All retreats begin at 5pm (supper), please aim to arrive after 2pm. Retreats finish after breakfast on the finish day.



Date: January 24 - 28, 2019
Title: Integral Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation
Teachers: Helen Altman

This is the first of two residential retreats with Helen Altman that will be held at Dharmagiri this year and forms part of a retreat and online combination course. The full course runs from the 24th of January to the 10th of June, the second residential retreat takes places from the 6th till the 10th of June. For the full information please go here: https://app.box.com/s/ve1bienhccfy3s7po40fck658npthpi6

This is a journey of self-study, discovery, transformation & healing, based on the ancient healing wisdom of integral yoga, Ayurveda & meditation on the body. Retreat & online combination course suitable for all levels & experience. Attending to your mental, emotional & physical health & wellbeing, in simple practical ways that can be integrated into your daily life.

Residential retreats at Dharmagiri, Drakensberg
24 - 28 January 2019
6 - 10 June 2019

Tuition, accommodation and food included.

Online Course
18 weekly sessions.
Demonstrations, talks, notes and inspirations.

Outline of course:
Integral Yoga - 8 classes
Introduction to Ayurveda - 6 classes
Meditation on the Body - 4 classes
Suitable for beginners to yoga teachers.


Helen
Helen is a Yoga teacher, Remedial Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner with a particular interest in integrating these traditions and the contemplative and somatic Buddhist practices into our daily lives.
The central thread of her life, beginning at an early age, has been the exploration of the relationship between the body, heart, mind and spirit. Moving from a Classical ballet training to Contemporary dance and choreography, Laban movement analysis and a decade as movement lecturer at UCT drama department to the path of Yoga, yoga therapy and Buddhism. She has a deep interest in psychology and the mind/body therapies influence her work and interest in transformation and healing.
Her deep love and connection with India has taken her there annually, for further studies and Panchakarma (deep Ayurvedic Detox). Her solid training in the Sivananda and Desikachar lineages form the foundation of her yogic practise. Having completed Donna Farhi’s advanced teachers training and worked as her assistant, her work continues to be a profound influence.
More recently she has had the honour of studying with the world guru in Ayurveda, Dr Vasant Lad.
Each step informing the next layer of practice over the last 35 years. She has established two Yoga Dharma Healing centres in Hout Bay and McGregor and continues to run retreats and teach workshops and courses.
Helen expresses enormous gratitude and a deep bow to her teachers, Donna Farhi, Swami Parvathi and Yogeshwari, Swami Rama, Thanissara and Kittisaro, Antony Osler, Ringu Tulku and Dr Vasant Lad.

Cost
R14,500
For more information contact:
helen.altman@gmail.com www.stillness.center
Retreat bookings contact:
office@dharmagiri.org / +27 82 473 5525
Date: February 8 - 11, 2019
Title: Skilful Ways to Transform Your Mind
Teachers: Geshe Lobsung Dhondup

The Eight Verses for Training the Mind is one of the most important texts from a genre of Tibetan spiritual writings known as lojong (literally “mind training”). The root text was written by the eleventh-century meditator Langri Tangpa and is as relevant today as it was then. His Holiness the Dalai Lama refers to this work as one of the main sources of his own inspiration and includes it in his daily meditations.

During this extended weekend retreat Geshe Lobsang Dhondup will give a commentary on the text with guided analytical meditations based on each verse.


Geshe
Geshe Lobsang has recently been appointed to the Office of Tibet as their Culture Officer / Philosophy Teacher. Having spent 7 years in Buddhist studies focusing on cognition (Pramana), wisdom of perfection (Prajanaparamita), Madyamika Philosophy, the study of ethics, and Buddhist epistemology, Geshe-la was awarded a Geshe Degree by the Academic Council of Drepung Monastery in 2015. He has much experience in moderating workshops on Compassion and Emotional Intelligence, has participated in workshops on environmental awareness and global responsibility, as well as conferences on the oneness of Humankind.


Cost
Daily Rate and travel surcharge, and Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Date: February 22-24, 2019
Title: Being Your Own Best Friend
Teachers: Chandasara

This will be a silent weekend meditation retreat focussing on the theme of our relationship with ourselves: what does “being our own best friend” mean? Can we be at ease simply being who we are without needing to be particularly special, better or worse than anyone else? Can we similarly be at peace with others who are different to us without being critical and judgmental? We will explore these questions using insights from the Buddha’s teachings on what keeps us trapped in cycles of negativity and how we can restore ourselves to a more natural state of ease and wellbeing. There will be periods of sitting and walking meditation, morning and evening talks, and opportunities for dialogue and discussion.


