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



Date: April 13 - April 17, 2017
Title: Yatra - Walking in the Berg
Teachers: Dain Peters & Chandasara

"Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come." - Rumi

Walk in the Mountains to reconnect with the sacred. Bring poetry, prayers and sacred texts that are meaningful to you to share. There will be walking in the day and gatherings in the evenings, led by Dain & Chandasara. There are pools to swim & an opportunity to absorb the power and majesty of the Berg. Walks paced for various levels of mobility.

In Sanskrit Yātrā ( यात्रा) means 'journey', 'procession', and refers to the pilgrimage to holy places, such as confluences of sacred rivers, and places associated with ancient stories and sacred epics. In many cultures, since ancient times it has been recognised that we walk our way back into wholeness and the memory of the "intimacy of all things." This pilgrimage retreat offers both seated meditation and mindful walks in the beautiful mountains surrounding Dharmagiri as well as a range of teachings and practices from both Buddhist and Jungian paradigms which explore the winding paths of our deviations and reunions in this great Pilgrimage of Becoming Human.

Testimonial previous Yatra retreat. "I experienced Dain and Martin's Yatra as abundantly peaceful, transcendently beautiful, heart-warmly meaningful and super fun! Dain and Martin created between us (those who, like me, participated in the Yatra) an almost instantaneous sense of community. And as a community, we, with blessed idleness, wandered through the Southern Drakensberg and, with insightful facilitation by Dain, engaged in thought-provoking discussions. I particularly enjoyed Dain's masterful use of poetry to communicate ideas that we were exploring."


Dain Peters
Dain Peters - Dain is a qualified musician, Clinical psychologist, and Jungian analyst. He serves on the executives of the SAPC (The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation) and SAAJA (South African Association of Jungian Analysts). In Cape Town, where he runs a private Psychotherapy practice, he is regularly contracted to support, develop programmes and train local NGOs. Previously he managed the Midlands office of Sinani (Kwazulu-Natal Programme for Survivors of Violence), an NGO addressing the multiple consequences of socio-political violence. He is committed to supporting the LGBTI community and has collaborated with Triangle Project for over 10 years.

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 + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: April 26 - May 1, 2017
Title: A Taste of Freedom on the Sacred Mountain
Teachers: Sue Cooper

This retreat is suitable for both beginner and experienced meditators. Held in contemplative silence, this retreat draws inspiration from the wisdom of Buddhist psychology and the support of the sacred Mvuleni Mountain (place of rain, and place of openings.) Through the cultivation of meditation practices that will nurture and ground us, we will discover ways to free ourselves from our habitual, fear-based patterns of thinking and behaving. When we embrace our humanness with kind and compassionate awareness, we can move beyond fear, shame and the curse of perfectionism, to discover that the possibility of freedom lies in the next breath! This silent retreat includes sitting and walking meditations, daily sessions of Qigong movement meditation, as well as time for yoga and mindful walks to enhance the integration of body, heart, and mind. There will be short, individual sessions with Sue, as well as time for restorative rest.


Sue Cooper

Sue Cooper - Sue is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice in Cape Town 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.

Sue offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Bodhi Khaya, Temenos and Mont Fleur in the W. Cape, Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and The Buddhist Retreat Centre in KZN and Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the North West Province, as well as 6-8 week 'Open the Heart and Still the Mind' courses, on-going weekly groups and monthly half-day/day retreats in Cape Town. www.suecooper.co.za. Contact details: sue.stillmind@gmail.com and www.facebook.com/suecoopermeditation


Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: May 12 - May 30, 2017
Title: Ubuntu Tour
Teachers: Chandasara with Jane & Garth Patterson

Join us on a cultural, historical, and game park tour where we also visit religious and political landmarks, battlefields, and the sweeping landscapes of the Drakensberg Mountains and pristine beaches along the Indian Ocean. This truly unique journey will be led by Chandasara, a former Buddhist nun and current mindfulness teacher and counselor, who will share her perspective informed by her engagement in the anti-apartheid struggle and an exploration of the importance of connecting with the natural environment as a way of healing and returning to core values. Chandasara, as a resident teacher at Dharmagiri, invites you to join her in furthering our insight into the Dharma through taking this journey together in the region of our planet where we as human beings began our common human journey.


