A RED WHEELBARROW IN THE RAIN
A Creative Writing Workshop
Presenters: Maren Bodenstein
Date: October 20 – 22 Weekend ~ R1390 – R1650
Writing is a wonderful way to connect and be intimate with life. In this retreat we will play with the short form of flash fiction and haiku. The emphasis will be on developing clarity and vividness. We will write, walk, draw, eat, meditate and listen. So if you feel like (re)connecting with your creativity, honing your writing skills or just playing around with words, this retreat is for you.
STILLNESS IN MOVEMENT
The way of Tai Chi
Presenters: Phyllis Jardine
Date: November 3 – 5 Weekend ~ R1390 – R1650
This is a beginners’ Tai Chi workshop intertwined with chi kung exercises. Tai Chi Ch’uan is an ancient Chinese system of exercise that helps to bring the mind and body into harmony. We will discover how the five essential qualities of Tai Chi – slowness, lightness, clarity, balance and calmness – are combined in the movements. Tai Chi can be practiced as a way of life, its slow and graceful movements showing us how to live a healthier and more tranquil life.
SEARCHING FOR MEANING
An introduction to Logotherapy
Presenters: Klasie Wessels & Samantha Sparkes
Date: November 24 – 26 Weekend ~ R1390 – R1650
Our search for meaning is the most prominent quest of our time. More and more people today are on a personal quest for meaning and a deeper sense of purpose in the hope of enjoying a happier life. Logotherapy as an existentialist analysis, was developed by Dr Viktor Frankl more famous for his book “Man’s Search for Meaning” (Logo is the Greek word for “meaning”). Frankl was practicing as a neurologist and psychiatrist in Vienna when as a Jew, he was sent to the concentration camps. There he refined his therapy on how to discover meaning in life despite suffering. This secular approach offers many parallels with that of Buddhist philosophy and the retreat will include activities and worksheets to assist participants in discovering their own unique paths to meaning. It will also be infused with case studies from Tibetans who have escaped from China as living examples of how to life powerfully despite severe challenges.
(The retreat is registered with the SA Board of People Practices and qualifies participants for CPD points).
AN INTRODUCTION TO INSIGHT DIALOGUE
Spiritual Friendship on the Noble Eightfold Path
Presenters: Bhikkhu Sukacitto & Janet Surrey
Date: December 1 – 4 3 days ~ R2250 – R2640
The Buddha described spiritual friendship as the “whole of the holy life.”
Insight Dialogue is an interpersonal meditation practice. It brings the mindfulness and tranquillity of silent meditation directly into our experience with other people. As humans, we are relational beings; as we begin to wake up, clarity and freedom can illuminate our relationships with others and we can touch the release of suffering together. Insight Dialogue rests on the foundation of silent practice, and includes speaking and listening as part of our meditation practice.
This retreat will introduce the meditation guidelines of Insight Dialogue and offer an opportunity to explore the possibilities of a fully engaged co-meditation practice. We will explore the origins of suffering as well as the great potential of cultivating together the factors of awakening, including mindfulness, concentration, equanimity, loving kindness and compassion. We will investigate Speaking and Listening as meditative practices held and nourished by the deep foundation of silent practice. There will be periods of silent practice, alternating with meditation together in dyads, triads and small groups.
Three days of self-compassion practice
Presenter: RJ Chippendall
Date: December 15 – 18 Weekend~ R2040 – R2430
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.
NEW YEAR RETREAT
Taking time to reflect
Presenter: Mervyn Croft
Date: December 29 – January 3 5 days ~ R3250 – R3900
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.
THE NATURE OF OUR BEING
An Expressive Movement retreat
Presenter: Sian Palmer
Date: January 12 – 14 Weekend ~ R1390 – R1650
This retreat invites you to meditate in movement with nature. We will use Expressive Movement to meet our own inner nature and the natural world around us – and in this lies the invitation to move and create with the flow of life.
Expressive Movement is a dynamic conscious dance practice. The focus is on dance as a meditation tool, enabling greater authentic presence and freedom. This embodied mindfulness practice enhances physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health; increasing vitality and supporting a healthy relationship to yourself, others and all of life. Through self-expression in movement – reconnecting mind, body and heart – we re-member how to be in relationship with ourselves, others and all of life.