Chandasara
Chandasara - from South Africa, spent her early adult life in political exile in Europe and America where she was recruited into Okhela, an Oliver Tambo initiative to facilitate and expand white involvement in the ANC. Following this, she worked as a political analyst with the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. During this period she was also involved in an esoteric spiritual school. Wishing to deepen her meditation experience, she undertook a 6-week self-retreat guided by Kittisaro and Thanissara at the BRC in 1998. Having discovered the revelatory power of sustained and focused meditation, she decided to enter monastic life. Chandasara resided at Amaravati and Chithurst Buddhist monasteries from 2002 to 2010. She put down the robes in 2011. Since then she has resided at Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the Magaliesberg during which time she completed an Honours degree in Psychology. She moved to Dharmagiri in May 2015 where she offers supported self-retreats for individuals wishing to explore and engage more deeply with particular aspects of their life experience. Chandasara leads Underberg Meditation Group, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor rehab centre and clinic.


Cost
Daily Rate and Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Date: March 8 - 10, 2019
Title: Jade Lady on Bamboo Mountain
Teachers: Alex and Jeremy Lister-James

Based on the Chinese philosophy of Taoism, Tai chi is rooted in balance and flow, stillness within movement, and reflection during action. Just like the shape of the Taijitu (symbol of yin and yang) every movement is based on circles.

Al Huang, in Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain, suggests: “Stop the words and start the doing.” With gentle movements and focused mind, we will teach a short sequence of Yang style Tai chi, complemented with simple Qigong exercises and movement-within-stillness meditation.

Tai chi has been described as “learning to move with the wind and water in the course of everyday life” and we hope you take a little of the spirit of Bamboo Mountain home with you.

This retreat is suitable for all ages.


Alex
Alex Lister-James - I trained in the Yang-style long form of Tai chi in the 1990’s, and have taught introductory Tai chi and Qigong at the Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo for many years.
I aim to incorporate the spirit of Tai chi, not only in the flowing sequences of the form, but also in meditation and day-to-day living.
I am a Health Professional with a private practice in Durban, focusing on the wellness of women and children.


Jeremy
Jeremy Lister-James has been involved in the sustainability space for the last 15 years. His vision is the possibility of a world in which humans and other life will flourish on Earth forever.
He strives to do no harm, rather than less harm, starting close in with a range of reflective practices aimed at flourishing. These foster an individual awareness of connectedness and the need for caring (for self, others and the world). One such practice is Tai chi/chi kung.

Cost
Daily Rate and travel surcharge, and Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Please note the increase in Daily Rate as of 1 March 2019.
Date: March 26 - 30, 2019
Title: Reconnecting with Heart, Soul & Nature
Teachers: Mandaza

Everything is teaching us – Ajahn Chah.

Our real home is inner peace – Ajahn Chah

Be like the ocean that refuses no river – Mandaza Kandemwa

The focus of this retreat will be on understanding our true connection with Nature and rediscovering how to live in balance and harmony with natural processes, both inner and outer. Can this reawakening of our intuitive sensitivity support the restoration of peace in our own hearts and minds as well as the healing of the social divisions that divide us?

The retreat will include dialogues, sessions and meditations outside in Nature, ceremonies honouring Nature, as well as opportunities for private individual readings with Mandaza.


Mandaza
Mandaza Kandemwa is a spirit-medium and medicine-man from Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. He was initiated through the tradition of the njuzu, the water spirits. As a vessel of the Spirits, Mandaza receives visions and dreams, makes offerings, performs healing rituals, and serves as a messenger for the Ancient Ones. Mandaza carries with him in his heart the African spiritual tradition of healing and peacemaking. He is known internationally for his loving presence and for his preservation of the old ways. He stands for Truth, Love, Justice and Peace in this world.

Like the water spirits he carries, Mandaza flows between the worlds, moving easily between the worlds of Christianity, the secular, the traditional, the modern, the industrial and the earth ways, all that is sacred and profane. Currently, Mandaza travels internationally offering teachings and healing counsel in churches, schools, prisons and hospitals.

You can listen to a talk by Mandaza on the Mind and Life website Botswana Ubuntu Conference 2017 livestream at: https://www.mindandlife.org/mind-and-life-dialogues/botswana-dialogue-livestream/


Cost
Daily Rate and travel surcharge, and Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Please note the increase in Daily Rate as of 1 March 2019.
Date: April 1- 30, 2019
Title: Being Dharma
Teachers: Kittisaro & Thanissara

