Retreat activities at Poplar Grove have been simplified in order to comply with Corona Virus Lockdown restrictions and are a return to the roots of Veld Zen – a form that grows out of the arid Karoo environment in which it is situated, where we practise with the stones and the hills, far from the bright lights. This means that, for the foreseeable future, there will be no teacher-led week-long full-occupancy Zen retreats; instead, all retreats will be done in what is described below as ‘Supported Individual and Small-group Zen Retreat Practice.’

Supported Individual and Small-group Zen Retreat Practice:  A Supported retreat consists of two aspects; supported communal practice with access to a teacher, and elective own-responsibility practice. Supported communal practice consists of formal Zen practice in the zendo each morning and evening and as well as access to the teachers, Antony and Margie Osler, for instruction and support. For the rest of the time, a retreatant takes responsibility for his or her own practice and life; what this consists of is up to each person but it typically includes additional zazen, exercise/martial art/yoga, preparing and eating meals, tidying and cleaning the accommodation, ablutions, time in the veld, manual labour, sky watching, stoep-sitting, reading and sleeping – all activities carried out attentively as part of our Zen practice. All accommodations are self-catering and solitude, social distance and silence are encouraged at all times. This is Poplar Grove Veld Zen.

Persons are invited to do a supported retreat at Poplar Grove on their own or with a small group of friends. There are at present two hermitage-style accommodations for couples and two for individuals. For those attending as a group, the group needs to be small enough to comply with lockdown requirements and each group can design its own retreat. In addition to the daily communal zendo sessions, the zendo will be available for further formal practice, there can be Zen talks by a teacher and private interviews on request; for the remainder of the time, retreatants will take responsibility for their own retreat activities.

We are living in a time of unusually visible change and adaptation. This means that our Zen Practice will also be marked by change and adaptability. It is an invigorating time to be letting go of what we are accustomed to, and to be finding and walking the new paths that are opening. Come and explore this with us.

Resident Teachers: Zen practice at Poplar Grove is led by guiding teacher Antony Osler and his wife, Margie. Antony received inka – teacher transmission – from Zen Master Dae Gak of Furnace Mountain, as Dae Chong, Osho. He has been a student of Buddhism since the early 1970’s. He ordained as a Zen monk with the late Sasaki Roshi and studied under two late Korean Zen Masters, Seung Sahn and Su Bong. He was formerly an advocate of the High Court, an arbitrator and acting judge, and in 2016 received the Chancellor’s Medal from the University of the Free State for exceptional service to South Africa. Margie Osler also received inka from Zen Master Dae Gak in 2013 as Tae Ja Do, Osho and she now teaches alongside her husband. In her teaching Margie also carries the responsibility for the Poplar Grove community outreach, including the hosting of traumatized children at the farm. The couple live on Poplar Grove and have two adult daughters.

Zoom Zen: On the first Sunday morning of each month there is a Zoom Zen meeting. The event is hosted by Christine Butsukei Nachmann who can be contacted at cnachmann@gmail.com and at most of these a Dharma talk is delivered by Antony, Dae Chong, Osho. 

 

Poplar Grove Zendo

Buddha

Buddha


Margie and Antony Osler

Buddha

Retreat Programme 2021
Zen retreat practice at Poplar Grove Zendo

Note: This year’s programme consists mainly of opportunity for supported individual and small-group retreat practice but the months of March and April 2021 have been set aside to finalize the previously booked and cancelled formal retreats of 2020, which were rolled over to 2021; there will be limited space for additional elective retreats during these months - any enquiries about this can be directed to Margie Osler. In certain months Poplar Grove will be closed.

Tariff & Bookings: The daily tariff is R500 pp/pd (Discounts are available for couples, students and pensioners, on request). Retreat visits are confirmed by the filling in of a booking form and the payment of a 50% deposit. Enquiries and bookings can be made through Margie Osler at the contact details on the Contact page of this website.

     
JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH
6 January 2021 Zoom Zen 7 February 2021 Zoom Zen 7 March 2021 Zoom Zen
Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice. (Fully booked 6-13 & 20-27 March)
6 January 2021 Zoom Zen 7 February 2021 Zoom Zen 7 March 2021 Zoom Zen
     
APRIL MAY JUNE
4 April 2021 Zoom Zen 2 May 2021 Zoom Zen 6 June 2021 Zoom Zen
Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice. (...finalized for 10-17 April) Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice
4 April 2021 Zoom Zen 2 May 2021 Zoom Zen 6 June 2021 Zoom Zen
     
JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER
4 July : Zoom Zen 1 August : Zoom Zen 5 September : Zoom Zen
Closed Closed Individual & Small-Group Retreat Practice
4 July 2021 Zoom Zen 1 August 2021 Zoom Zen 5 September 2021 Zoom Zen
     
OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER
3 October 2021 Zoom Zen 7 November 2021 Zoom Zen 5 December 2021 Zoom Zen
Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice Individual & Small-Group Supported Retreat Practice Closed
3 October 2021 Zoom Zen 7 November 2021 Zoom Zen 5 December 2021 Zoom Zen