Detailed Retreats List



Please note that while lockdown continues we will be converting some of our retreats to

ONLINE versions using Zoom.

Please keep checking this site as we will be updating it as we get new information about our

lockdown status 

                       ONLINE MEDITATION SESSIONS

 Join us for our online meditation sessions. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  R200 for the month

Since the 28th of April, Emoyeni has been hosting 4 half-hour meditations each week using Zoom. To try and accommodate the differing lifestyles we offer a mix of morning and evening sessions:

Tuesday   morning           07.00 – 07.30

Wednesday  evening       19.30 – 20.00

 Thursday   morning       07.00 – 07.30

Friday    evening              19.30 – 20.30  (extra 30 mins for questions/discussion)

How it will work:  A payment of R200 at the beginning of a month will cover all your meditations for the month.  On receipt of payment, you will receive the Zoom link and password which is valid for the whole month.  You can decide  how often you would like to join in.

Discounts available: Like with the daylong online retreats we would like to make these meditation sessions available to everyone. We acknowledge that the costs might not be affordable for  everyone. Please don’t let that stop you from booking for these sessions, just let us know when you book – we’d love to have you with us.

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


 A Writing, Being and Meditation mini-retreat

Presenter:  Dorian Haarhoff
Date:  August 9 (09h30  – 12h45)                                                                                               Suggested dana R500       

Looking at your image in a clear stream,

 you answer the question by your very presence

Why Zen Pen?

Zen (Chinese chán ‘quietude’) invites us to be present, to live and write simply.
Pen (Latin penna ‘feather’) refers to both practicing the art of writing and to the implements we use for writing. It also invites us to play in a safe place – as in playpen.

In this retreat we explore the connection between writing and meditation. Both these states of grace slow us down so we can live in the moment. They increase our awareness and wake us up. We look with new eyes and hear with new ears.  We write and meditate on the many changes and transformations we experience as we journey along the river of our lives.  We consider how creativity steadies the boat and how writing helps us dip the oars into dark water so we may navigate the river safely.

We can make our minds so like still water that beings gather about us to see their own images, and so live for a moment with a clearer,

perhaps even with a fiercer life because of our silence. (Yeats)

There is no pressure to share. You can be a silent listener if you are more comfortable with that. Beginners are welcome.

This mini-retreat is for those who wish to:

  • see writing as a form of meditation
  • breathe life into words and let words breathe life into them
  • learn and practice the craft of writing
  • be present in their words and lives
  • increase their awareness
  • explore their creativity and imagination
  • find their voice
  • find support and fine company
  • connect to readers

The morning will unfold though 5 sessions – in total around 180-195 minutes)

1.Introductions. Setting up the experience (+-40 minutes)

2.Meditation and spontaneous writing in response to prompts. (+-30 minutes)

3.We all go back into zoom and share (+-40 mins)

4.Break away to write once more in response to prompts (+-30 minutes)

5.Back into zoom and share some of the writing (+-40 mins)

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


Meditation with calmness, curiosity and compassion

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft
Date:   9-10 August                                                                                              Sliding scale:  Sun (9 Aug) only:   R500 -R1000
Sun & Mon (9+10 Aug):  R1000 – R2000

 This optional one- or two-day Online Vipassana or Insight Meditation retreat will give us the opportunity to develop and deepen our practice.  Within the framework of silence, we will be able to explore the three central practices of Buddhist meditation: calming the mind, training in mindfulness and developing insight through inquiry.  We will investigate the question “Who am I” and see how this inquiry provides the key to freeing ourselves from a narrow, self-centred way of living in the world.

There will be an emphasis on Practising within an atmosphere of Metta – meeting our dragons with friendliness, kindness and acceptance.  By bringing a quiet sense of humour and curiosity into all aspects of our meditation we can learn to practice in a relaxed and natural way.           

