Emoyeni – Cultivating Wisdom & Compassion

Frequently Asked Questions


On formal retreats there is generally an introduction to meditation. When you come on a self retreat you can ask our staff to give you meditation instruction.

Emoyeni has been created to provide a space to retreat and connect with your spirituality and with the simplicity of the moment. We have a meditation hall, a library and a beautiful natural environment where you can walk and find yourself. There is also a labyrinth where you can walk your questions and enjoy a spacious 360 view. While we generally encourage much non-doing, you are welcome to sweat your karma in the kitchen or garden or by clearing alien vegetation in the veld.

If you are flying up to Emoyeni we do recommend that you fly to Lanseria Airport as it is much closer to us than Oliver Thambo International. Emoyeni, does not offer airport pick-ups, however Terrance Rigby of Lanseria Shuttle offers a reliable and well priced service in this regard:

Details for Lanseria Shuttle: Terrance Rigby: 071 273 1533 service on this 

Our daily pattern is as follows. Lunch at 12h30. Light supper at 18h00 in winter and at 18h30 in summer. Meditation at 19h30 to 20h30. After the meditation we keep Noble Silence till after breakfast the next morning. The morning meditation starts at 6h30 and breakfast is served in silence at 7h30. After breakfast you are encouraged to do an hours work, either in the garden or kitchen. The rest of the day is yours to do as you please. We have an excellent library and the Magaliesberg in our back yard where you may wander about freely. There is also a labyrinth to walk your questions and a little streat to sit by. The meditation hall is open all day and night.
Should you wish to, we can help to set up a formal retreat programme for you. We also provide, on request, instructions on how to meditate or Buddhism.

Generally a formal retreat begins with a light supper at 18h30. To avoid the traffic and settle into your room, you are welcome to arrive early in the afternoon. After supper there is an introduction and a short meditation. Retreat days begin at 6 in the morning with a wake up bell. This is followed by exercises and / or a meditation. Breakfast is served at 7h30. From 8h30 to 9h30 we have an hour’s work period during which we help with chopping vegetables, work in the garden or do any other general chore. Talks or workshops begin at 9h30. Lunch is served at 12h30 and supper at 18h00.
Our retreats generally end with a Meditation on Loving Kindness and lunch.

Generally our programme says whether a retreat is in silence. However, we do keep Noble Silence every day from after the evening meditation till the beginning of the work period after breakfast. This is to support the practice of mindfulness and to give ourselves space from the complexity of personal interactions.

All meals are vegetarian and may include eggs and dairy products. Breakfast generally consists of porridge, cereals, fruit and toast. Lunch is the main meal and is substantial. Our evening meals are light, consisting of soup and bread. Should you have wheat, dairy or any other intolerances do let us know.

Our accommodation is simple but comfortable. Altogether we have 18 beds available. In the main house there are two large twin rooms and a small single room (usually reserved for the cook) that share a bathroom. The Teacher’s Cottage – generally reserved for visiting teachers – has a twin and a single room with bathroom en-suite. Then there is the Lodge which has an indoor and an outdoor shower and two toilets. The Lodge offers four single rooms, one twin room  plus the Bamboo room – a single room a short distance away. Lastly there is the Zynia  Eco House which is a short (5 – 7 minute) walk through the bush. This beautiful rustic house offers three single rooms and one twin room with it’s own kitchen and a shower and toilet inside as well as an outside shower and toilet.

If you are flying in to Johannesburg we will generally put you in touch with any other retreatant who might be coming in. If there is no one available, and if we are able we could fetch you at a fee. Johannesburg airport is two hours away from Emoyeni and Lanseria is one hour away.

If a booking is cancelled 2 weeks (or earlier) before that retreat starts, then the deposit will be refunded less a cancellation fee of R70. If the cancellation is received less than two weeks before the start of a retreat, the deposit will be forfeited.

When making a booking it is advisable to email the Retreat Centre to make sure that there is space available on the retreat
 Please note that we are not able to take bookings via WhatsApp or Facebook.
The next step is to send a deposit equivalent to 50% of the cost of your stay within 10 days of making the initial booking. This should be done into the Centre’s bank account (see below) with clear indications who and what the deposit is for. Upon receipt of your deposit we will confirm your booking.


