Formal Retreats: Week-long Zen retreats are held during the year, as set out in the programme below. The retreats are times that Antony and Margie Osler set aside for dedicated Zen meditation practice and anyone wishing to join them is welcome. Each retreat can take up to fifteen persons.

StoepZen retreats follow a plain traditional monastic style adapted to a farm in the veld. The emphasis is on simplicity and on continuity of open-hearted attention in all daily activities rather than marathon sitting meditations. Each retreat is conducted in silence. The daily schedule centres around formal group practice in the zendo (meditation hall) and consists of bowing, chanting, sitting and walking meditation. There are group walks at sunrise and sunset; talks, instruction and individual interviews; manual work; free time and simple vegetarian meals.

Informal Solo and Small-Group Retreats: In addition to formal retreats, Poplar Grove is available to individuals or small groups for informal self-directed and self-catering retreats, whether this is for Zen or any other form of practice. In such retreats, there is access to the Zendo (meditation hall) and to support from the two resident teachers. These stays can be arranged with Margie Osler.

Resident Teachers:Zen retreats at Poplar Grove are led by Antony Osler, who received Inka – transmission to teach – from Zen Master Dae Gak of Furnace Mountain, Kentucky, under the name and title Dae Chong, Osho. Antony has been a student of Buddhism since the early 1970’s. He ordained as a Zen monk under the late Joshu Sasaki Roshi and studied under two late Korean Zen Master, Seung Sahn and Su Bong. In 2016 he was awarded the Chancellor’s medal by the University of the Free State for exceptional service to South Africa.

Antony’s wife, Margie, was also granted inka from Zen Master Dae Gak in 2017 as Tae Ja Do, Osho and she now teaches alongside her husband.  Margie has practised Zen since 1987 and in her teaching role she is also responsible for the outreach to traumatized children of the district.

 

Poplar Grove Zendo

Buddha

Buddha


Margie and Antony Osler

Buddha

Retreat Programme 2019

NOTE: In 2019 the teachers are taking a sabbatical year in which the number of formal home retreats is reduced and no away retreats will be held at other centres.

Zen Retreats led by Antony and Margie Osler at Poplar Grove Zendo
30 March – 6 April 2019 27 April – 4 May 2019 28 Dec 2019 – 4 Jan 2020
Early April Retreat
This is a conventional silent teacher-led Zen retreat, with formal Zendo practice, Dharma Talks, interviews, meals and manual work. (This is already fully booked but there is a waiting list.)
Freedom Day Retreat
This is a conventional silent teacher-led Zen retreat, with formal Zendo practice, Dharma Talks, interviews, meals and manual work. (This is already fully booked but there is a waiting list.)

New Year Retreat
This is a conventional silent teacher-led Zen retreat, with formal Zendo practice, Dharma Talks, interviews, meals and manual work. It is for those needing a break from parties, rituals and hangovers of the festive season; we treat ourselves to an especially early bed time on New Year’s eve.

     

 
Informal Solo and Small-Group Retreats at Poplar Grove

Informal retreats, on a self-catering and self-directed basis, can be arranged with Margie Osler at suitable times.

 

 
Children’s Workshop-Retreats at Poplar Grove

Workshop-Retreats for children in need are held on dates still to be finalized. Anyone wishing to help with the running of these events or to make donations, is asked to contact Margie Osler.

 

 
Retreat costs

Formal Retreats R600 per day – discount for couples, pensioners, students, preceptees; scholarships on request.

Informal self-catering retreats R250 per day.

Bookings:

Booking can be done through Margie Osler via the details on the contact page of the website and by filling in a booking form which is available there. A retreat seat is secured by a booking form and a 50% deposit. Rooms are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.