Tag Archives: Ixopo

Tugela Lodge

Tugela Lodge Dawn (Large)

The Buddhist Retreat Centre & Pathways in Life

In or around 2005 I first encountered the teachings of Buddha and attended regular teachings for the next two years.

I left that particular path or tradition and it was during May 2007, over a certain weekend, that I “somehow” found myself  “involved” at another tradition: Buddhist Retreat Centre (BRC) in Ixopo, South Africa.

On the Saturday evening of that weekend, sitting alone next to a glowing fireplace, I read a short biography of Mother Theresa and it really touched my heart.

The photos below were taken that weekend using a Canon Ixus.

A few years later I sat in silence a few metres from Mother Teresa’s tomb in Kolkata, India and visited her home for the sick and dying.

There are no “some-hows” – only pathways; cause and effect (Karma) in action.

None of the happenings above were “random”. They all came about through paths I had taken and numerous causes that had arisen.

Buddha gave advice on the The Noble Eight-fold Path listed below:

1. Right view
2. Right intention
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration

There seem to be lots of paths in and around the BRC now that I study the photos nearly six years later

Below there are approximately Eight Paths and some other views of interest.

BRC Ixopo 047 (Large) BRC Ixopo 001 (Large) BRC Ixopo 002 (Large) BRC Ixopo 019 (Large) BRC Ixopo 021 (Large) BRC Ixopo 009 (Large) BRC Ixopo 006 (Large) BRC Ixopo 013 (Large) BRC Ixopo 015 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 022 (Large) BRC Ixopo 023 (Large) BRC Ixopo 024 (Large) BRC Ixopo 025 (Large) BRC Ixopo 033 (Large) BRC Ixopo 034 (Large) BRC Ixopo 037 (Large) BRC Ixopo 038 (Large) BRC Ixopo 040 (Large) BRC Ixopo 041 (Large) BRC Ixopo 044 (Large) BRC Ixopo 048 (Large) BRC Ixopo 049 (Large) BRC Ixopo 056 (Large) (Medium) BRC Ixopo 051 (Large)

A routine Sunday bike ride (not)

Craig suggested a routine bike ride about two weeks back. I agreed. Hadn’t seen the silly fella in a while.

It was going to be a short ride from 07h30 to somewhere nearby, followed by a long relaxing juicy breakfast and then home by 11h00 latest.

I subsequently invited Neil, who rides a KTM motor cycle, to join us.

What could go wrong?

I nearly wore short pants as I usually do.

Really now, I was on a superior beautiful Kawasaki KLR 650 and the other chaps were on BMW’s, a KTM and a Yamaha.

We met at Pavilion Westville at 07h30 as planned. Routine then fell apart.

Snag 1: Neil was not there. A quick telephone call revealed that he had overslept.

I asked Craig where we were going. He said “straight to the pub across from Sakabula Golf Course near Howick”.

Neil said he would hop out of bed straight away and meet us there shortly. This is where the next snag (2) came along.

The leader of the pack (an advocate I believe) vaguely mentioned to one or two riders that we were going to detour into

a valley (sounds like ONE valley doesn’t it) along the way. I did not hear this but followed the pack like a blind sheep.

One valley became MANY valleys; lots of valleys.

The temperature started to drop…

Now a few years back, whilst driving up Sani Pass into Lesotho, I saw some motor cycle riders who were also travelling in the snow.

It was cold enough in the car and I mentioned to my companion that one must need really specialized and warm gear to travel in such conditions. I planned to do this “bike / snow thing” one day; with some PLANNING of course.

Anyway, let’s get back to our little bike ride.

The detour became one of many.

Before I knew it, we were closing in on snow-capped mountain peaks!

Whilst the temperature was 6 degrees Centigrade on the BMW bike thermometer, one needs to consider the following:

  • The wind was blowing hard (wind chill)
  • We were travelling at a good speed
  • We were dressed for a standard Sunday bike ride i.e. to the local diner and back
  • In Durban (our hometown) a winter day temperature of 21 degrees is standard
  • The BMW thermometer was probably playing up

After a while my fingers (in gloves) were no longer part of my body.

We were soon in the snow-capped mountains. Freezing cold I tell you!

Perhaps we should have check the weather report below

 

There was a very quick pit-stop (not the best photographs – they were taken using a cellular telephone) on the roadside

 

 

Yes, we survived and had HOT coffee and brunch (juicy burger and chips) at Dulce Cafe in Hilton.

Have a look at their menu.

 

A lovely view of the quarry below from the Cafe (a must if you are in the area)

 

Our travels shown below

 

The routine (not) trip was roughly 386 kilometres and 5 hours 39 minutes (well not quite that long I think).

Well it was not at all well-planned but certainly turned out to be one of the most scenic and interesting rides that I have done in a long time.

Thank you Gentlemen.