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. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   5 – sessions for R200

Starting from the 28th of April, Emoyeni will host 4 half-hour meditations each week using Zoom. To try and accommodate the differing lifestyles we will 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 would cover your first 5 meditation sessions (R40 each) and you would receive the Zoom link and password which would be valid for the whole month.  You can decide  how often you would like to join in — it could be once a week or more. Once you have completed you 5 sessions,  you would simply top-up with another R200 (or more if you want to pay ahead for more sessions) to cover the next 5 sessions up to the end of a calendar month.  Then we would start again for the following month.

Let’s try this out and see how it goes…

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?


Practising mindfulness with kindness and curiosity

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft
Date:  Sunday May 31                                                                                                                One-day ~ R500 – R1 000 (sliding scale)

The quality of our life is a reflection of the clarity and groundedness of our heart and mind. In our meditation practice we often find ourselves waking up again and again from the endless “Me-story” that distracts us from the simplicity and aliveness of the present moment. It also plays a leading role in the turbulence that we encounter as we interact with others in a busy world. This “waking up” gives us the opportunity to investigate this Me-story with kindness and curiosity – to gradually loosen its grip over us. To find that quiet, centred place within from which we can meet the world with more kindness and clarity.

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…

The 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

03.30 – 05.00    Talk and Meditation

07.00 – 08.30     Evening discussion and Meditation

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


Meditation with calmness, mindfulness and insight

Presenter:  Mervyn Croft
Date:  June  14 + 16                                                                          Sun 14 only: (R500 – R1000) ; Sun +Tues (14+16): (R1000 – R2000)             

This optional one- or two-day Online Vipassana or Insight Meditation retreat gives us the opportunity to develop and deepen our practice. 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. 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

03.30 – 05.00    Talk and Meditation

07.00 – 08.30     Evening discussion and Meditation

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


Healing and Containment through Silence

Presenter:   Sue Cooper

June 27           One-day Online retreat ~ Bookings directly with Sue Cooper: email: or click here for Sue’s website link.

This daylong online retreat, suitable for beginners and experienced practitioners is held in a nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence and is offered in support of the beautiful venue of Emoyeni, near the Magaliesberg mountains. We will explore ways in which meditation and silence can provide emotional containment when we find a quiet resting place within ourselves. As we ground ourselves more fully and wholeheartedly in the present moment, we will discover how to live authentically with compassionate simplicity and discerning wisdom.

Through meditation practices which cultivate calm and tranquillity, we will establish an inner refuge, a safe home within, which rests on a foundation of kindness and compassion towards ourselves. This creates the conditions to heal the fragmentation that comes from living with fear, perfectionism and disconnection. This process will be supported externally by the beauty of nature, and internally by embodied awareness practices which integrate body, heart and mind.

This retreat will include teachings from the wisdom of Buddhist psychology, guided meditations in all postures, qigong movement meditation, time away from the screen for silent walking and eating meditations and time to reflect on our experience in a listening and talking meditation. A schedule will be provided ahead of time for planning your day and the Zoom link sent nearer the time.

An optional pre and/or post retreat individual session can be scheduled via Zoom, Skype or whatsapp video and the additional fee of R850 is fully covered by medical aid. Please contact Sue on to arrange a time.

CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: to be confirmed with an admin fee attached.

Please book directly with Sue Cooper:   or click here for Sue’s website link.




Towards a practice of care

Presenter:  Katrin Auf den Heyde
Date:  July  18 -19                                                                          Sliding scale: R700 – R1200 (including teachers dana)             


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.

We will start with a meet and greet on Zoom the night of the 18th from 19h00 – 21h00, with a closing meditation

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:  July 31 – 2 August                                                                                               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?


Listening with a kind and compassionate heart

Presenter:  Sue Cooper
Date: 7-10 August                                                                                            3-days ~ Bookings directly with Sue Cooper


This silent Open the Heart and Still the Mind Compassion retreat will draw on the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and the inspiring teachings and practices of Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion, who “Listens to the cries of the world at ease.” After establishing a calm and grounded body, heart and mind, we will focus on the practice of loving-kindness (metta) meditation and the deepening of compassionate wisdom. These practices strengthen our boundaries and provide us with a secure foundation of courage and trust.

In a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative (Noble) silence, we will learn how to transform the self-critical and judgmental inner voices, so that we can end the habitual cycle of self-abandonment. As we discover how to internalise the archetypal good-enough mother, represented by Kuan Yin, we will develop the courage and trust which allow us to honour our vulnerability without fear or shame. When we can embrace our humanness with kindness and compassion, we can live more authentically, so that healing and awakening can occur.

This retreat includes guided sitting and walking meditations, short individual sessions with Sue and daily sessions of qigong (chi kung) movement meditation, as well as walks in nature to enhance the integration of body, heart and mind.

A pre-retreat individual session is highly recommended for newcomers or if you have not attended one of Sue’s residential retreats before. If you would like to book an individual session before this retreat, in person (if you are in Cape Town) or via Skype/WhatsApp video, the fee of R900 is fully covered by medical aid. Please contact Sue on to arrange a time.

CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: to be confirmed and will include an annual admin fee.

Please book directly with Sue Cooper:



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

Presenter:  Hayley Berman 
Date:  21-23 August                                                                                                Weekend ~ R2100 – R2400

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.  


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.


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


Emoyeni © 2018 All Rights Reserved.