The Art of Deep Listening & Mindful Speech

  • Bodhi Khaya Retreat Bodhi Khaya Retreat
  • Bodhi Khaya Retreat, Grootbos Road, Baviaansfonteyn, Western Cape, South Africa
  • Aug 30 - Sep 1, 2019 (3 days)
  • Communal Farmhouse Double Occupancy - R 4,000.00 Communal Farmhouse Single Occupancy - R 4,800.00 Communal Farmhouse Single Room - R 4,000.00 Cloister Inner - R 4,000.00 Courtyard for Double Occupancy - R 4,000.00 Courtyard for Single Occupancy - R 4

About This Event

“Reconciliation is a deep practice that we can do with our listening and our mindful speech. To reconcile means to bring peace and happiness to nations, people, and members of our family…in order to reconcile, you have to possess the art of Deep Listening.” – THICH NHAT HANH.

I believe that many of the problems in our world today stem from our inability to listen deeply – principally to ourselves, and because of that, to others.

In my 30 years of working with people, I have learnt to listen with my ears, my eyes, my hands, my heart, my whole body and my intuition. I have learned (slowly!) to listen to myself, my mind, emotions, spirit and body, to listen to others, and also to listen to nature. She is a great teacher.

I am thrilled to be able to offer this Retreat in the beautiful and much loved setting of Bodhi Khaya, where we will take time out from the pressures of our daily lives and relationships to stop, to learn how to deeply listen, and how this can transform our speech, our relationships and our lives.

We will spend time with ourselves, with each other, with nature, in both silence and speech (and maybe song and dance if we are so moved!)

Please be aware that the following timetable is an invitation for you to participate – nothing is compulsory and you can come and go as you need, as you listen to yourself and what you need from this time. We will also be free to alter things if the need arises – this is for guidance only.


FRIDAY 30th 

Arrive any time after lunch and use the time to wind down and feel into your surroundings

3pm     Guided walk for those present, led by Georgina Hamilton, the owner/caretaker of this beautiful piece of land.

6pm     Supper

7pm     Welcome, guided meditation and exploration of our selves in a few awareness exercises about the body.

8.30pm Bring instruments if you wish – sharing of personal story and perhaps song.



We invite you to start the day in silence until we meet together at 8.30am

8am     Pre-breakfast swim for the brave! (Brief screams on getting into cold water permissible!)

8.30am Stretch, warm up and meditation

9.15am Breakfast

10am   Teaching on the five levels of listening and how to ask open questions to assist development of thinking

11am   Practice working in triads – a speaker, a listener and an observer. Each group to have chance to take each role. Please remember that when we are learning something new, we need to be brave to go outside our experience, and if we don’t ‘fail’, it is likely we are not learning! Groups to have breaks and tea as they feel the need.

12.30pm Reflection on the process

1.15pm Lunch

2.30pm    Guided walk with Georgina, possible individual session with Julie (additional cost)

4.30-6pm Time for solitary reflection

6pm     Supper

7pm     Personal story sharing



8-10am as for Saturday

10am-1pm       Group work practising the skills learnt yesterday in groups of 4-6 people, where you will bid to be the speaker if you wish, and the group will choose. The speaker will bring an issue, either a project that they are looking to develop, or a problem that is troubling them. The group will use the listening and questioning skills they learnt the previous day to ask questions – WITHOUT GIVING ADVICE!- in order to challenge, expand or help change the thinking. In the years I have been working in this way, I have so often found that it is not the situation that is making us feel uncomfortable, anxious, frightened, or trapped but the way we are thinking about it. This experience has helped release and rejuvenate many people. It is sometime known as Action Learning.


2.15pm Reflection on the processes and the weekend

3.15 End of guided retreat, and time to stay and walk and think or head home!


Feedback on Julie’s Workshops

“Of all the training I’ve had through WRoCAH, this has undoubtedly been the most valuable.

“Julie’s helped me to discover insights about my self and my project which have cut through vast swathes of time-consuming procrastination, and I feel that I’m starting to make real progress now, with a much clearer focus on where I’m headed.” Emily Coleman, Documentary maker and PhD student.”

A note on the Retreat Price

Usually in York, UK, Julie would charge between £60-£90 (about R1200 – R1500) per day, and in London more. However in order to make this retreat accessible to everyone in South Africa, she is offering to charge a base price of R1060 for her total facilitators fee. Then if at the end of the Retreat, you feel it was worth more and you are able to pay it, please make an additional contribution via the office.

All-inclusive retreat price of R4000 includes lodging, 3 vegetarian meals per day and refreshments.

Bodhi Khaya is pure magic. A place of deep healing and introspection. Truly a place for renewal. ~ Tanya Hagen, guest & facilitator

Venue Highlights

It is the land that provides the sanctuary, the air the clarity, the water the healing. Our faculty, programs and community provide the support and security for your unfolding.

The land sustains us naturally. The water here is pure and unfiltered. We operate a bio-digester and biomass generator to recycle waste and supply all our energy. The vegetable garden and wilderness provide abundant nourishment. We are committed to all beings and their future generations.

Living, working and connecting with the land, these are the people who hold the space whilst you explore your surrounds and inner landscape. You will experience a coming home to community and nature, of which we are all a part.


After a good day of deep transformative work there is nothing like being held in a cosy, comfortable room for one's journey through the night world. Our beds and linens and spaces exemplify a simple zen aesthetic and our commitment to service. Bodhi Khaya has 5 different styles of lodging , each unique and satisfying particular needs. We believe the spiritual sanctuary of Bodhi Khaya can be accessible to everyone, we have therefore valued all our beds equally.

