Clear, Still Water: Transformation Through Insight Meditation & Mindfulness

About us

The focus of this retreat is on experiencing transformation through mindfulness – releasing the grip of stress to rest in a still, clear, peaceful heart – in meditation and in daily life – using the Buddha's teachings as a guide. We will explore particularly the teachings on mindfulness, insight, and the four transcending states of being: compassion, loving-kindness, appreciation and equanimity.

This is a 9 day meditation retreat which will be held in noble silence with morning instruction and evening talks, periods of group sitting and walking meditation, some short meditative dialogue.

Have no limits, the teaching has not limits, let your mind be limitless. Master Hua

Event Highlights

  • This is an opportunity to work with teachers:
  • Who have a long experience of working at the depths of meditative process.
  • Chandasara as a monastic for 9 years.
  • Nolitha who has undergone many long retreats, under the guidance of international teachers Kittisaro & Thanissara, over several decades.
  • They both bring a deep understanding of conditioning around race, gender, privilege & marginalization.
  • They are both trained as psychologists and therapists.

Venue Highlights

This silent, contemplative Insight Meditation retreat is held in:
The majesty of the Drakensberg Mountains.
The vicinity of Drakensberg Parks, home to wilderness & cave paintings
The lap of Mvuleni-Bamboo Mountain, place of rain, openings & sacred to Bushmen.
Supported by the power, presence, and majesty of the sacred mountain
The context of simple vegetarian/ vegan food.


  • Free Parking
  • Tour Assistance
  • Coffee/Tea


A typical day on an Insight / Mindfulness meditation retreat at Dharmagiri is as follows (variations occur):
6.00 am - wake up
6.30 - 7.30 - Kuan Yin (compassion practice), meditation, sitting and walking
7.30 - Breakfast
8.15 - Helping clean up
9.00 - Morning session (teaching, meditation guidance / sessions - sitting/ walking, qigong movement)
12.30 - Lunch
3.00 - Afternoon session (guided meditation / insight dialogue)
5.00 - Own space
6.00 - Supper
7.00 - Evening session (Dharma talk, meditation)
Throughout the retreat, each student is offered private sessions to check in about their meditation and process, some group discussion are also often offered.

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free


We offer simple vegetarian and vegan meals. We can cater for gluten free and vegan.
In the mornings we offer African porridge, oats, muesli, fruit, nuts, toast, spreads.
Lunches are a range of veggie / vegan dishes with salads.
Supper is a soup, salads, breads, cheeses, spreads.
Tea, coffee, herb teas, biscuits are available all day at no extra charge.


At the moment we can house 12 retreatants (we are in the process of building permissions to add more single rooms.) There are 6 single ensuite rooms, that have a shower and bathroom facilities, a bed, writing desk, and wardrobe. The water is both solar heated and backed up by electricity.
There are also two twin rooms that share a bathroom and shower, and an ensuite twin room.
All linen, towels, and basic requisites are available, including hot water bottles for chilly winter nights.
The main meditation room has yoga mats, meditation shawls, benches, sitting mats and cushions available.
There is a well stocked library with audio Dharma talks.
There are also some books for sale.
While there is no spa on site, there is an up market spa and gym 15k's down the road at the Drakensberg Garden Hotel.


Our nearest airport is Durban.
You can reach Durban from Johannesburg, it's an hour's flight. (Check Kulula and are domestic budget airlines.)
We have a shuttle service that is R1,500 ($130) per person, or if shared by one other, R750 ($65) each, or by two others, R500 ($45) each.
Greyhound buses are also available from all major cities, and many other smaller towns. You need to aim for Howick or Pietermartizburg. The are a very reasonable rate. For example - Johannesburg or Pretoria to Howick, our nearby larger town, is about $30 - $50.
A shuttle from Howick to Dharmagiri is available for about $30.
Post booking for a retreat, the office will help you with your travel arrangements.

Tags: brahma viharas insight dialogue insight meditation mindfulness

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Why Retreat?

We asked people why they go on retreat, here's what they said:

To bring my friend and open her world to the gift of yoga. Denise

Retreat Guru's Vision

We believe human beings are innately wise, strong and kind. This wisdom, although not always experienced, is always present. Going on retreat is a beautiful way to reconnect to our basic sanity and health. Our aspiration at Retreat Guru is to inspire people to experience authentic retreats and reconnect with their innate wisdom, strength and kindness.

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