No prior dance experience is needed. Everyone can dance. All are welcome
An Expressive Movement retreat
Presenter: Daniel Jardim
Date: January 26 – 28 Weekend ~ R1500 – R1760
Metta focuses on the development of unconditional kindness for all beings. The challenge is in how we take what we experience on the meditation cushion and allow it to infuse our everyday lives. The weekend is dedicated to exploring practical ways of sharing loving-kindness with ourselves and others so that it becomes a catalyst for more joyous living. Through group meditation and mindfulness activities, the retreat is aimed at allowing gentleness and compassion to guide our movement, our interpersonal relationships, and our experience of food and eating.
WALKING THE BUDDHIST PATH
Deepening our understanding of the Buddhist teachings
Presenter: Mervyn Croft
Date: February 2 – 4 Weekend ~ R1300 – R1560
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.
“YOU CAN’T FILL THE HOLE IN YOUR HEART WITH FOOD”
Developing a mindful approach to eating, food and the body
Presenters: Xenia Ayiotis and RJ Chippindall
Date: February 22 – 25 Weekend ~ R1390 – R1650
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-judgemental 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.
SOFTENING ANGER MINDFULLY
Taming and training your inner-knight
Presenter: Tessa Pretorius
Date: March 2 – 4 Weekend ~ R1460 – R1740
Anger plays an important role in our lives, however, when it becomes the overriding or default emotion for anything and everything that happens, it is no longer beneficial to us or, to anybody around us. One of anger’s main functions is to protect us yet all too often our “inner-knight” becomes overzealous or misguided about how much protection we actually need. Therefore, rather than being combative towards our anger, we need to teach our “inner-knight” to be more selective about his/her responses. On this retreat we will explore how we can cultivate ways and habits of responding with wisdom instead of our customary knee-jerk “hurt them because they hurt me” reaction to any and all uncomfortable situations or experiences
OPEN THE HEART AND STILL THE MIND
Embracing change and loss
Presenter: Sue Cooper
Date: March 17 – 21 4 – days (Starts Saturday) ~ R3050 – R3610
Inspired by the wisdom of Buddhist psychology, with its profound understanding of the truth of Impermanence, we will explore ways to integrate change and loss in our lives, so that we can learn to bear the unbearable. Through sitting and walking meditations, compassion practices, qigong and short individual sessions we will strengthen our capacity for courageous presence. This allows us to embrace life and death with an open and compassionate heart, one which can rediscover joy and lightness in the midst of life’s challenges.
This retreat, starts with lunch on Saturday 17th March. Facilitated by clinical psychologist Sue Cooper, the retreat offers an integration of body, heart and mind and is held in a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative silence.
(CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals will be offered).
RELAXING INTO STILLNESS
A time for meditation, yoga, reflexology treatments and walking in nature
Presenters: Mervyn Croft, Lauren Richer and Peter Richer
Date: March 29 – April 2 4 – days ~ R2900 – R3460
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.
RESTING IN AWARENESS
Explore the hidden realms that lie within
Presenter: Wendy Young
Date: April 13 – 15 Weekend ~ R1500 – R1780
What does it mean to rest in Awareness? We often feel disconnected: from what’s actually going on in our body-mind, disconnected from our authentic feelings and disconnected from Life.
When our still centre is overwhelmed by the noise and busyness of life, we need to reconnect to the silent space within. In silence is freedom and joy; peace and aliveness. In silence we discover our Greater identity.
The practices of yoga asana (postures), pranayama (breathing techniques) and dhyana (meditation) are an invitation for you to access something beyond mind-chatter and rest in Awareness. This retreat is an opportunity to explore these practices, the way the ancient mystics did, as a way of returning to your True self. Wendy uses mindful movement, stillness, breathing, and focused awareness to point to the Truth of who you are. Join her in exploring the hidden realms that lie within.
VIPASSANA MEDITATION RETREAT
Meditation with calmness, mindfulness and insight
Presenter: Mervyn Croft
Date: April 26 – May 1 5 – days~ R3500 – R4200
A five-day Vipassana or Insight Meditation retreat gives 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-centered way of living in the world.
There will be an emphasis on Practising within an atmosphere of 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. There will be evening discussions and time to walk and reflect in nature.
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.
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.
Emonyeni Retreat Centre, A65 Buffelshoek Farm,
Mooinooi, North-West, 0325
Telephone: +27 (0)82 308 1533