Finding Solitude – The Buddhist Retreat Centre, Ixopo, South Africa


Dreaming in Arabic

The mist, like a gauzy veil, hung suspended between air and earth, as I made my way towards my bed after Evening Meditation. In it, solid forms dissolved and became liquid energy. Behind it, layers and layers of silence seeped into the earth and my being, with only the crunch of my feet stirring the quiet. From Evening Meditation, until after breakfast, Noble Silence is observed, and the only sounds that filled the night were the distant barking of a dog, and the closer calls of a Nightjar.

Purchased by Louis van Loon in 1980, The Buddhist Retreat Centre in Ixopo, has grown out of a neglected piece of land into a place of respite for the many retreatants, who find their way here. The centre’s various buildings nestle comfortably and separately amongst tall trees, and lush indigenous bushes, providing a sense of privacy and seclusion, while well maintained footpaths…

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