Account Name: Emoyeni Retreat Centre
Account Number: 033-215-103
Bank: Standard Bank
Branch: Rustenburg
Branch Number: 052646

The cost of a retreat covers accommodation, three meals and during formal retreats, the cost of the course. However, at Emoyeni we follow the Buddhist tradition of not charging for the teachings, and rather encourage the practice of Dana or Generosity, whereby each person is invited to contribute an amount over and above the basic accommodation rate, as a way of recognizing the benefits of their stay at Emoyeni and to express their appreciation to the teachers.

New costing system and Retreat rates

As of 2021 we are changing our costing system to include the possibility of paying Dana (the Buddhist tradition of generosity) up front. This means that from now on you will be able to choose from two rates when paying for retreats and we are also giving a suggested Dana rate for the teachers to choose from when paying:

  1. Standard Rate – This includes accommodation, food and basic running costs for the centre plus a surcharge to cover travel for the teacher.
  2. Generous Rate – This includes the above plus a dana contribution to Emoyeni for upkeep and improvements to the centre and other eventualities.                        
  • Plus a suggested rate for Teacher’s dana ( this is not included in the above STD or GEN rates): This is a sliding scale suggestion as to how much to contribute to the teacher.

NB: It is important to remember that traditionally teachers do not get paid for their teachings at a Buddhist Retreat Centre. They offer their teachings freely as their Dana and are therefore grateful for your generosity in return. For many teachers your generosity is their means of making a living.  

But, what if…

Of course, you do not have to stick to the amounts we suggest.

If you would like to be more generous, or your wallet does not allow for the costs we suggest, you can offer whatever you feel is comfortable or manageable for you. It is important to know that dana is a form of gratitude and generosity – it is not obligatory and should not cause any resentment or guilt in the giving or not giving;

If you prefer to offer dana in the more traditional method (i.e after the retreat), then please do so; or

If you start off selecting the Standard Rate but you are then moved by the end of the retreat to want to ‘upgrade’ your payment to the Generous rate, this is easily done.


Self Retreats cost per day:

Lodge, House and Zinya Eco-House: Weekends – R1000; Weekdays – R850

The Cottage (bathroom en-suite):    Weekends – R1200; Weekdays – R1100

These costs include accommodation, three vegetarian meals per day and guidance during your retreat.


Lodge, House and Zinya Eco-House: Weekends: As per programme; Weekdays – R910

The Cottage (bathroom en-suite):    Weekends: As per programme: Weekdays – R1020

Should you stay for 15 to 30 days the cost is reduced to R680 per day

A retreat of one month or more will cost R590 per day
(R17 700 for a month)

These costs include accommodation, three vegetarian meals per day and guidance during your retreat.

*NB: Please note that during the week we have more of a hands-on policy with meals – lunches are provided but breakfasts and suppers rely on a ‘do it yourself’ system with ingredients provided.

Emoyeni offers you the opportunity to offer your services and skills  helping out with gardening, maintenance or cooking in exchange accommodation and meals. Five hours of work a day earns you free accommodation and meals. Should you wish to work for two and a half hours we will only ask you to pay half of the daily rate. Generally we prefer to take people who have attended a retreat at Emoyeni before and we reserve the right to select what skills are needed for these exchanges. The length of work retreats depends on the availability of staff and on what is needed at the time.

We welcome anyone with a sincere interest in cultivating wisdom and compassion as a way of life. Our aim is to provide an atmosphere of peace and tranquillity which is conducive to the practice of meditation, a safe space where the weary can find a moment of rest and peace.Our approach includes the practice of mindfulness and an attitude of non-harming towards all living beings.

Regrettably, no. At Emoyeni we encourage, use and value silence. For most of us this silence is part of the Emoyeni experience as it is a place to rest and refuel from the hurly burly of life. Young children as we know are not naturally silent, and for this reason we have a ‘no children under 16 policy’ on retreats so as to safeguard this silence for all our guests. We realise that some children younger than 16 are able to be quiet for the required periods of time, however it feels unkind to stifle their natural exuberance when coming visit.

Please go to the contact us page for directions.

A torch
Comfortable clothes
Walking shoes
Hat and sunblock
Our water is excellent borehole water so there is no need to bring any.

If you have a very limited and specialised diet it might be useful to bring foods-stuffs that could be obscure to a countryside SPAR – for example gluten free oats, etc.

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.

Office 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

Email: retreat@emoyeni.org.za

Telephone: +27 (0)82 308 1533