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 chose 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 weekend 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 Emoyeni. The weekend will include sessions of sitting and moving mindfulness practice, as well as walking the labyrinth and group discussions.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?


Deepening our understanding of the Buddhist teachings

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft
Date:  April 30 – 3 May                                                                                                                     3 -days ~ R2680 – R2980

The Buddha’s teaching is extraordinary in that he was able to convey the most profound insights in a way that are so straightforward and direct and easily understood.  And yet as we begin to explore these teachings a bit deeper they open us up to a transformation ….  We begin to glimpse how a narrow, self-centered way of experiencing the world lies at the heart of our confusion and unhappiness.  It prevents us from connecting in an open and compassionate way with ourselves and others.  During the retreat we will investigate some key Buddhist insights, and see how they point the way to living with more clarity and friendliness.

How to make a booking?How to make a booking?
Find Us

Google Earth: 25 deg 47′ 41.90″ S; 27 deg 33′ 22.21″ E
GPS decimal
: lat -25.794800 long: 27.556224.

Emoyeni is reached by a dirt road, please drive slowly over the last 2 km.

Open Hours

Office hours for bookings: Weekdays 8 am – 4:30 pm.

Please email, rather than call, us over the weekends.
We run retreats over weekends (sometimes in silence) so phone calls are problematic.

Contact Details

Emoyeni Retreat Centre, A65 Buffelshoek Farm,
Mooinooi, North-West, 0325
Telephone: +27 (0)82 308 1533


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