The retreat will emphasise Theravada teachings and practices, especially those of the Thai Forest Tradition of Ajahn Chah, alongside the teachings of Master Hsuan Hua from the Chinese Mahayana Tradition. Throughout the retreat there will be an interweaving of Theravada and Mahayana streams that co-inform each other and present an integrated whole. The practice will focus on cultivating embodied samadhi – calming and unifying the mind/heart/body energies, wisdom practices – vipassana – and an exploration of the relationship between calm and insight as foundations for realization of the deathless Dharma. The Mahayana focus, supported by the foundation in Theravada, explores the Bodhisattva Way through the cultivation of the Kuan Yin dharmas, the archetype of compassionate wisdom in Mahayana, known as the "One Who Listens to the Sounds of the World at Ease." The Bodhisattva heart balances the "letting go" practices of Theravada with "picking up" a skillful and compassionate relationship to the world. The retreat is held in silence, and includes meditation instruction, Dharma talks, Qi Gong, a devotional and ceremonial practice. Each participant will have meet with Kittisaro and Thanissara teacher for individual guidance.

Attendance at the retreat requires previous experience of long silent retreats (minimum 10 days) with either Kittisaro and Thanissara, or Insight teachers and a core familiarity with Thervada / Insight teachings and practices.


Kittsaro
Kittisaro - a graduate of Princeton and Rhodes Scholar, ordained in Thailand with Ajahn Chah in 1976. He was a monk for 15 years, during that time helped found Chithurst Monastery and Devon Vihara in the UK, trained monks, was a prison Chaplain, and taught extensively. He has taught internationally for 35 years. With Thanissara, he was guiding teacher at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo from 1995 – 2003, and co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Retreat Centre in 2000. He has studied and practiced Chan and Pure Land for 35 years, informed by the Chinese school of Master Hua, and has completed two year long silent self-retreats. With Thanissara, he is co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism.


Thanissara
Thanissara - started Buddhist practice in the Burmese school in 1975. She was inspired to ordain after meeting Ajahn Chah and spent 12 years as a Buddhist nun, where she was a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK. She has facilitated meditation retreats internationally the last 30 years and has an MA in Mindfulness-Based Psychotherapy Practice from Middlesex University & the Karuna Institute in the UK. With Kittisaro, she was guiding teacher at the Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo for 7 years, co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat and helped initiate and support a number of rural development projects in South Africa. She has written several books, including two poetry books. Her latest book is Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.

Cost
Currently only waiting list available.
Date: May 17 - 19, 2019
Title: Mindfulness
Teachers: Chandasara

As part of a 3-week package, watch this space more information coming soon.


Chandasara
Chandasara spent her early adult life in political exile and later worked as a political analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg for 14 years. Chandasara trained as a Buddhist nun in the Forest School for 9 years in the UK, at Amaravati and Chithurst monasteries. She holds degrees in Politics, Linguistics and Psychology, is co-guiding teacher at Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat where she also offers counselling, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor clinic.

Cost
Daily Rate and Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Please note the increase in Daily Rate as of 1 March 2019.
Date: May 25 – June 1, 2019
Title: The Art of Compassionate Listening
Teachers: Sue Cooper

This week-long retreat, held in contemplative (Noble) silence at the beautiful Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in the southern Drakensberg, KZN is Sue’s first “training retreat” intended for people working with groups and/or interested in integrating Buddhist psychology and wisdom into their work. The retreat offers an opportunity to deepen your meditation practice through extended silence, as well as your understanding of the Dharma through dharma talks by Sue which integrate the psychological and spiritual elements of this path, and by resident Dharmagiri teacher Chandasara, who will present more classical Buddhist teachings. Sue will also offer daily qigong movement meditation for a deeper embodied experience, as well as individual sessions which provide emotional containment, as well as deeper insight. In addition to Sue’s usual listening and talking meditations, there will be time to reflect on ways to integrate these practices and insights into a work context, with a particular focus on ways to create safe spaces in which healing and transformation can occur. The retreat will allow for silence in solitude in Nature, as well as time to rest, to balance the activities of group practice.

CPD accreditation for psychologists and other HPCSA registered professionals: 30 general and 6 ethics CEUs will be applied for. Please Note: To receive CPD points and your certificate(s) this year, there is an annual admin fee of R175 - thank you.


Sue
Sue Cooper is a Cape Town-based Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice since the early 1990s. She has a long-standing interest in the interface between psychological and spiritual approaches to self-discovery and inner healing, and has attended Buddhist meditation retreats, mainly in the Theravada tradition, for over 30 years, both in South Africa and at Gaia House in the UK. Sue has been inspired by the teachings of Ajahn Chah of the Thai Forest Tradition, and is deeply grateful to her primary teachers: the late Godwin Samararatne, Kittisaro and Thanissara, Ajahn Sucitto and Stephen and Martine Batchelor.

Sue has a particular interest in exploring how our practice enables us to embrace our humanness, integrating love and loss in our lives, so that we can live and die with compassionate awareness. . www.suecooper.co.za

Cost - Food and Accommodation plus R350 travel surcharge plus Teacher’s Fee on a sliding scale.

