Books Abound

At breakfast this morning, David and I wondered what to write about for our blog this week.  Spring came up for both of us simultaneously, which made us giggle.  We do plenty of that at Bodhi Khaya!

I suspect he walked the possibility while busy on the grounds.  He strolled in a meditative fashion along the road that leads past the pastures and I fully expected him to return complete with pearls of wisdom ready for publication.

Back in the office though, the answer presented itself! We received correspondence from Bruce Relly whose book we are selling in our beautiful, little shop (which is growing- almost daily – under the loving care of Chantel).

Photo: Courtesy of Hendrik - Synchronicity and books abound at Bodhi Khaya

Called “ 2nd Fire – a fresh approach to healing” the book with it’s lovely, creative cover has been calling to be read. The description on the back gives one a taste:

“ This provocative book offers an unsentimental solution to suffering: in it the author rearranges medical priorities to match Nature’s ancient, even-handed , logical and essentially simple formula for spiritual growth… and the healing that goes with it. The main challenge is to fully realize we are individually responsible for all our past, present and future experiences…”

Dale Sanders (Chicago, IL) who rated this as one of the Best General Philosophy Books on 25 July 2011 for Amazon (Kindle Books) said:

“The title intrigued me, but the book captured me. As a healthcare executive, disillusioned with modern western medicine, I was expecting a book that focused on alternative medicine and the role of spirituality in physical health. While it is certainly that, the book is much, much more. This is one of the best general philosophy books I’ve ever read…

…Grand leaps of spiritual or religious faith which lack congruent arguments tend to raise my easily raised cynicism. But I also realize that science and math can, as we so far understand them, describe only a portion of our existence and, in fact, the best of modern science only raises more questions about the role of personal humanity in the universe. I don’t expect any branch of science in our near future– certainly not modern healthcare– to fully explain the purpose of our human existence or the role and origins of suffering…

…Mr Relly blends the rigor of analysis from an accomplished scientist/geologist, with many years of humble introspection, to produce one of the best books I’ve read in many years. He walks with the hand of science up to its logical point of departure, then releases and escorts the reader into the realm of humanity that science and medicine cannot yet address… As I read the book, I would occasionally pause for contemplation– and more than once, I was left with a feeling that Mr Relly had somehow managed to extract the eons of knowledge held in the geology that he studied.”

Dale ended his review with a comment about synchronicity.  Something, along with books, that abounds here at Bodhi Khaya.

Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois

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Bliss is the balance

Eating breakfast at the Olympia Cafe in Kalk Bay this morning, I saw a whale breaching and waves of delicious pleasure rippled through my body. Is this my usual response to the magical delight of a breaching whale?  Only when my heart is open and I am dropped deeply into my undefended self does my body respond with such spontaneous receptivity to the ecstatic energy of the “fathomless body” of a whale.  A weekend of dancing “The bliss-filled body” at Bodhi Khaya, has left me energized, exhilarated, exhausted, elastic, engaged and brimful with Eros.

Seventeen beautiful dancers brought the totality of their beings onto the dance floor.  The music facilitated a deep dropping into presence where the potential held in each precious moment could be fully explored.  I danced into both my agony and my ecstasy, opening to the richness of what was there and feeling it fully in the cells of my body. In the spaces between the cells: relishing my body’s capacity to feel everything – pain, loss, grief, anger, joy, laugher, love & peace.  Touching the face of my desire.  Giving myself permission to follow my bliss.  Exploring the risky edges of intimacy, shaking, shaking, shaking myself to its core – I arrive in the aliveness of this body, this matter that merges with spirit, this drop that is in the ocean and is also the ocean.

On Saturday morning our two and a half dance is in honour of our ancestors.  As I dialogue with my lineage, dancing both the gifts and the wounds I have inherited, I process what no longer serves me well.  I shed my rigid skin and step out of my psychic structure into a more expansive space.  In deep appreciation of those that have gone before me, I and my father become one.

We danced four sessions of varying intensity. Slices of fast & slow; tender and rough, intimacy & aloneness, passion & playfulness, movement & stillness, fullness & emptiness.  Gently reminded that “Bliss is the balance that happens when we fully embrace both our shadow and our light and come to rest in love.”

Dancer - Courtesy of Hendrik

With gratitude to Shakti for her fierce wisdom, for a fabulous & funky playlist and for the limitless possibilities created and contained by her skillful facilitation.

