Retreat activities at Poplar Grove have been simplified since the Covid-19 pandemic in three ways; the number of retreatants has been reduced, all rooms are self-catering, and there is a balance between formal Zen retreats and informal practice, called Veld Zen.

Formal Zen retreats are traditional week-long teacher-led retreats consisting of formal Zendo practice morning and evening, daily Dharma talks, individual interviews, manual labour and an opportunity for individual practice. The dates for these retreats are set out in the retreat calendar below.

Veld Zen practice periods are times during which there is morning and evening communal zendo practice but the rest of the day is available for informal individual practice in the Karoo landscape, where each retreatant takes responsibility for their own activities and where meetings with a teacher can be arranged on request. These periods are also set out in the retreat calendar below and retreatants can stay as long as they choose.

Retreat fees & Dana:  There is a daily retreat fee, set out below, for accommodation, retreat facilities and the environment. In addition, in the tradition of Dana (generosity), visitors are invited to supplement the daily tariff with donations for the Zen teachings and for the Poplar Grove outreach activities.

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 and at most of these a Dharma talk is delivered by Antony, Dae Chong, Osho. 


Poplar Grove Zendo



Margie and Antony Osler


Retreat Programme 2023-2024
Zen retreat practice at Poplar Grove Zendo

Tariff & Bookings:

The daily tariff is R700 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. This deposit is non-refundable if cancellation is made less than 7 days before arrival. Enquiries and bookings can be made through Margie Osler at the contact details on the Contact page of this website.

Formal Retreats:

Arrival and Departure Times: Formal Retreats run from Saturday evening to the following Friday night. Retreatants are asked to arrive by 6pm on the Saturday the retreat starts and to leave by 9am on the Saturday morning after the retreat ends.

Schedule: Sunrise Walk – Morning Zendo – Breakfast – Dharma Talk/Zazen/Interviews/Work – Lunch – Individual Veld Practice – Supper – Evening Zendo.

Veld Zen Practice Periods:

Arrival and Departure Information: Veld Zen practice is available to individuals and to small groups. Retreatants can book for any number of days during these retreat times, as long as accommodation is available.

Schedule: Morning and evening communal Zendo Practice, the rest of the time as individual VeldZen practice – meetings with a teacher on request.


The accommodation available now consists of six self-catering units; two single rooms and four rooms that can take singles, couples or two singles sharing. For retreat enquiries the address is

3 October 2021 Zoom Zen 7 November 2021 Zoom Zen 5 December 2021 Zoom Zen
Formal Retreat: 30 September-7 October 2023 Veld Zen 4-11 November 2023 Closed (Zoom Sunday 3 December 2023)
Formal retreat 21-28 October 2023 Formal Retreat 18-25 November 2023  
Zoom Sunday 1 October 2023 Zoom Sunday 5 November 2023  
Retreats in Colesburg, Western Cape Retreats on Karoo farm Retreats in Colesburg
Formal Retreat
30 December 2023 - 6 January 2024 (FULLY BOOKED)
4 February 2024
Formal Retreat:
02 - 09 March 2024
Sunday 7 January 2024
Formal Retreat
10 - 17 February 2024
3 March 2024
Veld Zen
20 - 27 January 2024
  Reading: Books on the Bay
21 March
APRIL 2024 MAY 2024 JUNE 2024
Retreats in Colesburg, Western Cape Retreats on Karoo farm Retreats in Colesburg
Veld Zen Retreat (Easter)
30 March - 10 April 2024
5 May 2024
2 June 2024
Formal Retreat
20 - 27 April 2024
Veld Zen Retreat
25 May - 1 June 2024
Closed for Retreats
Retreats in Colesburg, Western Cape Retreats on Karoo farm Retreats in Colesburg
7 July 2024
4 August 2024
Closed for Retreats Closed for Retreats  
Retreats in Colesburg, Western Cape Retreats on Karoo farm Retreats in Colesburg