Bye bye Perdy

349_46948492104_5315_nI no longer live at Bodhi Khaya. Ever so slowly I come to grips with what this means for me. I ponder the experiences that were my life at the beautiful Bodhi Khaya. I recall the first blog I wrote there (“Time Flies When You Are Having Fun!”) and the incredible joy it gave me.

Fun was definitely part of living there with David, Chantel, Siobhan and Tom (lately with Georgina and John too). Getting to know and love the staff and colleagues as individuals. Each with their unique way of being.

Learning from Lize, an enduring part of our team – always included when we partied at home or in Baardeskeerdersbos around the pool table. Due to an ill spent youth, a natural pool player I am not! No amount of expert instruction from David and the girls, Chantel and Siobhan, was able to overcome this handicap. I confess I have left BKR as cueless as when I arrived!

Meeting countless visitors who graced us with their presence for weekend retreats or nurturing mid-week breaks was an enriching experience. Also humbling and awe-inspiring. Often I looked up from my work to recognize a familiar face or spotted a name I knew in the e-mails I answered. People from many different phases of my life touching my life again briefly.

Mostly I long for the morning practice David and I loved. Sitting in the meditation hall for half an hour every morning – come rain or shine. Uttering the same solution to a challenge, as we high-fived! Strolling in the garden, as he gathered leaves for the now famous green juice.

My body remembers the countless walks Jan and I enjoyed as we watched Georgina’s pod grow and take shape in its magical location amongst the trees. A picture of Ringu Tulku in his traditional robes, modern branded sweat shirt and jaunty brolley negotiating the wet patches on the path next to the water lily swimming dam, is etched in my memory.

I want to recreate the meditation hall “stoep” with those deep comfortable sofas and chairs. A place to read and be. For the time being also the place I sit in the mornings wrapped in my luscious purple blanket shawl my colleagues gave me as a parting gift.

As I enjoy a leisurely breakfast across the bay I feel Bodhi Khaya in the distance and reflect on previous times I sat there and felt one with, and responsible for, the place I then called home. I no longer physically live or work there, but in my heart, I carry that exceptional place with all its special people and happenings with me. It is now a part of me. I have been gifted with growth, lessons and the opportunity to help create a spiritual home for others. For this I am most grateful.

Thank you Bodhi Khaya and all who lived and worked with me for accepting and loving me. Allowing me to call Bodhi Khaya my home.

Bye bye Perdy's toes

Bye bye Perdy’s toes

Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois

Cycles and celebrations

It is such a cliché, I know, but it truly feels like yesterday that I arrived at Bodhi Khaya in my old beat-up Mercedes affectionately known as Bertha. I moved into Honeysuckle next to the office exactly a year ago.

Looking back at the year that has passed, I am amazed at all the experiences that have made up this cycle. Living in this magical valley, so close to nature, one is especially aware of the changing seasons and how each time of the year has its own charm. At the moment it is all cosy fires and delicious soups, beanies and dashing woollen scarves when we venture out together as a team to Stanford for a treat.

Just the other day, it was summer and we swam in the dams surrounded by water lilies, chased by the odd turtle and chorused by frogs. Which conjures up the lovely Paul McCartney song, “We all stand together”. It reminds me of how to live in community – a lesson which has been a big part of the past year – and how to be a chosen family in a real and authentic sense. We get to know one another, giving and receiving compassion, both in our own small band and also in the broader circle of groups who visit us.

It is wonderful to recognize and connect with our regular guests as they return to us again and again. It certainly feels as if they are also part of our spiritual family. I sometimes catch myself saying , “Welcome home” when a familiar face greets me as the participants on a weekend retreat arrive in the parking lot. Each new group that arrives begins a new cycle of getting to know the energy and flow that makes them unique. Followed by a welcoming, when they return. As we greet them when they leave, there is often a sense that we will meet again – that they will, almost certainly, find their way back here at some point.

 

It is often through the eyes of the returning visitors that we are reminded of growth, expansion and many reasons to celebrate. Our little shop, now a year old, has grown and flourished under Chantel’s loving care and creativity. It is no longer so little… It has become a bright and bustling space with many beautiful and colourful items ranging from clothes, books, CDs to candles, Zen chairs and other meditation accessories just to name a few. We often find delight in each new item as it arrives, but it is when guests remark on how the shop has grown and changed or how beautiful this or that at Bodhi Khaya is looking that we become aware again that the only constant in life is change. Exciting! Challenging at times, never boring, and with just enough repetition in the cycles to help us find our way and keep our balance.

Perdita Van Dijk Du Bois

Homeward Bound – Walking The Path At Bodhi Khaya

Returning to the national treasure that is Bodhi Khaya, suffuses my Being with a feeling of generous Homecoming..

Whatever my days have been this last while – easy or not-easy – I will be driving the dusty roads to The Khaya in bubbling anticipation. I will have time to notice the spectacular environment all around me – thankfully so free of human noise, congestion and so-called ‘progress’. Infinite blueness of sky above – earth roads below – and the green fynbos stretching down the valleys .

I am in my right place, entering this known and loved place of imposing trees,  whitewashed homesteads and outbuildings.

Breathing surrenders its reticence. Eyes feel soft, kind. Pausing to hear the myriad natural sounds – bird callings, leaf rustlings, taps, scrapes, someone humming near the labyrinth.

This is Home. Home is where I can breathe life – fresh air – immense sky, silence and solitude. Where I can stroll in the sweet companionship of strong, tall trees, blossoms and bees. Where my feet love their sole and roll on cool grass, moist earth; and my legs have respite from the stress and strain of tarmac, tiled shopping malls, and the insane impact of speeding cars and congestion. Coming Home into the deep core of myself. Walking away from the un-Nature-al, un-human-friendly aspects of our consumer, technological Age.

Homeward bound

AH – God – Goddess – Great Spirit of Grace, Abundance – I step through a known and welcoming domain to greet, smile – and feel At Home.

So it has been every time I set foot here on this cosseted place of Mother Earth. And all will again be so when I arrive once more to share ‘The Art of Walking – Walking the Sacred Way’ with March 16-18 weekend Workshop retreatants. What gifts in store as we stroll,  exploring walks and walking in the richness of this environment. What utterly necessary gifts to have the time to re-find the pleasure and peace of Walking without haste, attentively, aware.  Body becoming centred, grounded, light, mobile, free.  Heart and mind falling into sync with such natural, effortless Beingness.

We shall be Walking Bodhi Khaya Together, Friday to Sunday – 16 to18th. Finding our Goddess-given Poise and Balance. Refining and honing our walking skills and patterns, our elegant mobility. Trailing winding paths in quiet attentiveness. Feelings, senses alive and alert – witnessing all. Manifesting the profound relaxedness that comes from every step, every cell, every thought being in harmony. Exploring all that is in this here and now. Discovering the next constructive step – and the next. Expansive, embodied, embedded, Conscious Awareness.

My homing radar is ‘ON!’ I’m coming home! Not only to the sacred space of Bodhi Khaya and its band of caretakers – but home to mySelf, to whom I am when I can drop the masks, the coping, the trying, the habits, demands, conditioning.

Walking the Sacred Way  – in Lightness, Intelligence, Kindness – Marguerite Osler

 ‘Let all movement

Gently yield

Something of

God’

HAFIZ