Monday, 25 February 2013

This Precious life: January Buddhist Retreat at Fynbos

Each year we are privileged to have the Shambhala Buddhists hold one or two retreats here. The most recent of these was a Ninethün, held over the first 9 days of this year, and directed by Shastri Jennifer Woodhull. The theme of the retreat was This Precious Life     
Suffering is meeting every fresh moment
absolutely capable of transforming it and not
taking the opportunity to do so.
What could be sadder than that?

- Khandro Rinpoche
The retreat drew on teachings from the book  This Precious Life by Khandro Rinpoche, as well as other sources within and beyond the Shambhala tradition. These teachings, designed to help cultivate heartfelt appreciation at all levels of our experience, were explored in terms of The Four Reminders* which are:

Precious Human Life: Resources & Opportunities
Impermanence: Everything Changes
Karma: Actions Evolve Into Experienced Results
Samsara: The Reactive Life Is Unsatisfactory

The daily schedule included sitting and walking meditation, meditation instruction, individual meditation interviews, contemplative practices and group discussion.  Participants also had time each day to rest, walk, or enjoy the pool. Portions of the retreat were conducted in silence.

As always having the Shambhalan Buddhists here was an absolute treat – especially after a busy year here at Fynbos.  And as before, it gave us another brief glimpse of what it could be like to live a sane life both within ourselves and with others.

* Download PDF The Four Reminders


Shambhala South Africa is a registered non-profit group dedicated to building a community that can help our world by cultivating our own sanity. Shambhala offers both Buddhist teachings and the secular meditation training path known as Shambhala Training. Shambhala South Africa is affiliated with Shambhala International, a global network of study and practice centres.

It is the Shambhala view that every human being has a fundamental nature of goodness, warmth and intelligence. This nature can be cultivated through meditation, following ancient principles common to many wisdom traditions the world over. Our innately brilliant nature can be further developed in daily life, so that it radiates out to family, friends, community and society.

For more on the Shambhala community, teachings and vision, go to
or contact Pru at

Comments on This Precious Life  Retreat at Fynbos.

Brilliant again! I so appreciate you both, and all your thoughtful capable, unobtrusive hard work behind the scenes making our retreat not only possible, but a real delight. Of the food i will not speak (because no words will do it justice)
Jennifer Woodhull  (Shastri)

Words cannot describe what a little paradise so close to town . . . wanting to come back when I haven’t even left Thanks for everything.

Thank you Diana and Johan – Gentleness everywhere, in nooks in garden, in home in life in relationships  

Thanks you for working so hard to make this paradise for us

A huge thank you for a most idyllic retreat centre- wonderfully peaceful and thanks for all your care.

Thank you again Johan and Diana for offering us such a wonderful environment to practice in.
Mary Anne

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