Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre is dedicated to bringing the universal practice of mindful awareness to South Africans and visitors from across the continent and world. We offer silent meditation retreats, workshops and other events throughout the year to allow individuals to learn, practice and deepen their understanding of mindfulness and insight meditation. We endeavour to support individuals, through the practice of insight meditation, in cultivating mindfulness, compassion, integrity and wisdom. Our intention is to help all beings find more peace in their lives and to live more harmoniously with each other, their communities, and the world in which we all live.
The centre is run by an amazing team:
Kittisaro (Harry Randolph Weinberg):
Kittisaro, a graduate of Princeton University and Rhodes Scholar, trained for 15 years as a Buddhist monk in the Thai Forest School of Ajahn Chah. He is co-founder of Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre KZN, core teacher at Insight Meditation Society MA, U.S.A., and co-author of Listening to the Heart, A Contemplative Journey to Engaged Buddhism. Kittisaro has practised and studied the Chinese Buddhist lineage of Master Hua for 30 years, and is known for bringing together a unique synthesis of Buddhist schools. He has completed two year long silent retreats, and teaches in South Africa, U.S.A. and UK.
Thanissara (Linda Mary Peacock):
Thanissara trained in the Burmese U Ba Khin School of Meditation and was a Buddhist nun for 12 years in the Thai Forest School of Ajahn Chah. She has an MA in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy and is co-founder of Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre KZN. She is a core teacher at Insight Meditation Society MA, USA and affiliated teacher at Spirit Rock Meditation Centre, CA, USA, and author of several books, her latest one being Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth.
Chandasara (Louise Stack):
Chandasara spent her early adult life in political exile and later worked as a political analyst at the Centre for Policy Studies in Johannesburg. Chandasara subsequently trained as a Buddhist nun in the Forest School for 9 years. She holds degrees in Politics, Linguistics and Psychology, is co-guiding teacher at Dharmagiri Insight Meditation Centre where she also offers counselling, and teaches mindfulness at Riverview Manor clinic.
Excerpt from a talk given by HH Dalai Lama on Compassion and the Individual
I believe that the purpose of life is to be happy. How to achieve happiness:
For a start, it is possible to divide every kind of happiness and suffering into two main categories: mental and physical. Of the two, it is the mind that exerts the greatest influence on most of us. Unless we are either gravely ill or deprived of basic necessities, our physical condition plays a secondary role in life. If the body is content, we virtually ignore it. The mind, however, registers every event, no matter how small. Hence we should devote our most serious efforts to bringing about mental peace.
From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion.
The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
As long as we live in this world we are bound to encounter problems. If, at such times, we lose hope and become discouraged, we diminish our ability to face difficulties. If, on the other hand, we remember that it is not just ourselves but everyone who has to undergo suffering, this more realistic perspective will increase our determination and capacity to overcome troubles. Indeed, with this attitude, each new obstacle can be seen as yet another valuable opportunity to improve our mind!
Thus we can strive gradually to become more compassionate, that is we can develop both genuine sympathy for others' suffering and the will to help remove their pain. As a result, our own serenity and inner strength will increase.