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