Time flies when you are having fun!

It seems like yesterday I washed my first set of dishes in the staff kitchen and encountered the unique and baffling cold water tap. I am ashamed to admit that at the ripe (or is it gloriously mature and elegant!) age of 52 that little sucker (which opens the “wrong” way), was a perfect projection of the insecurity I felt in that moment!

Nearly three months later, any insecurity I feel , is more likely to be related to my personal challenges and inevitable “stuff” than to any of the plumbing!  In fact, I can truly say…time flies when you are having fun.

What kind of fun, I hear you ask?  Well… for a start David has this wonderful sound system, a portable MP3 player with docking station, which he uses for teaching Chi Kung. When in chef- mode, he sometimes brings it to the kitchen.  He plays classical (and other!) music while whipping up a culinary masterpiece.  Sometimes he dances around the kitchen singing loudly too.  Although Chantel is the real chef of the team, of course! Yummy dishes appear miraculously within a couple of minutes.  Many of them oriental thanks to her two year teaching stint in Japan.

Our family has been bigger for the last month with a special visitor from Ireland, no less.  Even when in Dublin, Siobhan is really part of the family, because she helps us with a lot of our graphic design work.  The beautiful banners advertising our retreats are her creations. She had fun with at least two very special projects whilst visiting.

She designed some playful labels for the honey we hope to be selling in the shop one of these days. We recently had a whole lot of extra beehives installed.  We now have a whole colony that is sure to produce some exquisite, divine nectar infused with fynbos . David, for one, can’t wait.  He often rubs his tummy and murmurs like a certain wellknown lovable bear: ”When is the honey coming?”

Chantel, Siobhan and I also did some exploring of our various walking trails so that Siobhan could make us a lovely new map of all the routes one can enjoy here. With her animation background, she produced a great map with fine detail – a delight to behold. Another special friend, Karl , also spent some time exploring a possible new route right up to the top of the mountain and built a stone cairn to mark the beginning of the mountain pilgrimage path.

Swimming in one of the dams is also a favourite pastime during the summer months.  I loved my first swim amongst the water lilies!  The annual appearance of these blossoms at Bodhi Khaya is a celebrated event. There was amazing surround-sound with a choir of frogs toning so vigorously that I felt compelled to sit in the purifying sound.  Small wonder then, I often find myself processing personal stuff  – in between the bouts of fun, of course!

Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois


Diving Deep, Flying High

“I guarantee you will meet your edge,” said Dan Brulé, failing to allay our fears over what to expect from the four-day breath work and tantra retreat held from 7-11 October at Bodhi Khaya. “When you learn to relax deeper than you ever have before, at some point you can expect the mind to rebel. Fear, grief, anything can come to the surface, and if you meet it with resistance you’re only setting yourself up for a rough ride.”

Brulé’s brand of spirituality is decidedly no-nonsense. His intuitive understanding of the breath – especially as a tool for delving into the unconscious – is truly impressive. There’s little structure, and not much theory, just a spontaneous engagement with the organic unfolding of the moment.

Having dedicated himself to breath mastery for over four decades, training top sports professionals and martial artists and working under such luminaries as Stanislav Grof, Dan is undoubtedly the real deal. So is his co-facilitator: the inimitable Shakti Malan. “Both breathwork and tantra pose this question: how much bliss can you stand?” Shakti explained during this first talk. “The more we open to whatever feelings and sensations are present in this moment – the more we become willing to dive deeply into what is here right now – the higher we can fly into the bliss of undivided presence.”

The retreat proceeded to take 12 of us to our edges, and if that meant falling apart, we felt assured that the container was safe enough to allow it, and strong enough to withstand the (imagined) fallout. Yet, by facing the darkness and moving into uncharted territory within a gentle, non-judgmental space, what we found collectively, beyond the dissolution and tears, was joy, laughter, delightful dancing and the deep opening of hearts. With a light touch and an approach that’s thoroughly inductive (as opposed to deductive and conceptual), we were allowed to relinquish much of the weight of our psycho-physical armour that binds so much of our natural energy into contraction. When the defences drop away, energy becomes available and new potentials are felt. An open heart is seen to be its own satisfaction. We are granted a lingering taste of an entirely different way of being. Above all, we slowly learn to abide the intensity of the present moment.

The particulars of such a retreat become almost irrelevant next to the inner journey, and the expanded vision we were able to take away with us. All I can say is that the facilitation was truly authentic, the work deep and accelerated, the food fantastic, and the gorgeous venue a true blessing.

For more on Dan Brulé, holotropic breathwork, rebirthing and tantric practice, check out:

Albert Buhr