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 + Info - $2,970 -- £2,450 -- €2,800
Click here for an overview of the tour.
Contact Jane at dharmagiri.ubuntu.tour@gmail.com for more info.
Date: June 11 - July 7, 2017
Title: Supported Depth Practice Within Sangha:
A guided self-retreat focused around mindfulness and insight meditation
Teachers: Jaya & Chandasara

This retreat, held in noble silence, will be an opportunity for some extended self-retreat in the beautiful setting of Dharmagiri, with the support of two experienced teachers and a small group of fellow practitioners. The retreat will highlight mindfulness and insight meditation practice using the core teachings of the Buddha, which will primarily be through listening to recorded Dharma talks by valued, and respected Dharma teachers, and occasional dharma reflections and guidance from Jaya and Chandasara. There will be a spacious daily schedule, weekly community check-ins and one to one meetings with the teachers. In Dharmagiri tradition and weather permitting, we will have a weekly silent walking day in the mountains for those who wish to participate. Also available will be qi gong, with some chanting to help support practitioners.

This retreat will be of benefit for experienced practitioners. The minimum stay is one week. Preference will be given for those who can stay longer, and particularly the whole time. This retreat is run on a minimum cost/dana basis, and as all Dharmagiri retreats, there will be a rota to help with shared duties to support the upkeep of the retreat space.


Jaya
Jaya Rudgard - Jaya's Anglo-Chinese heritage sparked an early interest in Buddhism (from her great grandmother) and what happens both personally and collectively when different cultural forces come together. After graduating from Oxford University and qualifying as a lawyer in London she spent eight years as a Theravada nun in the Thai Forest Sangha in the UK with Ajahn Sumedho. After leaving monastic life, Jaya qualified as an integrative psychotherapist and counsellor and as a yoga teacher. She currently teaches mindfulness and dharma in the UK and elsewhere and has completed the Spirit Rock / Insight Meditation Society U.S.A. based 4-year teacher training in 2016. Jaya is a long time friend and supporter of Dharmagiri, and we are delighted to have her come back!


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:
One week - R3,500 - ($260 - £215 - €245)
Two weeks - R5,600 - ($415 - £340 - €390)
Three weeks - R6,900 - ($510 - £420 - €480)
Whole month - R8,000 - ($590 - £490 - €560)
R700 ($100) teacher travel surcharge + Dana (free will offering) for teachers & staff.
Bursaries Available + Dana for teachers and managers
Date: Sept 26 - Oct 1, 2017
Title: Open the Heart and Still the Mind: From Emptiness to Wholeness
Teachers: Sue Cooper

This 5-night retreat will be held in a contained and nurturing atmosphere of contemplative silence, and will explore the concepts of emptiness and not-self, which reveal the profoundly paradoxical nature of the Buddhist path of healing and transformation. Drawing on an understanding of the transient and insubstantial nature of our sensory experience, we will learn how to transform our addictive, limited notions of ourselves to experience greater wholeness and inner freedom.

Through embodied meditation practices which enable us to cultivate a calm and compassionate heart and mind, we will move beyond the fears which we usually associate with emptiness, to discover a peaceful abiding that arises when we embrace our experience in the silence with compassion, understanding and wisdom. The teachings of Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, who Listens at Ease to the Cries of the World and represents the archetypal good-enough mother, will support our process of healing and transformation.

To enhance the integration of body, heart and mind, Sue will offer daily sessions of qigong movement meditation as well as short, individual sessions throughout this retreat. There will also be time for silent walks in the beautiful Mvoleni mountain range of the Southern Drakensberg, as well as for restorative rest, and delicious vegetarian and vegan food will be savoured in silence.

CPD accreditation for health, mental health and allied health professionals: 33 points: 27 general and 6 ethics have been applied for.

This 5-night retreat directly follows a 4-night retreat at the Buddhist Retreat Centre (an hour away), from 22nd-26th September, creating a 9-day retreat, and although it can be attended separately, the intention is to offer an opportunity to deepen your practice and understanding through a longer retreat experience. Transport from the BRC to Dharmagiri on the 26th Sept can be booked through janedharmagiri@gmail.com at a cost of approximately R250, depending on numbers.

CPD accreditation for the full 9 days for health, mental health and allied health professionals: 66 points: 54 general and 12 ethics have been applied for.


Sue Cooper

Sue Cooper - Sue is a Clinical Psychologist with extensive experience as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, working in private practice in Cape Town 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.

Sue offers weekend and longer retreats throughout South Africa at Bodhi Khaya, Temenos and Mont Fleur in the W. Cape, Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre and The Buddhist Retreat Centre in KZN and Emoyeni Retreat Centre in the North West Province, as well as 6-8 week 'Open the Heart and Still the Mind' courses, on-going weekly groups and monthly half-day/day retreats in Cape Town. www.suecooper.co.za. Contact details: sue.stillmind@gmail.com and www.facebook.com/suecoopermeditation


Cost - Daily Rate + Dana for teachers and managers

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