On the retreat we will take time to slow down, to breathe and to give ourselves some space to connect with our centre with periods of meditation practice and reflection. To see if we can extend these practice periods throughout the day to include how we move about our home in this time of lockdown. Preparing food, interacting with other members of our household (don’t forget the pets), taking a break from the news, limiting our phone calls. If we have a garden, we can do some weeding or simply practice some standing and walking meditation. In this way our whole day can be one of calming, breathing and listening to who we are…

Each day will include four practice periods all done with Zoom:

             07.00 – 08.00    Chi Kung exercise and Meditation

                       09.30 – 11.00     Talk, Meditation and Reflection

   15.30 – 17.00    Talk and Meditation

   19.00 – 20.30     Evening discussion and Meditation

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


The group as a container in the time of uncertainty and bewilderment

Presenter:  Hayley Berman 
Date:  22-23 August                                                                                                Sliding Scale: R800 – R1600 (teacher dana included)

As soon as the group takes hold and the formally isolated individuals have felt again the compelling currents of ancient tribal feeling, it permeates them to the very core and all their subsequent interactions are inescapably embedded in this common matrix’
(Foulkes & Anthony,2003, p

In this retreat, we will gather within a group matrix (in person or online) to a place of connectivity and creativity. In these uncertain times, nothing is as we have known it to be and nothing will be as it was. This is a common group experience which we will explore through the group matrix. We will come to know and understand our social unconscious with an expanded vocabulary of art materials, found objects, words, meditation and silence. We will gently allow the materials, the group, the landscape and the unconscious to lead the process.

Meditation, nature and creativity will be woven together attuning to an inner stillness and abundance of being. You are invited to bring images, poems, dreams and objects relating to your experience of this time of bewilderment.  

Please start to collect a variety of materials available for use for the duration of the retreat.

Retreat and Zoom Schedule

Saturday 15:00 – 18:00(SA time)

                        Bring your object, image poem to group

             Meditation 17:30 – 18:00

Sunday 09:00 – 12:30

                        Meditation 09:00 – 9.30

Chi Kung 09:30 – 09:50

Social Dreaming Visual Matrix 10:00 – 11:45

Discussion 11:45 -12:30

    12.30 -15:00 Lunch and Siesta

  Sunday: 15:00 – 18:00         

15:00 – 16:00   Movement and Meditation

16:00 – 16:45   Response Image Making

16:45 – 17:30   Discussion

17:30 – 18:00   Lovingkindness Meditation



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


Mantra and Sacred Sound within our practice

Presenter:  Paul Carlos
Date:  4-6 September                                                                                                Weekend ~ R1900 – R2200


Using mantra and sacred sound in our meditation and yoga practice is a technique to raise our dominant vibrational frequency and this aids us in re-connecting with our-selves on a deep level.

Sacred Sound serves as a psycho acoustic gateway to heightened states of awareness that we will explore in depth. During our sacred retreat time we will move into healing sound immersion, yoga asana and breath-work to connect deeply with our inner source. We will also explore deep relaxation and meditation skills and discover how we can all take these powerful tools into our daily lives in a truly meaningful and transformational way.


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 Lauren Richer and Pete Richer
Date:  23-27 September                                                                                                4-days ~ R3 650 – R4 050


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?


 (Jan Chozen Bays)

Finding peace with food through mindful eating

Presenter:  Xenia Ayiotis 
Date:  9-11 October                                                                                                Weekend ~ R1 900 – R2 200

As a practice, mindful eating can bring us awareness of our actions, habits and thoughts around food, eating and our bodies.  This retreat is based on a combination of Mindfulness Based Eating Awareness and Intuitive Eating Principles.  The focus is on creating a healthy relationship with food using a non-judgmental and compassionate approach to re-learning internal physical and emotional cues to guide us when, what and how much we eat.  The workshop covers how to deal with cravings and urges through the development of mindfulness skills. We will also look at emotional triggers that can lead to overeating and binge eating, and how these may be effectively understood.  It also draws on techniques from cognitive behaviour therapy that enables us to become aware of and manage our sometimes-destructive patterns and habits around food, eating and our bodies.  We look at our relationship with food and how disordered eating patterns serve us in our lives and how to find a middle way between dieting, restriction and overeating.


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


Being and living the best version of ourselves

Presenter:  Tessa Pretorius 
Date:  16-18 October                                                                                                Weekend ~ R1 800 – R2 100


Why is it so difficult for us to be kind, gentle or good to ourselves?

Perhaps it is because we were raised within the paradigm that ‘good people put the needs of others first’. In other words, we believe that we need to sacrifice ourselves in order to show we care. Or, it could be that finding time for self-care just means one more thing on the already unobtainable to-do-list.
But, what if caring for ourselves wasn’t that difficult? What if, by a few simple adjustments or re-tuning we could find that calm place where we are at our best and can deal with and handle what life throws at us with ease.