With gratitude to David, Perdita and Chantel for their quiet and gentle but efficient presences.

With gratitude to Nina for taste sensations that explode in your mouth.

With gratitude to Bodhi Khaya for its beauty and for the energy of the place.

With gratitude to the other dancers for daring to be both powerful & vulnerable.

Rhianne Van Der Linde

Walking the fynbos

We had a lovely, quiet time at Bodhi Khaya last weekend after the huge retreat the previous week. I visited our library that Victor loved so much (see last week’s blog). As is so often the case, there was a book that just demanded to be read. It jumped off the shelf.

What a powerful book! At least for me… right now. Definitely part of my personal puzzle. “Eastern Body , Western Mind – Psychology And The Chakra System As A Path To The Self” by Anodea Judith. The introduction and first chapter on Chakra One entitled: “ Reclaiming the Temple of the Body” had me crying my eyes out during the morning meditation. Then curling up on the couch on the stoep outside the meditation hall, processing! Snuggled under a blanket, I drank water, read, wept and slept.

Later, I decided to try out one of the healing strategies recommended: physical activity! A good long walk would be just the thing. I headed off on one of the longer trails that I haven’t explored since this became my home, having confined myself to the shorter circular routes, when I came here for retreats.

The path took me through a forest with magical moss-covered trees and spectacular intricately shaped ancient milkwoods. I ventured along a ridge to a vantage point where I looked back over my beautiful new home: the labyrinth and the green and white buildings. I could also make out the now famous veggie garden where David picks fresh ingredients for our Superfood smoothie every morning.

There were many lovely spots along the hour-long walk.  My firm favourite was the hill right at the end where I could look at Grootbos Nature Reserve next door and out over the sea to Hermanus in the distance. Standing in the fynbos,  I was surrounded by the heady, honey smell of pollen.  All along the way there were still signs of the fire that raged here about six years ago. No wonder David is teaching Chantel and myself to use the fire fighting equipment!

I loved the many beautiful flowers. From huge bushes of vibrant orange Pincushions to the most exquisite tiny, delicate fairy-like blooms in a variety of colours; all shapes and sizes.


The trail seemed so like life with many points of choice. At times broad and easy to navigate and then suddenly steeper or really narrow. As I walked, I found myself still processing. Talking to people in my mind… to ancestors, long lost loved ones and more recent actors in the play that is my life. Returning home to the farmhouse and my chosen family, David and Chantel, I thought of a simple little sentence in the book that got me walking: “Reclaim the right to be here.”
Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois

Ringu Tulku Retreat

Manifestations at Bodhi Khaya

As a hundred people manifested at Bodhi Khaya in early spring 2011 we were met by an abundance of other manifestations equal in splendour.

First wind and cold and rain. Then wind and sun and a one third moon like a slice of pale watermelon drifting through the clouds.

Water singing and seeping down the southwestern valley, and resting in two ponds, where you may also fall asleep in the sun on a wooden deck.

The most engrossing library, where I found a water book (Schwenk and Schwenk, 1989: Water – The Element of Life).  It asked  “Why does water form the very basis of life in all life’s manifestations?” And answered: “Because water embraces everything, is in and all through everything:

  • It occupies a position between life and death;
  • Between gravity and levity: we owe the possibility of thinking to the brain’s water-buoyancy;
  • Between light and darkness: their interaction gives rise to the rainbow, the primal phenomenon of colour;
  • Between base and acid, in a neutral realm, where it mediates all chemical change;
  • Between stillness and movement, whose interplay forms the basis for every rhythm and every pulse beat;
  • Between solid and volatile: in other words, fluid, that is, endowed with an unlimited capacity for form-creation and metamorphosis”  (1989: 59).

A Teaching: “How not to beat yourself up”. “First, since you have already done a million stupid things, one more is not a big deal.”  LOL. “Besides, we don’t learn from punishment, including punishing ourselves.”

“This is what you can do. At the end of the day: Think of all the bad things you’ve done today. Purify them with Vajrasattva. Let them go.  Think of the good things you’ve done today. Rejoice in them. Put together the merit of the purified and the rejoicing in the good, dedicate this to the benefit of all beings. Let them go. Then go to sleep.”

Victor Munnik