Food and Accommodation:
o R750 per night single en-suite
o R700 per night shared en-suite (only if we use Mvuleni Farm next door)
o R650 shared accommodation (twin room with shared bathroom)

Teacher’s Fee: R3500 / 4000 / 4500 / 5000 / 5500 / 6000
This is offered on a sliding scale and while the full fee is greatly appreciated, the reduced amounts allow you to choose what is manageable. Further reductions are available on request and a flexible payment plan is offered if needed.

A none-refundable deposit of R2500 confirms your place.
Payment in instalments and full balance by beginning of May 2019, unless you have a pre-arranged payment plan with Sue.

Bookings: sue.stillmind@gmail.com

Date: June 6 - 10, 2019
Title: Integral Yoga, Ayurveda, Meditation
Teachers: Helen Altman

This is the first of two residential retreats with Helen Altman that will be held at Dharmagiri this year and forms part of a retreat and online combination course. The full course runs from the 24th of January to the 10th of June, the second residential retreat takes places from the 6th till the 10th of June. For the full information please go here: https://app.box.com/s/ve1bienhccfy3s7po40fck658npthpi6

This is a journey of self-study, discovery, transformation & healing, based on the ancient healing wisdom of integral yoga, Ayurveda & meditation on the body. Retreat & online combination course suitable for all levels & experience. Attending to your mental, emotional & physical health & wellbeing, in simple practical ways that can be integrated into your daily life.

Residential retreats at Dharmagiri, Drakensberg
24 - 28 January 2019
6 - 10 June 2019

Tuition, accommodation and food included.

Online Course
18 weekly sessions.
Demonstrations, talks, notes and inspirations.

Outline of course:
Integral Yoga - 8 classes
Introduction to Ayurveda - 6 classes
Meditation on the Body - 4 classes
Suitable for beginners to yoga teachers.


Helen
Helen is a Yoga teacher, Remedial Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic practitioner with a particular interest in integrating these traditions and the contemplative and somatic Buddhist practices into our daily lives.
The central thread of her life, beginning at an early age, has been the exploration of the relationship between the body, heart, mind and spirit. Moving from a Classical ballet training to Contemporary dance and choreography, Laban movement analysis and a decade as movement lecturer at UCT drama department to the path of Yoga, yoga therapy and Buddhism. She has a deep interest in psychology and the mind/body therapies influence her work and interest in transformation and healing.
Her deep love and connection with India has taken her there annually, for further studies and Panchakarma (deep Ayurvedic Detox). Her solid training in the Sivananda and Desikachar lineages form the foundation of her yogic practise. Having completed Donna Farhi’s advanced teachers training and worked as her assistant, her work continues to be a profound influence.
More recently she has had the honour of studying with the world guru in Ayurveda, Dr Vasant Lad.
Each step informing the next layer of practice over the last 35 years. She has established two Yoga Dharma Healing centres in Hout Bay and McGregor and continues to run retreats and teach workshops and courses.
Helen expresses enormous gratitude and a deep bow to her teachers, Donna Farhi, Swami Parvathi and Yogeshwari, Swami Rama, Thanissara and Kittisaro, Antony Osler, Ringu Tulku and Dr Vasant Lad.

Cost
R14,500
For more information contact:
helen.altman@gmail.com www.stillness.center
Retreat bookings contact:
office@dharmagiri.org / +27 82 473 5525

Longer retreats are usually suitable for more experienced practitioners. For beginners we recommend starting with a weekend. Unless otherwise stipulated guided retreats at Dharmagiri are held in silence which we ask retreatants to agree to and respect. During each retreat there are times for meeting individually with the teachers, group sharing circles and some discussion. Before applying to attend one of these guided retreats please check the criteria below.

Our longer retreats are best suited for those who:

  • Have had some experience of meditation
  • Have psychological well being. Although the practice and context is a healing one, we are unable to offer rehabilitative or therapeutic care.
  • Are willing to enter into the communal life of the hermitage.
  • Are willing to engage in simple duties that enable the smooth daily running of the hermitage.
  • Are satisfied with simple, healthy food and accommodation
  • Are comfortable practicing in a Buddhist context. Respect for Buddhist precepts, (though not adherence to the Buddhist religion), is a requirement.

The 5 ethical Buddhist precepts:

  • To refrain from harming and the taking of life – to maintain respect for life.
  • To refrain from taking what is not offered – to practice generosity.
  • To refrain from misuse of the senses & sexuality – to practice renunciation.
  • To refrain from harmful, deceptive and harsh speech – to practice speech that promotes truth, accord and clarity.
  • To refrain from intoxicating drugs & alcohol – to respect the instrument of awakening which is consciousness