The Buddha’s teachings emphasise the importance of taking care of ourselves in order to be of service to others. The wisdom of this teaching tells us that when we are kind and good to ourselves, we are automatically kinder and of more service to others.


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


 A Tai Chi retreat with calligraphy and sword

Presenter:  Eddie Jardine
Date:  23-25 October                                                                                                                 Weekend ~ R1900 – R2200

Come and spend a weekend of Tia Chi  with one of the most experienced Tai Chi teachers in the country. Tai Chi Ch’uan is an ancient Chinese system of exercise that helps to bring the mind and body into harmony. Its slow and graceful movements can show us how to live a healthier and more tranquil life.  This workshop combines the short, delicate strokes of the calligraphy brush with the expansive movement of the sword to help us explore the principles of yin and yang.

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


Exploring Attachment and Non-Attachment

Presenter:  Louise Stack (Chandasara) 
Date:  6-8 November                                                                                                Weekend ~ R1 800 – R2 100


The Buddha offered us two, seemingly contradictory teachings on friendship. In the first teaching, at the end of his life when asked for some direction about how the Sangha should proceed without him, this was the advice he gave:

           ”you should live as a light* unto yourselves, being your own refuge, with no one else as your     
            refuge, with the Dhamma as your light, with the Dhamma as your refuge, with no other 
            refuge”.  (Digha Nikaya 16: 2.26)

This seems to suggest living independently of others. In the second teaching, the Buddha responded to a statement that good friendship is half of the holy life, by saying:

          …no, not so!  It is the entire holy life: when one has a good friend, good companion, good 
           associate, it is to be expected that one will develop and cultivate the Path.  (Samyutta Nikaya V.IX: 45, 2(2))

This seems to suggest dependence on others.  So, how do we reconcile these two teachings? Sometimes this question is raised in the context of attachment and non-attachment.  How do we reconcile the Buddha’s encouragement of non-attachment with the human need for secure attachment for healthy psychological development and the forming of healthy relationships to take place?

What does it mean to be a light unto ourselves, whilst at the same time cultivating good friendship? These are the questions we will begin to explore together in this retreat.   What did the Buddha mean by ‘non-attachment’ and what do we mean by the human need for ‘attachment’ in relationship? Are these notions reconcilable?  How do we live with our need for both attachment or dependence on others and non-attachment or independence from others?

This will be a silent meditative weekend retreat with some talks, walks, body relaxation, and periods of reflection and contemplation both on our own and together in a group.

*The word ‘dipa’ in Sanskrit means ‘lamp’; ‘dvipa’ means ‘island’. It is not clear which word the Buddha actually used.


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A semi-silent retreat

Presenter:  Tineke Osterloh and Mervyn Croft 
Date:  20-22 November                                                                                                Weekend ~ R2 100 – R2 400

How do we nourish trust and a courageous heart? What kind of practice helps ourselves, our Sangha and communities in times of uncertainty and difficult emotions? During this weekend-retreat we will practice calm and mindfulness meditation with a special focus on love and faith.

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 times in silence and times of sharing in small groups, evening discussions and time to walk and reflect in nature.


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


A meditation retreat

Presenter:  Sister Candasiri 
Date:  4-8 December                                                                                                4-days ~ R3 800 – R4 400


During this 4-day retreat, we will focus on ways to de-mystify Buddhist practice and to integrate it into the ordinariness of our daily lives. Having trained as a monastic for over forty years, Sister Candisiri will use the ceremonies of monastic life, adapted to suit the retreat context. Participants will be encouraged to join in to the extent they feel comfortable and to consider how the practice can be enhanced through simple rituals and integrated into every aspect of daily life. The retreat will be held in an atmosphere of introspection.


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:  16-20 December                                                                                                4-days ~ R3 580 – R4 030       


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 wellbeing.

In this 4-day retreat we will have the time and space to reflect on the year that is drawing to a close and give thought to how we have experienced what it has brought us. Have we tried to deny or push away what has been difficult and painful, and cling onto the pleasurable experiences?  Do we want to live the coming year in the same way?

The retreat will afford us 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?


Taking Time to Reflect 

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft
Date:  29 December – 3 January                                                                                               5-days ~ R4 150 to R4 900       


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?
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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