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  • Writer's pictureTemenos

24-27 April 2020 | Between First In-breath and Last Out-breath The Art of Story-telling

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

April - Fri 24 @ 18.00 – Mon 27 @09.00

Ever since I heard my first love story I have been looking for you


In this retreat we focus on the power of the stories we tell ourselves. This includes those we hear, share and the stories we need to become aware of to open us to creativity and innovation. There is something fictional about human beings. We are the stories we tell about ourselves. We love stories for we are stories. A story can trap us…a story can liberate us. Stories help us witness our lives and shift us from judgment to compassion. Stories open hearts, challenge minds and stir bodies into action.

Rediscover the lost art of story-telling. Experience the joy, presence, mindfulness and transformation that arrive when we engage with a tale, learn how to craft it and inhabit it. We begin to see our lives as a story, keeping pace with the rhythm of our hearts, balanced between the in and the out breath. Be enchanted by Zen and other tales from many paths. Beginners are welcome for we live this retreat weekend in beginner’s mind.

The right story at the right time told in the right way opens doors and windows. A story which takes a minute or so to tell opens a palace with many rooms. Here are 7 of the many gifts of story. Stories:

  • mirror our experience of being human

  • inspire and motivate us

  • challenge us to be present and live a larger life

  • create relationship and community

  • offer insights, opportunities and wake us up

  • act as agents in change and transformation

  • bind us together across cultures

A people are as healthy and confident as the stories they tell

themselves... Stories can conquer fear, you know. They can make the

heart larger. (Ben Okri)

This is Dorian’s fifth Temenos (a sacred enclosure) retreat. Time to walk the

labyrinth, circle the garden, sit amidst blue glass and be…

Dorian is the purest storyteller I have encountered. Archetypes cling to his

coat tails and hide in his book-bag hoping for a mention in his next work.

Every creative writer should work with Dorian. Like Pilates for creative

spirits, he re-awakens the story loving child within.

(Tess Fairweather)


The cost of R3980 pp includes:

  • Temenos accommodation – two nights plus free third night

  • 2 brunches and 3 suppers in Tibaldi’s (ex Mon breakfast)

  • Teas (drinks own account)

  • the retreat

  • a gift related to story-telling

  • a story evening (Oom Schalk. Nasrudin, Rumi the Rabbi and You)

Booking and payment through Temenos 023 625 1871

Living a larger Life- Storytelling Evening: Oom Schalk, Nasrudin, Rumi, the Rabbi and You (Sat night 25 April) R80 for public

Stories start a conversation with ourselves and with our community. We enter the world of story to recover our creativity, zest, energy and passion. We allow the imagination to lead us. We consider how attention to life stories and fiction, so rich in image, symbol and rhythm, can rekindle joy, help us heal and create a more abundant life. Everybody has a story. Come and listen to Oom Schalk, the veld philosopher, Nasrudin the trickster, to Rumi the mystic, to the quirky Rabbi. Come and raise your story IQ

All you need do is change the name and it's about YOU, this story' (Horace)

Dr Dorian Haarhoff is a story-teller, poet, speaker and a writing mentor. A former Prof of English Literature (Univ of Namibia) he has also taught in a Canadian faculty. Dorian now facilitates writing and story-telling retreats and wordshops. He has frequently led writing retreats at Temenos and other centres such as the Buddhist Retreat Centre near Ixopo. Several of his poems appear in their recipe publication, Cake the Buddha Ate.

Dorian is passionate about developing innate creativity and imagination. He believes in the power of stories and images to create new realities. To bring healing. To build our belonging. His workshops are based on his texts, The Writer’s Voice. A Workbook for Writer’s in Africa. and The Halo and the Noose: the Power of Story-telling and Story-listening in Business Life (co-authored) .

Story Smous

he travels, he tinkers.

creaks his wagon

into the marketplace

and drops the flap

to display bottles,

all tints, shapes and hues.

roll up. try this patent.

pops the cork

and a whiff of story

breathes from the neck.

stories for sleep,

for the knocking of the heart,

rogue-romp adventures.

tales to raise the veil,

the rainbow and the shades between.

this one tastes

like licorice on the lip,

sambuca black.

but look how the light

breaks in on the dark liquid.


To remain vibrant throughout a lifetime we must always be re-inventing ourselves, weaving new themes into our life narratives, remembering our past, re-visioning our future, re-authorising the myth by which we live.

(Sam Keen and Ann Valley Fox)


At Temenos we're always happy to host Retreats and Workshops,

for more details contact Margaret



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