Around a central courtyard, we have 14 beautiful, monastery style single rooms. The first six rooms, in the front section of the Cloister, share two showers and two toilets. Each room contains a bed, small cupboard space to hang clothes and side table. These rooms lead into an open plan living space that looks out across the gardens and labyrinth. The eight rooms at the back (rooms 7 – 14), each has a bed, side table, cupboard and a basin. These rooms share 3 showers and 3 toilets and a treatment room for soaking baths.

The courtyard rooms are new and modern, and are conveniently situated close to both the Meditation Hall and the main Dining Room. Each room is a twin, with an en suite bathroom. We have named them after the beautiful flowers growing in the garden: Orchid, Poppy, Fern, Wild Olive, Morning Glory, Rose, and Honeysuckle.

Also on the Courtyard, is Garden Room (usually reserved for teachers), a luxurious double room, with a king-size bed, a Victorian bath and open plan bathroom. This beautifully restored building used to be the old dairy and has high ceilings with rustic wooden rafters and a working fireplace.

Aloe Dorm, with 5 single beds, has its own fireplace, en suite bathroom with two showers and a separate entrance leading to the lush garden.

Being under the stars, on the earth, and in a location you have found most inviting, can only be experienced by camping. We have a number of locations where we encourage your interface with the wilderness abounding Bodhi Khaya. Join a retreat, or design your own family or personal retreat. Bring your sleeping, tenting and cooking gear and set yourself up in the mountains. Showers and ablution facilities are available.


  • Free Wifi
  • Pool
  • Towels
  • Free Parking
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga Studio
  • House-Keeping

Menu Types

  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Nut Free


Our food is imbued with love and prayer by our mindful kitchen crew. We believe food is central to health and well being. Our organic garden gifts our vegetarian menu delicious, fresh veggies every day. Wherever necessary, we supplement with the finest quality ingredients from local purveyors. We adapt our menu according to source and seasonality and are happy to accommodate a variety of dietary needs. Important to note and often overlooked, the water here (an essential ingredient in food growing and preparation) is alive, fresh, clean and very, very tasty and comes from our own mountain spring.


We are 2.5 hours from Cape Town by car and are able to organise a private shuttle service if need be.


From either the City, or the Airport, take the N2 towards Somerset West / George. Continue on the N2. After Grabouw, at Bot Rivier, turn off the N2 onto the R43 towards Hermanus.

Continue on the R43, through Hermanus and follow signs towards Stanford. Continue past Stanford (for 13 km), and then turn left onto the road signed for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Follow this road (which becomes a dirt road) for 3.5 km until you see the sign for Bodhi Khaya.


From either the City, or the Airport, take the N2 towards Somerset West / George. Continue on the N2 until Caledon. At Caledon Take the R316 towards Bredasdorp.

After 26km, turn right onto the R326 towards Stanford. At Stanford, turn left onto the R43 towards Gansbaai. After 13 km, turn left onto the road signed for Grootbos Private Nature Reserve.

Follow this road (which becomes a dirt road) for 3.5 km until you see the sign for Bodhi Khaya.

ALTERNATIVE ROUTE (in case of wet whether/car concerns)

Instead of turning at the Grootbos sign continue straight to Gansbaai (6.9km). Go through town and back onto the R43 for 7km. Turn left to Elim/Baardskeerdesbos.

Continue on the Elim road for another 7km and take the first left turn at the De Uijlenes sign onto the gravel road. Follow the road for 2.7km and turn right at the sign to Bodhi Khaya.

  Write a review - tell others about your experience.

  • Marian Shinn   July 22, 2019

      Photography with Gary van Wyk

    Gary is a most generous teacher. The course was well balanced between theory and practise. I would have liked more time - and better Wi-Fi - to get hands-on guidance in the use of Lightroom. Perhaps next time participants should be asked to come with it already installed on their laptops. Despite the dreadful freezing and wet weather Gary made sure we were keen to head outdoors to practise taking pictures and stretch our familiarity with our cameras. When the weather was really against us, we learnt the benefits of using available natural light, the lights in the rooms and from the fireplace to get some superb portraits.

  • DG Bosman   June 18, 2019

      Bodhi Kahya

    A tranquil relaxing beautiful environment .The food was wonderful.

  • Hanna Botz   February 21, 2019

      Heaven on Earth

    Bodhi Kayha is like heaven on earth, holistic and authentic retreats, soul food, lush nature, supersafe adventuring and hiking, real people, abundance all aorund. Come explore!

  • Natasha Nel   February 01, 2019

      A very special space

    Thank you for a beautiful stay last weekend. The food was nurturing, and felt like love on a plate. 😊 The setting is beautiful. And I am always touched by how the Bhodi Khaya community open up their home with so much generosity and grace. You are all the custodians of a very special corner of our county, may many good things unfold there. Love to you all, Natasha

  • Penny Klann   January 24, 2019

      Harmony and Tranquility

    Bodhi Kayha is nestled in amongst the most southern remnants of afromontane forest on the continent of Africa and has a secluded, protected feel. Its gracious whitewashed buildings offer comfort and sanctuary. There are several lovely communal areas, yet it's always possible to find a secluded spot if you're looking for time alone. The catering is taken care of by a conscious, caring crew who are committed to giving guests a memorable experience.

  • Caron Gie   January 24, 2019

      Sublime atmosphere created by the powerful land of Bodhi Khaya

    I attended a sacred ceremony with the Huni Kuin at Bodhi Khaya. The ceremony itself was world-class... the beautiful Opa in which it was held combined with the sacred chants and medicines allowed for deep, transformative healing to take place. I was blown away by the level of connection and healing that took place even outside of the ceremony... I account this to the potency of magic that is tangible in the trees, the mountain and the waters, and the subtle yet efficient holding of the Bodhi Khaya Community. Deep gratitude for this special place on earth.

Thank you!

We're glad you've joined our retreat community. See you around :)

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

To be in my highest self. Josh

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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