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*All distances listed are as the crow flies, and not actual travel distances.
The Buddhist Retreat Centre outside the rural village of Ixopo is a place of spirituality and open to all members of the public. The centre sits atop a rise overlooking the Chibini valley in a spectacularly scenic region of the KwaZulu-Natal Province.
The centre is considered the ultimate retreat, where visitors can learn and be inspired by the teachings of Buddha, or spend time alone on personal reflection. Two programmes are offered: the Self Retreat programme allows individuals to enjoy the quiet by reading, meditating or walking. The library is available for Buddhism literature as is the stupa for meditation purposes. Walk the labyrinth in the forest and visit the dam to ponder life’s meanings. The Conducted Retreats are more structured with a full programme of events. Day visitors are welcome and the cost of a visit includes a sit-down vegetarian meal. Reading material and worship items are available for purchase at the Dharma Shoppe on the grounds.
The centre hosts Buddhist teachings by local and international teachers to discuss the concepts of self-realisation, karma and other philosophies.
Of particular interest are the blue swallows that arrive here in vast numbers during the summer months. They breed in burrows on Buddhist Retreat Centre land and the centre is thus regarded as a custodian. During Nelson Mandela’s reign as President of the country, he bestowed Natural Heritage status on the property and thanked the organisation for restoring the property to its natural habitat.
The centre is heavily involved in the welfare of surrounding communities and helped to found Woza Moya, a local community-driven project.
The centre recently published a book titled Plentiful: The Big Book of Buddha Food which was written by the centre’s chef, Paul Atkinson. The book is available through most book stores. This is the third cookery book released by the centre.
CNN has in the past voted the Buddhist... Show more